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Exercise Physiologist

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What Do Exercise Physiologist Do?

Exercise Physiologist Definition Assess, plan, or implement fitness programs that include exercise or physical activities such as those designed to improve cardiorespiratory function, body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance, or flexibility.

Life As an Exercise Physiologist: What Do They Do?

  • Plan or conduct exercise physiology research projects.
  • Demonstrate correct use of exercise equipment or performance of exercise routines.
  • Provide clinical oversight of exercise for participants at all risk levels.
  • Educate athletes or coaches on techniques to improve athletic performance, such as heart rate monitoring, recovery techniques, hydration strategies, or training limits.
  • Mentor or train staff to lead group exercise.
  • Present exercise knowledge, program information, or research study findings at professional meetings or conferences.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Exercise Physiologist?

Exercise Physiologists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.

Other Exercise Physiologist Job Titles

  • Director of Rehabilitation and Wellness
  • Clinical Exercise Specialist
  • Exercise Specialist
  • Clinical Coordinator, Heart Failure Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Cardiac Exercise Physiologist

Job Outlook for Exercise Physiologists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 15,100 jobs in the United States for Exercise Physiologist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 13.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,000 new jobs for Exercise Physiologist by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,100 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Exercise Physiologist are Washington, Nevada, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, Rhode Island, or North Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does an Exercise Physiologist Make?

The typical yearly salary for Exercise Physiologists is somewhere between $34,410 and $78,810.


Exercise Physiologists who work in California, New York, or Virginia, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Exercise Physiologists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $44,900
Arizona $56,750
California $89,030
Colorado $49,890
Connecticut $60,560
Delaware $43,800
Florida $55,280
Georgia $51,100
Illinois $55,150
Indiana $49,750
Iowa $49,120
Kentucky $51,690
Louisiana $52,800
Maryland $51,860
Massachusetts $56,140
Michigan $48,730
Minnesota $55,840
Mississippi $41,570
Missouri $56,130
New Hampshire $52,990
New Jersey $51,280
New York $68,180
North Carolina $47,900
Ohio $51,580
Oklahoma $42,240
Oregon $56,880
Pennsylvania $46,450
South Carolina $45,610
South Dakota $47,540
Tennessee $49,480
Texas $46,240
Utah $50,440
Virginia $58,560
Washington $48,330
West Virginia $40,440
Wisconsin $53,850

What Tools do Exercise Physiologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Exercise Physiologists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • MEDITECH software

How do I Become an Exercise Physiologist?

What kind of Exercise Physiologist requirements are there?


How Long Does it Take to Become an Exercise Physiologist?


Exercise Physiologists Sector


Exercise Physiologists work in the following industries:



Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Michael Ellis via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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