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Kinesiologist

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

  • Avg. Salary $49,234.00
  • Avg. Wage $29.38
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Biological Scientist, Biomechanist, Exercise Physiologist, Exercise Specialist, Program Leader, Rehabilitation Services Practitioner, 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: Kinesiologists (4167.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants (E036) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment (3144) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

20%
20%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Kinesiologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Kinesiologists
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 Mar 31, 2018

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

Duties vary a lot in this field. In general, kinesiologists may:

  • design athletic equipment and treatment plans (based on client needs)
  • manage sports centres
  • work in sports management and promotion
  • work with athletes to improve their fitness and performance levels
  • coach or train athletes on proper 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)
  • run workplace assessments (to reduce losses due to injury and to increase worker productivity).

Research kinesiologists may:

  • monitor patients during exercise intervention programs (to make sure the program produces the desired results)
  • use technology to run assessments and tests (such as electrocardiographs, metabolic systems, electromyography, biofeedback machines, slow-motion film, and videotapes)
  • 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 people’s commitment to fitness and rehab programs.

Clinical kinesiologists may:

  • assess body structures for problems (including muscular changes, cranial sutures, and spine and hip joints)
  • look for neurological and digestive causes of problems
  • identify the root causes of problems (to fix the problem and relieve symptoms)
  • use hands-on treatments to restore and reset the body.

Kinesiologists often work closely with other health and sport professionals.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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

  • offices
  • labs
  • recreation centres
  • hospitals
  • schools
  • residential facilities.

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.

 

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Kinesiologists need to possess:

  • self-confidence
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to think critically
  • listening, speaking and writing skills
  • patience, tolerance and flexibility
  • an interest in keeping up with technology
  • teamwork skills
  • creativity and adaptability
  • an interest in scientific research.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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

Kinesiologists often have an interdisciplinary background (in physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, biomedical engineering, psychology or statistics).


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

However, the following voluntary certifications are available from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP):

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

To learn more about scope of practice and certification requirements, visit the CSEP website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Kinesiologists work for:

  • government programs that serve people with special needs
  • companies that make athletic equipment
  • elementary and secondary schools
  • rehab and occupational health departments
  • sports and fitness centres
  • professional and amateur sport organizations
  • hospitals and health care centres
  • post-secondary schools
  • 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 [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the E036: Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.9% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 40 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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

Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.84 $38.05 $24.81 $20.67
Overall $20.50 $44.45 $29.38 $25.64
Top $21.50 $53.65 $39.28 $41.03

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
Educational Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

52%
52%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

20%
20%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
    • Human and Social Services
    • Recreation Leadership
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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 call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. 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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