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Occupational Profile

Kinesiologist

Kinesiologists study the factors that influence human movement and look for ways to improve health outcomes and the efficiency or performance of the human body at work, in sport and in daily life.

  • Avg. Salary $59,082.00
  • Avg. Wage $35.52
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Up
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Biological Scientist, Biomechanist, Exercise Physiologist, Program Leader, Rehabilitation Services Practitioner, Trainer, Exercise Specialist

NOC & Interest Codes
The Kinesiologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Kinesiologists
NOC code: 4167.1
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

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Kinesiologists study all aspects (psychological, physiological, biomechanical, historical and sociological) of human movement in home, work, sport and recreational environments.

Duties and responsibilities vary considerably from one position to another in this multi-disciplinary field. For example, kinesiologists may:

  • design athletic equipment
  • manage sport facilities
  • provide assistance in sport management and promotion
  • work with athletes to improve their fitness and performance levels
  • coach or train amateur or professional athletes 
  • provide leadership in community wellness programs
  • teach in schools
  • conduct fitness and mobility testing and assessments to reduce and prevent accidents among the elderly
  • assess client fitness levels and assist in developing appropriate physical activity programs
  • assess cardiac patients and recommend appropriate levels of exercise
  • develop rehabilitation programs for people who have movement disorders
  • conduct workplace assessments to reduce losses due to injury and to increase worker productivity.

Kinesiologists working in research may:

  • monitor patients while they go through an exercise intervention program to ensure the program produces the desired effect
  • use various forms of technology (for example, electrocardiographs, metabolic systems, electromyography, biofeedback machines, slow-motion film and videotapes) to conduct assessments and testing
  • study the physiological requirements of exercise and related performance and health outcomes
  • study the biomechanics and motor control of human movement
  • study factors that affect adherence to fitness and rehabilitation programs.

Kinesiologists often work closely with other health and sport professionals.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Kinesiologists work in a wide variety of environments outdoors and indoors (in offices, laboratories, recreation facilities, hospitals, schools and residential facilities). The work can be physically demanding and involve lifting up to 20 kilograms. For example, kinesiologists may do exercises with patients or be required to move or lift patients who cannot exercise alone.

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

 

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Kinesiologists need the following characteristics:

  • self-confidence combined with leadership and critical thinking skills
  • oral and written communication skills
  • patience, tolerance and flexibility in their relationships with others
  • an interest in keeping up to date with new technology
  • teamwork skills
  • creativity and adaptability to changing demands
  • an interest in scientific research.

They should enjoy working with people, using equipment and solving problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Kinesiologists usually have an interdisciplinary background (physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, biomedical engineering, psychology, statistics). The minimum education requirement is a related four year bachelor's degree.Many people currently working in the field have a master's degree in kinesiology physical education.

Kinesiologists also may have one of the following voluntary certifications from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP):

  • Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
  • Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP)

For more information about scope of practice and certification requirements visit the CSEP website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Kinesiologists are employed by:

  • government facilities for special needs populations
  • athletic equipment companies
  • elementary and secondary schools
  • rehabilitation and occupational health departments
  • sport and fitness centres
  • professional and amateur sport organizations
  • hospitals and primary health care settings 
  • post-secondary education institutions
  • sport governing bodies.

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

Kinesiologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4167: Recreation, sports and fitness program supervisors and consultants. In Alberta, 83% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 2,100 Albertans are employed in the Recreation, sports and fitness program supervisors and consultants occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.9% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 40 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As kinesiologists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for kinesiologists.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

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

Kinesiologist are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3144: Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment occupational group earned on average from $30.50 to $39.67 an hour. The overall average wage was $35.52 an hour. For more information, see the Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
    • Human and Social Services
    • Recreation Leadership
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Alberta Kinesiology Association (AKA) website: albertakinesiology.ca

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

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 27, 2014. 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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