Are you interested in this growing field? You may want to know how to become a kinesiologist. If that’s true, then you’ve come to the right spot.
This article will highlight the steps you can take to become an expert in this field. But before we do that, let’s briefly review the roles of these practitioners.
Kinesiology will be an exciting career for people who enjoy thinking on their feet and engaging in complex problem-solving.
The profession incorporates numerous specialties, including rehabilitation, sports, performance, and exercise. Practitioners in this field help patients overcome injuries or correct issues related to body movement.
A Little About Kinesiologists
This expert works alongside professional athletes to help them perfect specific body movements.
They can also work in labs or research settings where the body is in focus. The main goal of kinesiologists is to detect, prevent, and treat injuries or diseases through specific exercises.
Some include joint mobilization, stretching, breathing techniques, and therapeutic medical massage. Various relaxation methods can also be used to address such bodily conditions.
Kinesiologists may assess patients to determine their baseline fitness level, aid in injury prevention, and provide high-performance coaching and fitness training.
Documenting patient medical records, communicating with multidisciplinary team members, etc., are additional duties of these practitioners.
A Guide to Become a Kinesiologist
A career in this field requires a unique academic background that shows experience and knowledge in the necessary subjects.
Some states or employers may also require prospective practitioners to obtain attestation of their competency for specific roles.
Here are the general education requirements for kinesiologists.
Acquire a High School Diploma or GED
For the most part, a secondary school education is the starting point for entering this profession.
You’ll cover chemistry, biology, calculus, physics, and other science-related topics during your studies. These classes will help you develop a solid foundation to take on specific roles in the industry.
Moreover, a high school diploma can bolster your odds of securing associate or bachelor’s degree admission.
Some schools may also provide conditional offers or pathways that permit taking prerequisites before starting a degree.
Get an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology
What degree do you need to be a kinesiologist?
Most employers nationwide demand prospective experience.
Hold at least an associate or undergraduate degree. These study programs will provide you with movement, assessment, maintenance, and rehabilitation skills.
You’ll also gain a sociocultural understanding of kinesiology. Plus, theoretical knowledge and the ability to put that into practice.
Some courses you’ll take during your studies include physiotherapy, physiology, anatomy, and kinesiotherapy. These classes will help you learn the fundamentals of human mobility and anatomy.
Meanwhile, opt for certified institutions when choosing an associate or undergrad degree. There are many accredited universities and colleges from which you can acquire these credentials.
Attending a CAAHEP-accredited school means they have met all educational standards.
Gain Hands-on Experience
Prospective kinesiologists must have significant experience in the field.
Apart from qualifying them for specialized roles, they can provide the best care to patients. You can gain hands-on experience during your academic pursuit or after.
Most academic institutions include internships in their study curricula. They aim at equipping students with advanced knowledge and skills in the field.
While on an apprenticeship, you’ll be trained by a certified kinesiologist. You’ll also have the chance to practicalize your theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting.
Furthermore, you can also take entry-level jobs after your studies and gain experience. With a high school diploma or associate degree, some employers may hire you to handle essential functions.
While working, you’ll learn the different aspects of the field.
Acquiring kinesiology certifications is optional for people desiring a career in this field.
However, you must have one, as it will demonstrate your industry competence to prospective employers. Additionally, it will distinguish you from other applicants in a competitive job market.
One of them is to hold an associate or undergraduate degree in the field. You’ll also need a minimum GPA of 2.5 and at least 1000 hours of clinical experience.
Furthermore, prospective kinesiologists are expected to write and pass the professional test. Upon success, you’ll be given the certification of your choice.
However, you may need to update such credentials after a certain period. While renewing this document, certain conditions must be fulfilled.
Career Trajectories for Kinesiologists
You’ll be qualified for several job possibilities as a trained practitioner in this field.
Consider becoming a corporate wellness director, athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and exercise physiologist. Others are hand therapists, chiropractors, certified orthotics, and more.
Places you can work typically include the hospital, community recreation facilities, schools, corporate offices, health clinics, and many more.
The Average Salary of a Kinesiologist
When taking this career path, you must know how much you’ll receive as a salary. That way, you can make informed decisions regarding your career choices.
Moreover, you’ll know whether or not this profession is lucrative. According to research, the average earnings of workers in this field is around $54,000.
However, this amount can differ depending on some factors. These include your choice of specialty, geographical location, educational background, and level of experience, among others.
Before taking any job offer, you must put these influencing elements into practice.
Cost of Finish a Kinesiology Program
Before taking significant steps to grow into an expert in the field, you’ll need to know how much you’ll spend on the mission.
According to reports, the average tuition for graduate studies is around $11,000 to $19,000. Undergraduate degrees cost between $7,344 and $30,988.
While true, these costs may vary based on certain factors, including your choice of institution and program. Your residential status can also affect how much you’ll spend to finish your education.
You can confer with your desired institution to get precise details on your educational costs.
Essential Skills for Kinesiologists
You’ll need to have relevant skills to succeed in this sector.
You’ll need anatomical knowledge, communication skills, ergonomics or exercise physiology, organizational skills, and problem-solving competency.
With these skills, you can critically assess situations and tissues within a patient’s health and mobility.
Moreover, you can adequately manage their schedule and duties while attending to them efficiently.
Anatomical skills will help you understand basic and complex body movements. These include how different body parts interact and what muscles are responsible for specific training.
The educational essentials vary across states, schools, and programs. Therefore, you’ll need to check with your state or local agency for specific details on what academic credential you should pursue.
Until then, you can use this guide to help you join this profession.