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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.

Brooks College of Health  
Exercise Science Courses
Osprey Map   

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

Typical Job Titles  

Note: some of these occupations might require certification, licensure, or further education
Exercise Physiologists   Aerobics Instructor  
Kinesiotherapist   Director of Media Relations  
Exercise Specialist   Health Fitness Instructor  
Corporate Fitness Director   Personal Fitness Trainer  
Sport Event Coordinator   Strength and Conditioning Coach  
Sporting Goods Manufacturing Rep           Director of Sports Facility  
Exercise Test Technologist   Director of Community Relations  
Athletic Director   Health Club Manager  
Occupational Therapist   Operations Director  
Sports Information Director   Rehabilitation Therapist  
Wellness Coodinator   Ticket Manager  
Sports Instructor   Exercise Program Director  
Sports Nutritionist   Fitness Cardiac Rehab Specialist  
Physical Education Director   Director of Intramurals and Recreation  
Physical Therapist   Weight Training Instructor  
Promotion Director   Sports Psychologist  

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 

 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  

Match This Major To Careers

Question Mark with wording What Can I do with this major?

Beginning Salary Range
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Median Salary for Fitness Trainers was $36,160.   Median salary for Coaches and Scouts: $31,000. and for Personal Trainers: $36,671. 

Salary Resources

Skills Needed For This Career

Active listening   Time Managment
Speaking   Coordination
Reading comprehension   Judgment and decision making
Critical thinking   Monitoring
Social perceptiveness   Service orientation

Links To Professional Associations

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

Clinical Exercise Physiology

American Council on Exercise
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  

Graduate Schools

Applying To Graduate and Professional Schools   

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