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Kinesiologist

Kinesiologists study the factors that influence human movement and performance. They look for ways to improve health and wellness outcomes. They focus on how to help the human body perform more efficiently at work, in sport, and in daily life.

Also Known As

Biological Scientist, Biofeedback Analyst, Biomechanist, Exercise Physiologist, Exercise Specialist, Performance Coach, Program Leader, Rehabilitation Services Practitioner, Specialized Kinesiologist, Trainer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 4167.1: Kinesiologists

2006 NOC-S

  • E036: Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants

2011 NOC

  • 3144: Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment

2016 NOC

  • 3144: Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment

2021 NOC

  • 31204: Kinesiologists and other professional occupations in therapy and assessment

2023 OaSIS

  • 31204.02: Kinesiologists and exercise therapists
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Kinesiologists study human movement and performance at home, work, sport, and recreational settings. They study all aspects of movement, including:

  • Psychological
  • Physiological
  • Biomechanical
  • Historical
  • Sociological

Kinesiologists can help to prevent and reduce risk for injury, treat and support recovery from injury, and achieve performance targets. They often work closely with other health, wellness, and sport professionals in fields such as:

  • Biomechanics
  • Education
  • Ergonomics
  • General fitness
  • Orthopedics
  • Performing activities of daily living
  • Rehabilitation
  • Social services
  • Sports performance
  • Strength conditioning
  • Supportive living
  • Wellness

Duties vary a lot. In general, kinesiologists may:

  • Design athletic equipment and treatment plans based on client needs
  • Design customized performance-based workshops
  • Manage sports centres
  • Work in sports management and promotion
  • Work with athletes to improve their fitness and performance
  • Coach or train athletes on proper sport mechanics
  • Lead community health programs
  • Teach kinesiology
  • Test seniors’ fitness and mobility levels to reduce and prevent accidents
  • Test clients’ fitness levels to develop physical activity programs
  • Assess cardiac patients and recommend suitable levels of exercise, in consultation with a doctor
  • Develop rehabilitation programs for people with movement disorders
  • Develop corporate wellness programs to enhance employee and organizational performance
  • Run workplace assessments to reduce losses due to injury
  • Run ergonomic assessments to make the work setting better for workers’ well being and productivity

Research kinesiologists ask questions such as:

  • How does physical activity affect the aging process?
  • What physiological changes characterize the relaxation response?
  • How do humans adapt to environmental stresses?

They may run assessments and tests using technology such as:

  • Biofeedback machines
  • Electrocardiographs
  • Electromyographs
  • Metabolic systems
  • Slow-motion film

They may also:

  • Monitor patients during exercise intervention programs to make sure the program produces the desired results
  • Study the physiological requirements of exercise and related performance and health outcomes
  • Study the biomechanics and motor control of human movement
  • Study behavioural or psychological factors that affect people’s commitment to fitness and rehab programs

Clinical kinesiologists may:

  • Assess body structures for muscular changes and joint problems
  • Look for neurological, digestive, and other root causes of problems, such as mobility issues
  • Fix identified problems to relieve patients’ symptoms
  • Use hands-on treatments to restore and reset the body
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Kinesiologists may work outdoors or indoors. They can work in:

  • Offices
  • Labs
  • Recreation centres
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Residential facilities
  • Parks
  • Clinics

Those who work with sports teams may need to travel with the team.

The work can be physically demanding. Kinesiologists may do exercises with patients. They may need to move or lift patients who cannot exercise alone.

Research may involve long hours of studying computer output, collecting data, and monitoring exercise programs.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Kinesiologists

2006 NOC: 4167.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
SOCIAL

Interest in consulting with individuals to provide information on lifestyles and methods to improve fitness, and in providing recommendations to enhance occupational health and safety

DIRECTIVE

Interest in handling equipment to deliver programs that maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement and performance; and in conducting fitness and human movement tests and assessments

INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to design, organize and implement therapeutic fitness programs

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Kinesiologists need:

  • Self-confidence
  • Creativity and adaptability
  • Patience, tolerance, and flexibility
  • Leadership skills
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Analytical and assessment skills
  • Listening, speaking, and writing skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • An interest in keeping up with technology
  • An interest in lifelong learning
  • An interest in scientific research

They should enjoy:

  • Working with people
  • Using equipment
  • Collecting data
  • Solving problems

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment

2016 NOC: 3144

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 61 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 03, 2021 and May 31, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Health benefits: Health care plan
Health benefits: Dental plan
Long term benefits: Other benefits
Long term benefits: Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)
Long term benefits: Life insurance
Interview patients and review reports from health care professionals to determine patients' current and potential functioning levels
Tasks: Prepare a treatment plan for each patient
Tasks: Implement treatment plans
Tasks: Observe and analyze patients during treatment sessions
Tasks: Initiate, design and implement specialized therapy programs
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

The minimum requirement for kinesiologists in Alberta is a 4-year bachelor’s degree. This is most often in kinesiology. However, some kinesiologists may have a degree in physical education with a major in physiology or a related discipline, such as kinesiology or exercise psychology.

Many kinesiologists have a master’s degree.

Kinesiologists often have an interdisciplinary background in:

  • Anatomy
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biomechanics
  • Business
  • Dance
  • Education
  • Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Statistics

A degree in kinesiology can also be a stepping stone to graduate studies or a degree in another profession such as:

  • Architecture
  • Chiropractic
  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Social work
  • Sports psychology
  • Physiotherapy
  • Veterinary medicine

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta. However, various organizations offer registration or certification to kinesiologists.

The Alberta Kinesiology Association (AKA) offers registration.

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) offers the following certifications:

  • Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP)
  • High Performance Specialization
  • Pre & Postnatal Exercise Specialization

Registration or certification with these organizations is voluntary. To learn about requirements, visit the organization’s website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Kinesiologists work for:

  • Government programs that serve people with special needs
  • Companies that make athletic equipment
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Post-secondary schools
  • Hospitals and health care centres
  • Chiropractic clinics
  • Rehabilitation and occupational health departments
  • Wellness programs
  • Parks
  • Sports, fitness, and recreation centres
  • Professional and amateur sport organizations
  • Sport governing bodies
  • Not-for-profit organizations

Specialized kinesiologists often set up their own practices. They may partner with other specialists such as:

Some self-employed kinesiologists work on a contract basis for more than 1 employer.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 3144: Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment occupational group, 84.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 3144: Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.9% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 25 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2024

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment

2016 NOC: 3144
Average Wage
$37.38
Per Hour
Average Salary
$64,143.00
Per Year
Average Hours
33.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3144 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.50 $37.85 $30.64 $35.81
Overall $19.50 $49.80 $37.38 $43.13
Top $20.91 $50.33 $40.81 $47.67

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
60%
60%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
0%
0%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
23%
23%
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Alberta Kinesiology Association (AKA) website: www.albertakinesiology.ca

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) website: www.csep.ca

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2024. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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