How to Become an Exercise Physiologist?

Are you thinking of becoming an Exercise Physiologist or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become an Exercise Physiologist, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Exercise Physiologist job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become an Exercise Physiologist

Exercise physiologists work for hospitals, sports teams, and other healthcare providers to develop fitness programs that help sick or injured patients get better. If this sounds like the perfect career for you, follow these steps to become an exercise physiologist:

Explore your personal attributes.

An exercise physiologist will have a complex set of personality traits that will help you get hired to excel in this nurturing career. You'll be:

  • Compassionate: Candidates in this role routinely work with patients who are in pain from an accident or injury. Therefore, you must be sympathetic, kind, and caring to their needs while you provide the necessary treatments and exercise programs so they can recover.
  • Good at Decision-Making: As a practising exercise physiologist, you must be able to make sound decisions that affect the health and well-being of your patients.
  • Detail-Oriented: People who work in this field keep extensive patient records. Therefore, you must be detail-oriented to ensure you maintain accurate information about each patient's condition and progress.
  • Interpersonal: Exercise physiologists work very closely with others. It's essential that you possess strong interpersonal skills so you can manage difficult situations. You'll also need to communicate your findings and treatment plans with others, including physicians, patients, and family members.

Acquire your degree.

If you want to become an exercise physiologist, plan to earn at least a Bachelor's Degree. the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) provides a database listing by province of the CSEP recommended course maps of a slew of post-secondary institutions, so you can be sure of taking the recommended courses for each core competency of the CSEP certifications. You can also pick a related field such as:

  • Biology.
  • Anatomy.
  • Kinesiology.
  • Exercise Science.
  • Nutrition.
  • Physiotherapy.

Earn your master’s.

The hiring staff at more and more healthcare facilities require their exercise physiologists to hold a Master's Degree. Universities typically offer a combination of study tracks that prepare their exercise physiology students for both clinical and research careers. You'll get additional training in areas like:

  • Physical and occupational therapy.
  • Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.
  • Diabetes and cancer prevention.
  • Rehabilitation.
  • Obesity prevention and treatment.

Take your certification exam.

Stay ahead of the competition and get certified now. CSEP offers a Clinical Exercise Physiologist Certification that requires passing the organization's theory and practical exams. To annually renew and maintain your certified membership, you must earn sufficient professional development credits and keep your cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification up to date.

Exercise Physiologist Career Path

Exercise Physiologist

0 - 1Years of Experience
$58K - $88K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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8% advanced to

Senior Exercise Physiologist

2 - 4Years of Experience
$40K - $62K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Lead Exercise Physiologist

5 - 7Years of Experience
$40K - $62K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

Exercise Physiologist Career Path

Exercise Physiologist I
Exercise Physiologist
Senior Exercise Physiologist
Exercise Physiologist Manager
Lead Exercise Physiologist
Assistant Head Exercise Physiologist
Assistant Director of Exercise Physiology
Associate Director of Exercise Physiology
Director of Exercise Physiology
Senior Director of Exercise Physiology
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Related careers in the Skilled Labor & Manufacturing Industry

Interested in other Skilled Labor & Manufacturing careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Exercise Physiologist skills. Discover some of the most common Exercise Physiologist career transitions, along with skills overlap.

13% skills overlap
10% transitioned to Coach