An online kinesiology degree can prepare you for a career dedicated to healthy living. This is a relatively new program that has gained popularity in the past few decades. As the importance of exercise and eating right becomes even more well-known, more qualified experts will be needed.
Studying this field will prepare you to work with people of all ages, from young children to geriatrics. You'll learn about human movement and devise ways to help athletes run faster and more effectively. Older adults could benefit from your knowledge of nutrition and low-impact training methods. Your post-graduate career opportunities include sports health, coaching, education, fitness training, ergonomics, injury prevention, nutrition or injury rehab. If you would love a career helping people become healthy and active, a degree in kinesiology can lead to a wide range of opportunities.
THE CAREER PATH
Kinesiology is, at its core, the study and science of human movement. Kinesiologists work with people to improve function and overall wellness by improving motor skills. Essentially, someone with a kinesiology degree thoroughly understands human movement, and uses this knowledge to increase physical activity for patients, thereby creating more active and healthy lives.
As a graduate of an online program, you will have useful skills that apply to a variety of careers. The most obvious, of course, is a kinesiologist, which involves monitoring human muscle movement to alleviate ailments and improve mobility. Other career options include athletic trainer, exercise researcher, physical therapist (which requires advanced schooling), or even a career developing equipment that improves healthy movements.
When you study kinesiology, you’ll be prepared for a career that allows you to help people every day. Even if you’re not working directly with patients, athletes, or clients, you’ll wake up knowing that your work is positively changing people’s lives. You also have the chance to work in an area that aligns with your interests. For example, if you love sports, you can work in a sports career such as athletic training or coaching. If you are interested in a medical profession, you can use your education as a springboard to a career in nutrition, chiropractic health, or physical therapy.
- Exercise Physiologist—Using your physiologist degree, you can transition directly into a career as an exercise physiologist, a profession that creates specific fitness and exercise programs depending on a patient. These professionals will analyze a patient’s medical history and current condition to create the best possible exercise plan that not only improves health but allows for a safe recovery. This career has as decent median salary, and the top 10% can expect earnings over $78,000, but one of the most attractive aspects of this career is the high expected growth. Driven by an increased emphasis on exercise and preventative care, exercise physiology is expected to grow by 13%.
- Physical Therapist—A physical therapist requires a doctorate or professional degree, but an online bachelor’s degree in kinesiology is a great start to this career. These highly-trained professionals help people recover from injury and manage pain by developing specific care plans, which can include stretching and exercise. With the top 10% earning over $122,000, this is a career that brings tremendous earnings, but once again it’s the outstanding growth of the career that is most noticeable. Growing by 28% between 2016 and 2026, physical therapists will be in high demand to help people deal with heart attacks, strokes, and mobility-related health conditions.
Another popular primary or side career for a kinesiology graduate is in personal training. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for personal trainers to sprint ahead 24% in the current decade. Demand springs from an increased awareness that wellness training reduces illness and healthcare costs. You may be able to find work at a gym, fitness studio, hospital or business. Other career opportunities include group fitness instruction and athletic training. If you land a gig at a sports facility, you may be able to work with high-performing athletes or help talented students score starring roles on their team.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
As you can see, there are numerous benefits and multiple options that follow a degree in kinesiology. So is this field right for you? Do find out, you should ask yourself a few important questions. First of all, do you enjoy working with people? Working directly with patients and clients is an important part of most kinesiology-related careers, so it’s important that you enjoy working directly with people, which takes good communication, listening skills, and patience. You should also be motivated to improve people’s lives. Having a compassion for people’s health issues, and a motivation to improve their daily lives, will give you a strong foundation for a long career in kinesiology. You’ll also want a basic interest in the function and mobility of the human body. Kinesiology is related to biology and anatomy, so having an inherent interest in these subjects will be crucial to your studies and your career. If you have these traits, you may be well suited for a kinesiology degree, but before you sign up for a program, make sure you are properly researching each degree.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Expect online classes in biology, anatomy, chemistry and biomechanics. Your other courses will cover health and wellness through topics like sports nutrition, physiology of exercise and resistance training. A typical exercise science or kinesiology program should prepare you to work with many different populations, all who have unique needs.
If you're considering an advanced degree in physical therapy or occupational therapy, a bachelor's in exercise science online—which could also be called human performance or movement—should help you succeed. Graduate programs in exercise science may offer you the chance to specialize in a field. One popular master's level degree is in kinesiology, which refers to the science of movement.
To ensure that you have a useful degree that improves your skills and makes you a top candidate for employment, you need to do your research and investigate each program. Start by looking at the classes to ensure they line up with your future goals. You’ll also want to verify that the program is offered 100% online or if there are in-person classroom requirements.
This database can help you find the right program for your needs. Click on a program below to gather tuition, accreditation, and admission information and resources that you need to make an informed decision.