Kinesiology is the study of movement, usually of the human body. It is also commonly referred to as human kinetics. What can you do with a kinesiology degree? Depending on how you focus your studies, you can be anything from a college football coach to a massage therapist. This article describes three school programs as well as a list of career possibilities for people who graduate from high school with the intent of pursuing further education in kinesiology.
Sciences of Kinesiology
Kinesiology, the study of human and animal physical activity, is made up of various areas of science in which you can focus your studies in order to build the skills necessary to travel down your desired career path. These sciences include but are not limited to ones listed below. You can also click on the links to find out more about how you can get degrees in those specific sciences.
How to Get a Kinesiology Degree
If you are interested in earning a degree in kinesiology, then you should begin applying to accredited college programs early in your senior year of high school. Studies to focus on in high school include topics like biology and psychology. If you want to focus on more than just an undergraduate degree, take into consideration both bachelor degree programs and master degree programs when applying to schools. Don’t stress if you’re not sure about whether you want to attend graduate school to earn your masters and/or doctoral degree in kinesiology or a related field; you have plenty of time to decide.
Temple University’s Department of Kinesiology offers a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training for undergraduate students. In the kinesiology program, students can focus on specific concentrations such as Pre-Health Professions and Exercise and Sport Science. For graduate students looking to further their education, this public research school offers a Master of Science in Kinesiology as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology in which students can focus on specific concentrations such as Psychology of Human Movement as well as Athletic Training. In addition to talented faculty, Temple University’s newly renovated research labs provide students with excellent hands-on experience in specific concentrations of kinesiology, as well.
Located in Nacogdoches, TX, Stephen F. Austin State University’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Science offers students the opportunity to earn bachelor degrees in everything from kinesiology to physical education for undergraduates. Graduate students can explore athletic training opportunities or choose to earn a Master of Science in Kinesiology, with courses in everything from exercise physiology to sports nutrition to research and analysis. Students can also gain both clinical and field experience in the university’s Human Performance Lab.
New Mexico State University offers a bachelors degree in kinesiology with the intention of preparing students to further their education in kinesiology or a related field, such as allied health. Undergraduate students can choose specific concentrations like Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Performance Psychology to enhance their educational experience and better prepare them for the careers they plan to pursue. The kinesiology program at New Mexico State University is recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as an Educationally Recognized Program in Strength and Conditioning, so students’ resumes are particularly impressive with the addition of whatever certifications students decide to complete in addition to their bachelors degree in kinesiology.
Careers in Kinesiology
Once you earn your degree in kinesiology, whether a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree, a multitude of career options will become available to you.
Entry Level Careers in Kinesiology
With a bachelors degree and educational experience in kinesiology, you may qualify for one or more of the positions described here.
Massage therapists soothe muscle aches and pains and relieve muscular tension in clients by putting pressure repeatedly on the affected muscles in slow and strategic motions. Clients see massage therapists for relaxation purposes or to help improve health of muscular tissue. It is important that massage therapists become familiar with their clients’ medical histories as well as any current health issues in order to determine the best treatment techniques. Massage therapists do not necessarily need any higher education aside from becoming licensed within the state, but it is incredibly beneficial to have a degree in kinesiology in order to demonstrate your understanding of the human muscular system.
Massage therapists can earn over $25,000 annually, based on their knowledge and experience.
Aerobics instructors work with various generations, providing exercise routines to help boost physical fitness and health. Instructors also help participants set and achieve goals in order to improve and maintain healthy lifestyles. Aerobics instructors can also specialize in specific areas of fitness, such as water aerobics and yoga. Most organizations and schools require that aerobics instructors possess bachelor degrees in anything from physical fitness to kinesiology in addition to the required certifications. Instructors are excellent communicators, highly personable, and very flexible.
Aerobics instructors can earn around $29,000 annually, with room to improve based on education and experience levels.
Entry level exercise physiologists can assist in performing health assessments and can create exercise programs specifically designed to meet the physical needs of each client. They are particularly personable and hold bachelor degrees in exercise science or kinesiology with a concentration in either area. Exercise physiologists can also help personal trainers develop routines for their clients, as well.
Entry level exercise physiologists can earn around $37,000 annually, with room to expand their salary by furthering their education and gaining more experience.
Advanced Careers in Kinesiology
Upon gaining more field experience and earning a masters or doctoral degree in kinesiology or related field, you may qualify for one or more of the positions described here.
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Strength and conditioning coaches often work with high school or college sports teams in order to boost athletic performance, including stamina and endurance. These coaches work side by side with team coaches in order to ensure athletes are receiving the best possible training. They can possess bachelor degrees in sports management or other related fields with a concentration in kinesiology, but it is recommended that strength and conditioning coaches have a masters degree in their field in order to help shape exceptional athletes. They possess excellent leadership and communication skills, as well.
Strength and conditioning coaches can earn over $40,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
Kinesiologists further explore the science of body movement in order to better physical performance with day-to-day activities and in the work environment. They often work in rehabilitation centers and collaborate with physical or occupational therapists. Kinesiologists specializing in research have both a bachelors and masters degree in kinesiology or related field. They are skilled in data collection and analysis, as well.
Kinesiologists can earn over $65,000 annually.
Orthotists assist in the development and implementation of prosthetics to patients in need. They also help create other medical devices necessary for for physical functioning of a wide variety of patients. They have outstanding problem solving and researching and development skills. More highly-paid orthotists possess master degrees in orthotics or prosthetics in addition to bachelor degrees in anything from kinesiology to orthontics.
Orthotists can earn over $68,000 annually.
Companies that Hire People with Kinesiology Degrees
Upon completion of your degree in kinesiology, it’s time to go job hunting. Kinesiology jobs are not always easy to come by, so below is a list of just a few examples of places that hire people with kinesiology degrees.
CarePartners Health Services – located in Asheville, NC; comprehensive rehabilitation center; hires positions for orthotists, physical therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, etc.
Physiotherapy Associates – locations across the U.S.; hires positions for orthotists, various types of physical therapists, rehabilitation aides, etc.
Fox Rehabilitation – locations throughout Eastern U.S.; hires positions for physical therapists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, etc.
Cape Fear Valley Health System – locations throughout NC; hires positions for exercise physiologists, psychotherapists, clinical educators, etc.
Granite Medical Group – 3 locations in MD; hires positions for exercise physiologists, pulmonary technicians, physicians assistants, etc.
Kinesiology is a very in-depth major that covers a variety of sciences. Make sure you find a school that offers excellent educational opportunities in the field of kinesiology in order to boost your chances of landing the career that’s right for you.