Associate's degree programs in exercise science explore physical fitness and health. Programs may include hands-on labs or internship opportunities or other practical experience in a fitness setting. In practical study, students may lead group exercise sessions, assist with the management of a facility, provide individual training and perform client assessments.
Admission to some schools may require that students hold certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Associate's Degree in Exercise Science
Exercise science encompasses wellness, fitness, health, nutrition and weight control. Students in exercise science associate's programs examine the theories behind these concepts.
General education courses are typically required in addition to courses specific to exercise science. The science-oriented courses are usually included in the core curriculum of a program because students need to develop a complete understanding of how the human body functions in order to teach proper exercise movements and understand limitations that may inhibit some individuals. In addition, courses may cover the following:
- Exercise physiology
- Fitness tests and measurements
- Sports injuries
- Exercise rehabilitation
Popular Career Options
Some possible careers may require certification or licensing. These regulations are usually handled at the state level or required by employers when state regulations aren't present.
Graduates are prepared for entry-level work in a variety of careers related to physical fitness and wellness. Possible careers may be found in gyms, resorts, fitness businesses and rehabilitation centers. Job titles may include personal trainer, conditioning coach and wellness coach.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the employment of fitness trainers and instructors to increase by 13% during the 2018-2028 decade. Based on BLS data from May 2018, these fitness professionals earned a median yearly salary of $39,820.
Continuing Education Information
After completing an associate degree program, individuals may consider advancing their education in a bachelor's degree program in a related field. Earning a bachelor's degree can help students prepare for more advanced positions in the health and fitness field.
The study of exercise science is available at the certificate level and provides the training and expertise required to enter the physical fitness industry.