What Do Exercise Physiologists Do?
Exercise physiologists are key to helping people with their fitness goals. They train individuals and assess, plan and implement programs of fitness including exercise and physical activities. The goal of these activities is to assist the client in improving cardio or respiratory function, to improve body composition, muscular strength, or flexibility. Demand for exercise physiologists is expected to increase over the next 20 years. So, if you choose to pursue a career as an exercise physiologist, training will need to help you be competitive to lead in the field.
Exercise Physiologists Skills and Abilities
Good exercise physiologists have a strong understanding and foundation in the health sciences. Because you are working directly with patients, you will need to be proficient in assessing their physical and mental state and providing guidance to help improve their health. Customer service is an important component of this job because you will be constantly working and getting paid through your positive, long-term interactions with customers. For this reason, you will need to be a good listener, a clear communicator, and proficient at critically analyzing complex health problems. As documentation is important for informing patients of your diagnosis and treatment plan, you must be able to effectively communicate in writing.
Exercise Physiologists Duties
Exercise physiologists start by completing evaluations of patient flexibility, general health, and physical limitations. After identifying means to improve the patient’s health, you will need to develop exercise and health programs that will help the patients to overcome their limitations. With many patients, you will need to be able to order medical tests and prescribe exercise programs specific to each patient’s needs. Lastly, because most exercise physiologists work in an office setting with front desk staff and other medical professionals, it is important that you maintain professional relationships and good communication with coworkers.
Exercise Physiologists Tools and Technology
New technology in exercise physiology allows professionals to quickly and non-invasively identify the physical health of a patient. Some of these tools include bodyweight-measuring scales, dynamometers that identify muscle strength, and heart rate monitors. In addition to this diagnostic equipment, advances in electronic medical records have made documenting patient work much easier. For this reason, it is important to be familiar with computer technology to be able to effectively document patient interactions.
Education and Training for Exercise Physiologists
The standard education for exercise physiologists includes a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, exercise science or a related discipline. These training programs include internships and occupational training that will help you gain the needed experience to get a job in this field. Make sure to identify programs that will help you pass required licensure to become a certified exercise physiologist. This certification will be important to your ability to find a job and practice. Additional education can help you to teach in an academic setting or potentially to help you obtain employment as an administrator.
Exercise Physiologists Salary
The median salary for exercise physiologists is $46,000, but it ranges on average from $30,000 to over $70,000 annually. Additional experience and advanced training can help increase your income and make you more competitive for jobs. Looking for highly productive practices that maintain intelligent business practices can also increase your income while keeping you significantly busy each day.
Exercise Physiologists Jobs by Geography
Exercise physiologists are in demand across the United States. The highest number of jobs for Exercise physiologists are located in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. Two states that are showing a significant projected increase in demand for this profession are Washington and Florida. When searching for a good exercise physiologist job, it is important to factor in the cost of living for the geography in which you are interested in living.