Highest Paying Jobs with an Exercise Science Degree

Jan 10, 2018

Exercise science is a diverse degree that can be applied to several different careers in various fields. Here we discuss some of the highest paying among them, including their median salaries and expected job growth rates.

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Highest Paying Career Options with an Exercise Science Degree

Although there are higher paying careers that require advanced education, such as medical school, after earning an exercise science degree, there are still plenty of high paying careers to choose from with a bachelor's degree in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, several of these careers made an annual median salary greater than $30,000 in 2016. Learn more about some of the highest paying careers with an exercise science degree below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Coaches and Scouts $31,460 13%
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors $38,160 10%
Recreation Workers $23,870 9%
Athletic Trainers $45,630 22%
Exercise Physiologists $47,340 13%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information for the Highest Paying Jobs with an Exercise Science Degree

Coaches and Scouts

The BLS reported that coaches and scouts made a median salary of $31,460 in 2016. Coaches work with athletes at various levels of play to run practices, make game-time decisions, improve players' techniques and ensure that players understand the rules of the game. Scouts also work at different levels of competition to recruit players for their specific organization or school. Coaches and scouts must fully understand the sport they are involved in and hold a bachelor's degree.

Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors

Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors made a median salary of $38,160 in 2016, per the BLS, helping lead clients through various exercises and physical activities. These trainers and instructors may teach their clients stretches, strength training exercises and cardiovascular exercises to help them improve their overall health, all while ensuring the client has proper technique and is safe while participating. These professionals are typically trained in first-aid and may also be qualified to offer advice concerning other health topics, such as diet. Education requirements vary by position and employer, but they usually need at least a high school diploma and possible certification.

Recreation Workers

Recreation workers recorded the lowest median salary in our group of careers at $23,870 for 2016 (per the BLS). These workers help people of all ages stay active and have fun while participating in a wide variety of recreational activities, such as sports and games. Recreation workers lead these activities and must carefully explain the rules, provide the necessary equipment and monitor participants during the activity to ensure their safety. Recreation workers usually need on-the-job training and at least a high school diploma, but like fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, education requirements vary based on position.

Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers made a median salary of $45,630 in 2016, per the BLS. These professionals work primarily with athletes at various levels of play and across different sports to help prevent, diagnose and treat sport-related injuries and illnesses. They typically attend sporting events to provide first aid care as needed, maintain records of the various treatment plans they implement with athletes and may have additional business-related responsibilities, such as budgets and purchasing. Athletic trainers usually need a license or certification and must have at least a bachelor's degree.

Exercise Physiologists

In 2016, exercise physiologists made a median salary of $47,340, according to the BLS, using exercise and fitness programs to help patients improve their health. Many of their patients are recovering from chronic diseases and may need individualized treatment plans to address their flexibility, cardiovascular function and more. These professionals carefully analyze a patient's condition and constantly monitor key health indicators during treatment to keep patients safe and improve the treatment plan as needed. Exercise physiologists need some clinical work and at least a bachelor's degree.

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