Master's Degree in Sports Medicine: Salary & Jobs

May 30, 2020

Although there are not as many careers that directly require a master's degree in sports medicine, there are several careers that could utilize the skills and knowledge gained through a master's program in the subject. Explore a handful of these careers and learn about their median salaries.

Related Careers for a Master's in Sports Medicine

Job Title Median Salary (May 2019)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Exercise Physiologists $49,170 10%
Athletic Trainers $48,440 19%
Occupational Therapists $84,950 18%
Dietitians and Nutritionists $61,270 11%
Fitness Trainers and Instructors $40,390 13%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Descriptions

Exercise Physiologists

Many exercise physiologists choose to pursue a master's degree to prepare them to treat patients who are recovering from chronic diseases. Exercise physiologists primarily use movement through exercise and fitness plans to treat their patients and help their patients improve their health, which is incorporated in a sports medicine program. After they have assessed the patient and determined which areas need improvement, such as flexibility or cardiovascular function, exercise physiologists will closely monitor a patient's health indicators during treatments and adjust the program as needed.

Athletic Trainers

It is common for athletic trainers to pursue a master's degree, and those with a master's degree in sports medicine will be well prepared to help treat athletes. Athletic trainers work to prevent, but also diagnose and treat, different injuries and illnesses that are common to athletes at various levels of experience. They often attend sporting events to offer first aid and emergency care if needed. These trainers also develop rehabilitation programs for athletes to help them recover from an injury and must keep detailed records of all incidents and treatments that occur.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists are required to have a master's degree and license to treat patients with exercises and everyday activities. These therapists may work with disabled, ill or injured patients and help their patients learn and/or recover the skills they need to work and function on their own. This requires occupational therapists to determine the needs of the patient, develop a treatment plan and even suggest special equipment if needed, such as a wheelchair. They will also work with the patient's family and employer to ensure that the patient has the accommodations that they need and will closely monitor a patient's progress.

Dietitians and Nutritionists

Although it is not required, many dietitians and nutritionists pursue advanced degrees and may even specialize in sports nutrition. These professionals work with clients to promote healthy eating and nutrition to improve overall health. They will help educate their clients on proper nutrition and how to handle diseases or other health conditions through what they eat. Dietitians and nutritionists may also speak to groups about various nutrition topics and/or participate in new research in the field.

Fitness Trainers and Instructors

Many fitness trainers and instructors do not have to have a master's degree, but a master's degree may be required for certain positions and/or advancement in the field. These trainers and instructors may work with individuals or groups to help them achieve their short- and long-term fitness goals by educating them on different health topics and leading them through various exercise routines. Depending on a client's goals, interests and abilities, fitness trainers and instructors may use group exercise classes, strength-training and more to improve the client's fitness. This usually requires them to demonstrate different exercises and then watch the client for proper technique and safety.

The skills learned in a master's degree program in sports medicine can be applied to several different careers that use movement and exercise to help treat patients and/or improve a person's overall health. These careers vary in job duties and median salaries, but most made a median salary of more than $40,000 in 2019.

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