By Published On: September 13, 2022

Earning your doctorate in exercise science can help you take the next step towards becoming an expert in the field and advancing your career. It can open a number of career opportunities for you, including the following:

  • Researcher
  • Professor/University Faculty 
  • Physical Health Policy Advocate
  • Biomechanics Specialist

Differences Between an EdD and PhD in Exercise Science

A PhD and an EdD are both doctorate degrees, but with different areas of focus. Typically, a PhD tends to be research-focused, and will include more courses than the EdD to ensure a strong foundation in research. It prepares graduates for careers in research and academia. It can also take longer to complete, on average, than an EdD. 

An EdD is focused on preparing you to apply your knowledge to real-world problems, and to pursue leadership roles within the field. Courses for an EdD focus more on practical applications for your knowledge. 

PhD in Exercise Science Careers


Exercise science and kinesiology researchers work in offices or laboratories and conduct research aimed to advance the field and improve health and wellness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a researcher is $95,310.

University Professor/Faculty

University instructors at the post-secondary level work to educate the next generation of exercise scientists. They instruct courses and typically conduct research and serve on committees at the university, especially those that hold tenure. According to the BLS, the median salary for post-secondary instructors is $79,640. 

EdD in Exercise Science Careers

Physical Health Policy Analyst 

Physical health policy analysts conduct research and make recommendations for political policy based on the results. They help determine governmental funding, and also advocate for political change to improve the lives of others. While many policy analysts also have political science backgrounds, those making recommendations for physical health policies would need to be experts in the exercise science field. According to the BLS, policy analysts can make between $93,000 to $145,000, depending on the level of experience. 

Biomechanics Specialist

Biomechanics specialists are experts in biomechanics who can work in a wide variety of settings, from healthcare to business settings. Biomechanists work to help engineer products to better improve human performance. According to Biotecnika, biomechanists earn an average of $85,620 per year. 

Common Careers for Both PhD and EdD Exercise Science Graduates

A doctorate in exercise science will prepare you for leadership within the field, regardless of whether you earn a PhD in exercise science or an EdD in exercise science. As a terminal degree, it is the highest level of expertise you can gain in exercise science. Many higher level careers within kinesiology, exercise science, and biomechanics become available once you earn your doctorate degree in the field.

Earn Your Doctorate in Exercise Science Online

Have you earned your master’s degree and are ready for a doctorate degree in exercise science? While there are many exercise science doctoral programs available, finding a program that allows you to balance work, school, and your personal life is important

Concordia University Chicago’s EdD and PhD in Health and Human Performance is a 100% online,  interdisciplinary degree program designed to prepare students to pursue academic, clinical, leadership, and research roles in the fields of health promotion, exercise science, kinesiology, human performance and other related disciplines. 

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