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Pursue a Career in the Kinesiology Field

Pursue a Career in the Kinesiology Field

Healthcare is an expansive field that encompasses many diverse careers and professional paths. While many may picture a hospital setting when they think of healthcare, that only scratches the surface of the various job opportunities held by 14.3 million people employed in healthcare. Many of these careers can stem from kinesiology—the study of human movement and anatomy—a broad field with numerous paths within the health field. In 2016, over 500,000 people worked in kinesiology and exercise science alone.

The health industry is growing at a rapid pace—and it’s not slowing down any time soon. In fact, 20 of the fastest-growing professions are in healthcare and the number of available job positions is growing faster than average. Tulane School of Professional Advancement offers kinesiology programs and certificates for those considering entering or advancing their careers in health. From bachelor’s degrees to Master of Professional Studies programs to stackable certificates, each area of study provides flexible, hands-on learning catered to working adults.

Flexible Programs to Build a Strong Foundation

Those fueled by a passion for health and wellness may pursue a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science or Health & Wellness to prepare for a career in the field shortly after. Others may use their degree as a fundamental first step to help them enter a more specialized, professional program.

A popular profession that requires at least a bachelor’s degree is an exercise physiologist. They develop fitness programs tailored to their patients to help improve their overall health and address chronic conditions. In 2018, their median pay was $49,270 with a faster than average job outlook growth from 2016 to 2026. 

More specialized careers in the kinesiology field, such as physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT), require a foundational bachelor’s degree in the related field, such as Exercise Science, to prepare students for an allied health program in PT or OT.

Physical therapists and occupational therapists are a major part of patients’ rehabilitation process. They work with injured or ill patients to improve their movement and help prevent further injury or pain.

  • PTs earned a median pay of $87,930 in 2018 with job opportunities growing at a faster-than-average rate of 28%. 
  • OTs earned a median pay of $84,270 in 2018 with a 23.8% job growth rate.

Increase Your Earning Potential in the Kinesiology Field

Like most industries, the difference between earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree can have a significant impact on earning potential. Exercise physiologists, health coaches, and community health directors are just a few examples of salary differences between health professionals with bachelor’s vs. master’s degrees.

  • Exercise physiologists with a master’s earn a median salary of $51,106 to $54,912, while bachelor’s recipients earn a median salary of $50,641 to $54,326
  • Health coaches with a master’s degree can earn almost $5,000 more than those with a bachelor’s degree.
    • Median salary with a bachelor’s: $60,316 to $64,722
    • Median salary with a master’s: $60,915 to $65,309
  • Community health directors:
    • Median salary with a bachelor’s: $123,776 to $137,739
    • Median salary with a master’s:  $125,554 to $139,920

Across all industries, working adults with a graduate degree earn $17,000 more than the average yearly salary of those with a bachelor’s degree.

  • Over the entirety of their career, those with a bachelor’s degree earn an average annual salary of $61,000 while graduate degree recipients earn $78,000.

Students can pursue an advanced degree in the kinesiology field with an MPS in Health & Wellness Management or MPS in Sport Studies from SoPA.

  • Professional roles with an MPS in Health & Wellness Management include Wellness Director or Coach, Health Communications Director, and Behavioral Health Specialist
  • Exciting career opportunities with an MPS in Sport Studies include Assistant or Head Coach, Athletic Director, Director of Sports Management, Sports Facilities Manager, and Director of Compliance

Enter a Field That Makes a Difference

There is no “typical” work environment when pursuing a career in kinesiology. Workers have many options when choosing the clientele they want to serve, whether it be children, adults, those with disabilities, or the elderly, and where they want to serve them—from hospitals and health and wellness centers to nursing homes, schools, or athletic facilities. 

Regardless of where or who they work with, a career in this field can help make a positive difference by addressing public health issues like chronic diseases, diet and nutrition, and physical activity. Effective wellness programs are an excellent investment for public health and the healthcare system itself—for each dollar put into them, they lower medical costs by $3.27. That’s a 227% return on investment! 

You can help impact people’s overall well-being and quality of life with a career in the health industry. Request more information from Tulane School of Professional Advancement to start your professional journey and pursue one of our many kinesiology programs.