Exercise Science is the study of how exercise affects the human body on all levels from the physical to psychological. A degree in exercise science may be qualification for, or a first step toward, a broad range of career options, including sports medicine physician, coach and physical therapist.
Personal training and coaching usually require a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. While an undergraduate degree in exercise science may be a good introduction to Physical Therapy, a graduate degree is necessary to become a physical therapist. Sports medicine doctors need to attend medical school and earn their medical license before practicing medicine. Some medical degree programs may allow students to focus their studies on sports medicine topics like orthopedics and exercise nutrition.
What can I expect from a career in Exercise Science?
Although some fields will require some additonal education, Exercise Science graduates have a variety of career options:
- Personal trainers-develop and implement exercise plans to suit the fitness goals and needs of their clients. These programs are designed with consideration for the client’s age, physical ability and any additional health issues.
- Coach-must know their players’ abilities and limits in addition to knowing how best to utilize exercise to strengthen the team and avoid injuries. Coaches teach both the fundamentals and advanced aspects of sports and evaluate individual team members’ performance. They then use that information to help their players maximize strengths and improve their weaknesses.
- Physical Therapist-develop rehabilitative programs for people suffering from injury or chronic illness to relieve pain, improve mobility and increase strength.
- Sports medicine-help athletes with conditions like asthma that are not caused by sport, but impact athletic performance. A sports physician may evaluate a player’s predisposition to injuries and his ability to participate in the sport before joining the team and after a major injury.
How much can I earn? What is the job outlook?