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Exercise Physiologists

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Purpose: 94
  • Social: 88
  • Creative: 77
  • Analytical: 68
  • Supported: 54

What Exercise Physiologists Do

Exercise physiologists develop fitness and exercise programs that help patients recover from chronic diseases and improve cardiovascular function, body composition, and flexibility.

Work Environment

About half of exercise physiologists were self-employed in 2014. Most others worked for hospitals, offices of physicians, and other healthcare providers.

How to Become an Exercise Physiologist

Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Degree programs include science and health-related courses, such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Other therapists, including exercise physiologists

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of exercise physiologists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand may rise as hospitals emphasize exercise and preventive care as part of their treatment and long-term rehabilitation from chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

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    Job Trends for Exercise Physiologists

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    This occupation supported 6,000 jobs in 2012 and 14,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 141.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 8.3% in 2022 to 6,500 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 6,100, compared with an observed value of 14,500, 137.7% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 25.0% in 2024 to 16,000 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 6,600 jobs for 2024, 58.8% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

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