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Exercise Physiologist

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What You Need to Know About Exercise Physiologist

Position Description 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?

  • Prescribe individualized exercise programs, specifying equipment such as treadmill, exercise bicycle, ergometers, or perceptual goggles.
  • Educate athletes or coaches on techniques to improve athletic performance, such as heart rate monitoring, recovery techniques, hydration strategies, or training limits.
  • Interview participants to obtain medical history or assess participant goals.
  • Teach behavior modification classes related to topics such as stress management or weight control.
  • Plan or conduct exercise physiology research projects.
  • Order or recommend diagnostic procedures, such as stress tests, drug screenings, or urinary tests.

Skills Needed to be an Exercise Physiologist

When polled, Exercise Physiologists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Clinical Coordinator, Heart Failure Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Bariatric Weight Loss Clinic Manager and Counselor
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologist
  • Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Director

Exercise Physiologist Job Outlook

There were about 15,100 jobs for Exercise Physiologist in 2016 (in the United States). 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,100 job openings in this field each year.


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.

Salary for an Exercise Physiologist

The average yearly salary of an Exercise Physiologist ranges 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 & Technology 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?


What work experience do I need 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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