What Can You Do With A Major In Exercise Science?

Exercise Scientists are health care professionals that utilize knowledge of the human body’s adaptive responses to exercise to address an individual’s health, fitness, or performance goals. Exercise Science students who wish to continue their academic studies will benefit from a well rounded curriculum designed to prepare students for admission into graduate programs in Exercise Physiology or other Health Care professions.  Exercise Science is often cited as the preferred undergraduate program of study for students interested in the advanced degree of Physical Therapy.  Other graduate programs that are of interest to Exercise Science students are: Occupational Therapy, Chiropractics, Medicine, Physicians Assistant, Sports Psychology, and Pharmacy.


Career Paths

Department of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy/Exercise Science

  • Clinical Exercise Physiology: health care based positions that incorporate exercise testing, prescription, and supervision for a wide spectrum of patients such as cardiac rehabilitation, elderly care, and weight management.
  • Fitness/Recreation field: positions in personal training, fitness instruction, corporate wellness, wellness coach, and recreation.
  • Human Performance: strength coach, performance coach, and athletic exercise testing.
  • Other Related fields: medical supply reps (pacemakers, artificial joints, medical instruments) and pharmaceutical representatives

Entry Level Jobs 


Aerobics Instructor

Sports Instructor

Exercise Specialist

Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor

Community Based Fitness Personal Trainer

Medical Technologist

2 Years Minimum Experience Needed Positions and/or Master Degree 

Media Relations Director

Exercise Program Director

Sports Dietitian

Sport Event Coordinator

College/University Strength and Conditioning Coach

Physical Therapist Director




Promising Job Titles 

  • Exercise Physiologists                                                 
  • Aerobics Instructors
  • Sports Instructors
  • Kinesiotherapist
  • Director of Media Relations
  • Exercise Program Director
  • Exercise Specialist
  • Health Fitness Instructor
  • Sports Nutritionist
  • Corporate Fitness Director  
  • Hospital Wellness  
  • Community Based Fitness Personal Trainer  
  • Industrial Fitness Cardiac Rehabilitation  
  • Sport Event Coordinator  
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach  
  • Physical Education Director  
  • Personal Trainer  
  • Sporting Good Manufacturing Rep.  
  • Director of Sports Facility  
  • Director of Intramurals and Recreation  
  • Exercise Test Technologist 

 Typical Work Places 

  • College/University Instructor
  • Community Organizations
  • Commerce & Industry Rehabilitation Programs
  • Competitive Sports Programs
  • Camps
  • Resorts YMCA's
  • Gyms Fitness Centers
  • Sports Arenas and Stadiums
  • Sports Medicine Clinics
  • Rehabilitation Clinics
  • Sports Marketing and Management Agencies
  • High Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Government Agencies  
  • Bureau of Prisons 
  • Indian Health Service  
  • Center for Disease Control National Institutes of Health  
  • Center for Health Promotion & Education  
  • Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion  
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission  
  • Peace Corps/Vista  
  • Dept. of Health & Human Services  
  • President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports  
  • Dept. of Veterans Affairs  
  • Public Health Services  
  • Health Resources & Services Admin.  
  • State Departments of Health 
  • Sporting Goods Stores 


Some Related Career Titles

(To research these titles and more go to: (Occupational Outlook Handbook) and see the related print resources in the Career Services Library.


To Match This Major To Careers: Click Here

PDF Printable Version

Beginning Salary Range 

An exercise science major’s typical starting salary is $32,500- All information from the Spring 2008 NACE Salary Survey (National Association of Colleges and Employers)

For more information on salaries click here



Skills Needed For This Career


Active Listening

Time Management



Reading Comprehension

Judgment and Decision Making

Critical Thinking


Social Perceptiveness

Service Orientation





Links To Professional Associations 

Professional Associations are important to explore because many offer student’s access to other professionals.

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

National Health & Exercise Science Association

Clinical Exercise Physiology

American Council on Exercise
Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
American Aerobic Association International/International Sports Medicine Association
The American College of Sports Medicine
American Fitness Professionals and Associates
Federation of Professional Trainers
American Physical Therapy Association
American Occupational Therapy Association
National Athletic Trainers’ Association
National Strength and Condition Association
National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association
Association for Applied Sports Psychology


Job Search Information  






Exercise Science - www.exercise-science-guide.com


Graduate Schools 

University of North Florida

University of Central Florida

American Public University-APU is a 100% online school that offers a Master of Science in Exercise Science.

Florida State University

Florida Atlantic University


Link To UNF Program 


The College of Health  at the University of North Florida offers a Bachelor of Science inExercise Science 


Holland Codes 


Exercise Science- Social; Investigative; Realistic (SIR)


Career Action Plan

  • Conduct an informational interview with or shadow a professional in the field
  • Develop skills with computers and technology used in this field
  • Develop working relationships with coaches and team physicians
  • Develop leadership skills by participating in on-campus activities (i.e. RA, Presidential Envoys, Student Government, Peer Advisors, etc. 
  • Become involved with volunteer work and community service related to this field to gain experience
  • Before your senior year do one maybe two internships in this field to gain experience and develop skills