Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Top Paying Jobs With a Kinesiology Degree

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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 Coach

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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 (BLS) predicts employment in all sports-related jobs to grow 26 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than average for all professions.

The BLS states that as of 2020, athletic coaches begin with a yearly salary of about $20,00. 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.

Physical Therapist

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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 21 percent from 2020 to 2030, 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 Trainer

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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.

Physical Therapists salary

  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $126,780 ($60.95/hour)
  • Median Annual Salary: $91,010 ($43.75/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $63,530 ($30.54/hour)

Aurelio Locsin has been writing professionally since 1982. He published his first book in 1996 and is a frequent contributor to many online publications, specializing in consumer, business and technical topics. Locsin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scientific and technical communications from the University of Washington.

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