Summary: A Kinesiologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the study of human movement. Since they work to improve the efficiency of the human body, kinesiologists usually work with athletes, the physically challenged, or victims of physical injury, to help train their bodies to recover and achieve maximum efficiency.
Duties: Depending on client needs, a Kinesiologist may work with an athlete to improve fitness and performance levels; ascertain client fitness levels and come up with appropriate physical activity programs; establish rehabilitation programs for clients who have movement disorders; design fitness programs for minimizing accidents among the elderly; design athletic (exercise equipment) or ergonomic equipment (furniture) to help people recover from physical trauma and surgery; manage sports facilities; provide assistance in sport management and promotion; lead a community wellness program; teach in school; assess the workplace to increase worker productivity; monitor patients going through an exercise program to test the efficiency of their heart and lung systems; study the process of acquiring fatigue during movement; and study factors that may affect commitment to a fitness program.
Education and Training Requirements: A Certified Kinesiologist must have obtained a four-year Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology or Human Kinetics. There are various organizations that may provide certification upon completion of their requirements, and you must acquire a license issued by the State authorities to practice. Completing a Master’s degree will provide better career opportunities. Aspiring Kinesiologists in high school would benefit greatly from taking up courses on English, Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), Math, Physical Education, and Business.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: Since most clients are elderly, it’s important to have patience when dealing with them. They should also be able to communicate and give instructions well, and be up-to-date on the latest scientific research and technology. A Kinesiologist must be highly analytical with strong problem-solving skills, confident and have not only good leadership skills, but teamwork skills as well.
Working Conditions: The work of Kinesiologists may be done either indoors or outdoors. It requires them to be physically fit to be able to properly demonstrate exercises, and lift or maneuver clients. Kinesiologists who are employed in research usually work long hours in front of a computer, usually in a laboratory or office setting. Those involved in private practice normal travel between their multiple clients for sessions.
Salary: The median salary of a Kinesiologist is $68,000. Their average salary can vary greatly due to differences in company, location, industry, experience, and benefits. Those who are self employed are likely to earn more although Kinesiologists in a salaried position are entitled to benefits such as sick leaves, paid vacations, and gratuities.