What Can You Do With an Exercise Science Degree: 5 Options

Exercise Science Degree

Exercise Science Degree

Do you love helping people get fit and healthy through exercise? If yes, then an exercise science degree might be the perfect choice for you. Depending on your interests and goals, you will have several career options, including a career in sports medicine, researching the effects of exercise on the human body, or developing fitness programs for communities and organizations.

To give you a better idea, we have enlisted the following top professions you can pursue by earning a degree in exercise science:

1. Exercise Physiologist

Exercise physiologists study the effects of exercise on the human body and use this knowledge to design and implement exercise programs for individuals or groups. In this role, you will assess patients’ fitness levels, design safe and effective exercise programs based on their goals and capabilities, provide guidance and monitor progress. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care for your patients.

Exercise physiologists work in various settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, wellness centers, corporate fitness programs, etc. From professional athletes to those simply looking to live healthier lifestyles, these professionals help people from many walks of life to achieve their fitness goals.

Exercise physiologists typically earn a median annual salary of $56,429. According to BLS, the top 10% of exercise physiologists earn more than $82,020 annually, while the bottom 10% earn less than $29,640. Several factors can affect an exercise physiologist’s salary, including their level of education. Luckily, getting advanced education has become easier nowadays, thanks to the emergence of online classes. You can enroll in the master of exercise physiology online, taking classes from the comfort of your home and saving money and time.


2. Message Therapist

Massage therapists help people deal with chronic pain, reduce stress, and speed up recovery after injury or surgery. They apply pressure and movement to activate the muscles and tissues of the body. There are many different types of massages that massage therapists can offer, including:

  • Swedish massage: This is a classic technique involving long, flowing strokes to help relax the body and improve circulation.
  • Deep tissue massage: As the name suggests, deep tissue massage aims to relieve chronic muscle tension and pain.
  • Sports massage: sports massage was developed especially to assist athletes in their preparation and recovery from workouts and tournaments, enhance flexibility, and alleviate muscle soreness.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of massages. By offering a variety of massage techniques, massage therapists can better meet the needs and preferences of their clients. These professionals can expect to earn a decent wage for their work. The average annual income for a massage therapist is $62,444, or $30.02 per hour, while an entry-level position earns $47,779 and a seasoned professional makes $97,500.


3. Physical Therapist

Physical therapy is a rewarding career that can significantly impact your clients’ lives. You will work with individuals to improve their movement and manage pain. With an exercise science degree, you will have the knowledge and skills to assess clients’ physical limitations, create treatment plans, and provide therapeutic interventions. You will engage with patients of all ages.

Your patients may include those who rely on canes, walkers, and wheelchairs to perform their day-to-day activities. These devices are essential for helping individuals with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions maintain their independence and mobility. You will teach your clients how to use these devices safely and effectively as a physical therapist. It may involve demonstrating proper technique, providing hands-on instruction, and answering any questions or concerns your clients may have. You may also need to adjust the devices to fit your patient’s needs and ensure they are using them correctly.

The median annual wage for physical therapists is $96,101, and the job outlook for this field is much faster than average, with a projected growth rate of 28% between 2019 and 2029.


4. Personal Trainer

As a personal trainer, you will assess your client’s fitness levels, set achievable goals, and provide motivation to help them reach their full potential. You could have one-on-one or small group sessions with clients. In addition, you can focus on a specific area, such as weight loss, enhanced athletic performance, or rehabilitation.

Gyms, studios, and even their clients’ homes are potential workplaces for personal trainers. This job requires a lot of physical energy, but the satisfaction of seeing your clients improve their health and fitness is worth the effort. Personal trainers also enjoy a financially lucrative career. According to well-documented statistics, the median annual wage for personal trainers in the United States is $65,174. With experience and additional certifications, you can earn even more.


5. Fitness Manager

Fitness managers supervise the functioning of a fitness center or gym. One of their key responsibilities is to hire staff. This involves recruiting candidates, reviewing resumes and applications, and conducting interviews. After hiring new employees, they ensure the staff has the resources and guidance they need to succeed in their respective roles.

These professionals oversee all fiscal operations, from setting and enforcing budgets to generating financial reports and keeping tabs on fitness center expenditures. Sometimes, they may also charge membership fees, pricing, and strategies to boost revenue.

Flexible work hours are the norm at many health clubs, fitness centers, and gyms. This may be an enticing perk if you like less conventional work hours. Some fitness managers also enjoy incentives, including free or discounted gym memberships, equipment, gym clothing discounts, and invitations to fitness-related conferences and seminars.

Glassdoor reports that the average yearly pay of a fitness manager is $88,307. Those in charge of a fitness center in a large city or a high-end facility may make more than their counterparts in smaller communities or less impressive establishments.



Exercise science degrees can lead to many amazing career opportunities. Whether you want to help people get fit, recover from injuries, or just feel their best, there is a path for you. So if you are passionate about helping others achieve their health and fitness goals, an exercise science degree might be just the ticket!