A kinesiology degree confers skills and training in sports and physical activity. A graduate can work in a technical capacity, by improving physical performance of individual athletes or teams, or may assume a more managerial position in planning activities or strategies. Degree holders typically get the highest-paying jobs by working for themselves, hospitals, or colleges and universities.
Athletic coaches teach individuals or groups about the fundamentals of a sport, show correct techniques and help to improve athletic performance. They evaluate individual strengths and weaknesses so that athletes can excel in competition. They often work in school settings but can also work for amateur and professional sports teams. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment in all sports-related jobs to grow 23 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than average for all professions.
The PayScale Report states that as of June 2010, athletic coaches begin with a yearly salary of $23,976 to $39,305. After one to four years of experience, they earn $24,197 to $39,550 and at five to nine years, they make $30,023 to $49,705. At 10 to 19 years, they get $35,625 to $57,428 and at 20 years or more, they receive $36,241 to $64,737.
An undergraduate kinesiology degree can lead to a graduate degree in physical therapy. PTs diagnose and treat individuals for conditions and injuries that limit their participation in daily activities. Though not doctors, they often work with medical professionals to uncover the best techniques for a patient. All states require physical therapists to be certified, which requires educational programs and passing the National Physical Therapy Examination. Employment is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than average.
PTs have a beginning yearly salary of $50,880 to $60,941. At one to four years of experience, they receive $53,255 to $64,702 and at five to nine years, they get $59,618 to $72,949. At 10 to 19 years, they make $62,492 to $78,139 and at 20 years or more, they earn $65,015 to $80,963.
Athletic trainers help prevent sports injuries, and treat them when they occur. Though they are not physicians, they are recognized by the American Medical Association as allied health professionals. They may work with industrial employees, individual athletes or entire sports teams. A bachelor’s degree is required for the job, though many trainers hold master’s degrees or higher. Licensing is also needed in 47 states. Employment is projected to grow by 37 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than average.
Athletic trainers start with $25,777 to $39,104 as an annual salary. After one to four years of experience, they make $30,002 to $38,655 and after five to nine years, they earn $34,608 to $44,728. After 10 to 19 years, they receive $37,478 to $52,220 and after 20 years or more, they get $39,345 to $59,364.
2016 Salary Information for Physical Therapists
Physical therapists earned a median annual salary of $85,400 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, physical therapists earned a 25th percentile salary of $70,680, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $100,880, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 239,800 people were employed in the U.S. as physical therapists.