Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor's degree. Degree programs include science and health-related courses, such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work.
Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor's degree. Master's degree programs also are common. Both degree programs include courses in science and health-related subjects, such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work. In 2015, there were about 50 exercise programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
High school students interested in postsecondary exercise physiology programs should take courses in anatomy, physiology, and physics.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Louisiana is the only state that requires exercise physiologists to be licensed, although many states have pending legislation to create formal licensure requirements.
Compassion. Exercise physiologists work with patients who may be in considerable pain or discomfort. Therefore, they must be sympathetic while providing treatments and developing individualized exercise programs for the patients.
Decisionmaking skills. Exercise physiologists must be able to make informed clinical decisions because those decisions could affect the health or livelihood of patients.
Detail oriented. Exercise physiologists must be able to record detailed, accurate information about their patients' conditions and about any progress the patients make. For example, they must ensure that patients are completing the appropriate stress tests or practicing the correct fitness regimen.
Interpersonal skills. Exercise physiologists must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to manage difficult situations. They must be able to communicate well with others, including physicians, patients, and patients' families.