What can you do with an exercise science degree?

Common career paths

An exercise science degree will enable you to pursue a rewarding career in the fitness industry. You'll be prepared to serve people as a:

  • Personal trainer
  • Strength coach
  • Corporate wellness manager or director
  • Exercise physiologist 
  • Cardiac rehab specialist
  • Clinical exercise specialist

This degree is also an excellent foundation if you're seeking a career as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or as a physician's assistant.

Some common places for exercise science majors to work include:

  • Athletic associations
  • Colleges and universities 
  • Country clubs
  • Government agencies
  • Health and fitness clubs
  • High schools
  • Hospitals
  • Nonprofits
  • Professional sports teams and leagues
  • Rehabilitation clinics 
  • Sports marketing and management agencies
  • Sporting arenas and stadiums
  • Sporting goods companies 
  • Sports medicine clinics
  • Self-employment (you could be a consultant, contractor or entrepreneur)

Job outlook

Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 34 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 27 percent within the same timeframe. This growth is much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Demand for physical therapy services will come from aging baby boomers who are staying active later in life. Also, physical therapists will be needed to treat people with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.