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Professional Exercise Sciences Advising

Strength & Conditioning  

Strength & conditioning specialists work to develop physical strength and/or endurance capacity in competitive athletes, regularly-exercising individuals, and special populations.  The National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) is the most comprehensive professional organization in strength & conditioning in the United States.  Through the NSCA, a student can obtain a variety of professional certifications.  The Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) is specifically trained to work with athletes to improve athletic performance.  The certification is awarded only if the professional has obtained a four-year undergraduate degree.  The NSCA Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) is another option that allows the individual to work with clients to improve personal health & fitness.  A Tactical Strength & Conditioning Facilitator® (TSAC-F®) prepares the individual to train emergency and military personnel to improve performance and decrease injury risk.  Finally, the Certified Special Population Specialist® (CSPS®) works with clients with chronic or acute health concerns (metabolic disease, cancer, autoimmune disorder, prenatal/postpartum) to meet their health and fitness needs.   
 
Venues for employment in strength & conditioning include professional sports teams, Olympic training centers, high school or collegiate athletic programs, private training facilities, or rehabilitation clinics.   
 
The Exercise Science-Human Performance program will help you meet the requirements to obtain employment and professional certification in strength & conditioning. 

Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation  

A cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation therapist works to improve strength and wellness in individuals who have chronic heart disease or have had heart surgery, or have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that includes emphysema and bronchitis.  Typically, cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation therapists are known as exercise physiologists and need a four-year undergraduate degree in exercise science/kinesiology to be qualified for entry-level rehab employment.  Professional certifications are available to the rehabilitation-minded physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), one of the largest professional organizations within exercise science.  The ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist® (CEP®) provides assessments and individualized training to people with cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic diseases.  If a professional wishes to pursue further schooling, the ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist® (RCEP®) is available for individuals who desire more field experience, education, and research opportunities.  The RCEP certification requires a Master’s degree in Exercise Science that includes clinical physiology curriculum and 600 hours of clinical field experience.   
 
The U.S. Bureau of Labor lists Exercise Physiologist as projected to grow 11% from 2014 to 2024, described as “faster than average” for all occupations.  The 2015 median salary for an exercise physiologist was $47,010 per year.  
 
The Exercise Science-Human Performance program will help you meet the requirements to obtain employment and certification in clinical exercise physiology.   

Personal Fitness Training

A personal trainer is responsible for leading, instructing, and motivating clients on an individual basis or in group exercise settings to promote health through resistance exercise and endurance exercise.  Personal trainers work with individuals of varying ages and skill levels.  Having a proper education including modification to exercise for people with specific limitations is vital for a successful personal trainer.  The Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) or the Certified Personal Trainer® (ACSM-CPT®) or Certified Group Exercise Instructor® (ACSM-GEI®) through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are appropriate professional certifications in personal training.  The ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist® (EP-C®) is for professionals who want to not only lead exercise sessions, but conduct and interpret physical assessments.  The EP-C certification requires a 4-year undergraduate degree in Exercise Science.    
 
The U.S. Bureau of Labor lists Personal Trainer as projected to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024, described as “as fast as average” for all occupations.  The 2015 median salary for a personal trainer was $36,160 per year.  
 
The Exercise Science-Human Performance program will help you meet the requirements to obtain employment and certification in personal training.  

Sport Nutrition Research

The goal of sport nutrition is to provide competitive athletes and laypersons with safe, effective, and legal nutrient recommendations and products to support exercise endeavors. Whether the topic is hydration, dietary protein requirements, total energy intake, nutrient timing, or ergogenic aids, the breadth of sport nutrition is wide-reaching.  With a four-year degree in Exercise Science, an entry-level scientist can assist in sport nutrition research headed by a nutritional science professional who typically holds a doctoral-level degree.  Research opportunities include pre-, during-, and post-exercise nutrition composition, nutrition safety (hydration/thermoregulation, disordered eating), resting and exercise metabolism for energy balance, epidemiology, sport performance, and nutrition for peak physiologic function in the workplace.  Venues for employment in nutrition research include government-funded facilities (NASA, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), public research organizations (Gatorade Sport Science Institute), private facilities, and registered dietitians working with athlete clientele.  Additional schooling may be required if you wish to have greater responsibility in a research environment (Master’s degree) or obtain Registered Dietitian licensure (internship).  A valuable student and professional resource is the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), a global organization dedicated to providing nutrition research translation to practice for human health.     
 
The Exercise Science-Human Performance program will help you meet the requirements to obtain employment in sport nutrition research.  

Biomechanics Research

Biomechanics is the study of the structure and function of the human body by means of the methods of mechanics. The goals of biomechanics are performance improvement and injury prevention through advances in movement technique, training programs, and equipment designs. A practitioner of biomechanics is known as a biomechanist. Biomechanists need a strong background in math and science along with a good understanding of physics and human anatomy. With a four-year undergraduate degree in Exercise Science, employment opportunities are available in sports, clinical, and occupational settings. The positions available to B.S. graduates include working in: gait analysis research labs in hospitals, research and design for sports companies such as Nike and Life Fitness, work-related strength and flexibility testing in industrial facilities such as Sikorsky Aircraft and General Dynamics Electric Boat, NASA, and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), and research and testing of athletes with the U.S. Olympic Committee and professional sports teams.

Professional societies include the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB), the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB), and the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports (ISBS). The websites of the ASB, ISB, and ISBS provide helpful resources about the field, including a comprehensive listing of graduate programs in biomechanics and funding opportunities designed to support student research and conference travel.  
 
The Exercise Science-Human Performance program will help you meet the requirements to obtain employment in biomechanics research.