Jobs In The World Of Sports – Sports and Exercise Physiologist

You might have recently graduated with a sports science degree and are looking to make your first steps into the working world but are unsure how to do so and if your qualification allows access to these opportunities.  This article, focusing on the role of a sports and exercise physiologist, is part of a series outlining top sport science job roles, avenues to get into them, and any other relevant information for students looking to progress in their careers.

Sports and Exercise Physiologist

Sport and exercise physiologists are responsible for understanding athletes’ responses to training and exercise. From this understanding, they can devise exercise plans to assist athletes in attaining their peak performance as well as trying to reduce the risk of injury. An average day may involve conducting fitness tests., planning sessions with coaches and experts, producing reports, and monitoring training sessions.  

Typically, students will continue to work to increase their knowledge in a specific physiologist field, accredited by the British Association of sport and exercise sciences (BASES). This will likely be done through taking further courses after graduating. Once this experience has been developed, exercise physiologists will have opportunities to be employed by teams or individual athletes and with experience will be able to move up the ladder until they reach an elite level of sport or even open their own practice. There is then an option for experienced exercise physiologists to transfer into a higher educational role, where they share their expert knowledge with aspiring physiologist students.  

Typically, exercise physiologists will be expected to take an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject like sport and exercise science. This degree will normally require BBB-BCC or above at A-Level or MMM at BTEC, in relevant subjects e.g., applied sport science. With this degree, it is possible to gain a position as an exercise physiologist if the relevant modules at undergraduate level have been taken. However, due to the volume of people applying to the job, it is better to have relevant work experience (e.g., volunteering or shadowing) as well as a postgraduate degree. An MSc degree is a good opportunity for students to become more specific in their physiology area and normally will require a 2:1 at under-graduate level.  Postgraduate degrees are linked below. 

Postgraduate physiology degrees

 Entry level earnings Average salary Ultimate earning potential 
Exercise Physiologist  £27,000 £45,000 £80,000 (Premier league professional)  

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