What does an Exercise Physiologist do?

Exercise Physiologists analyze a patient's fitness, helping them improve and maintain a certain level of health. This includes patients in rehabilitation for heart disease and other chronic problems as well as athletes looking to optimize their performance. There are many different types of health testing that an exercise physiologist can administer to evaluate a persons current health status. This may include exercise stress testing with or without maximal oxygen uptake/VO2 max, body composition, flexibility tests, power/strength tests and sub maximal aerobic tests. From there they can develop and prescribe exercise plans focusing on fitness, strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Types of Work Environments

  • Hospitals
  • Athletic training programs at colleges and universities
  • Fitness facilities
  • Rehabilitation clinics

Education and Training Requirements

Most employers require a candidate to have at least a bachelor's degree in order to be an exercise physiologist. However, many exercise physiologists specializing in cardiac rehabilitation also have a master's degree. Most academic programs will require some hands on training in the form of an internship or practicum. It is advisable to pursue a certification from one or multiple professional societies such as American College of Sports Medicine, American Society of Exercise Physiologists, National Strength and Conditioning Association and/or the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Salary

According to salary.com, the median salary of an exercise physiologists is between $48,276 and $62,770 per year.

Professional Organization

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