Is Clinical Exercise Physiologist Salary Good Money? What’s It Like To Become One?

Are you the considerate type that loves helping and taking care of people? Do you dream of working in the healthcare industry but do not know what profession to choose? Well, if being a surgeon seems too much for you, then how about a career in clinical exercise physiology? How about the clinical exercise physiologist salary? This occupation is less stressful and is highly rewarding as it helps improve patients’ quality of life. 

Did we catch your interest yet? If the answer is yes, then stick around cause we’re going to give you all you need to know about this career.

Why Consider Being A Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Clinical exercise physiologists specialize in designing exercise and rehabilitation programs to help patients avoid or recover from chronic diseases like obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis, or cardiovascular diseases.

A clinical exercise physiologist’s expertise is essential in the rehabilitation process. A career in clinical exercise physiology offers the same amount of daily satisfaction through helping people as many other healthcare professions while involving less exposure to blood and contagious diseases.  

Looking for a medical career with higher pay and less stress? Check out How Much Do Anesthesiologist Make: A Step-by-step Instruction To Your Dream

Moreover, there’s a variety of potential working environments. Traditionally, a clinical exercise physiologist will find employment in clinical settings like hospitals, therapy offices, and health clinics. However, they can also apply for positions in other environments such as fitness centers or athletic training operations. 

Job Description

Overall, a clinical exercise physiologist works to help patients improve their health quality by developing individualized treatment plans and providing necessary health education.

A clinical exercise physiologist’s duties include:

  • Counseling clients who have chronic medical conditions or may benefit from regular exercise
  • Accessing client’s needs
  • Analyzing clients’ medical background to access potential risks
  • Developing and evaluating exercise programs based on the needs of the client.
  • Monitoring clients’ exercise and making sure they practice safely and correctly
  • Performing tests and take measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, and other health indicators.
  • Analyzing data and making reports

You can find out what they do daily in the video below.

Exercise Physiologists – Source: CareerOneStop

Besides their expertise, clinical exercise physiologists also need to have a specific skill set containing communication skills and decision-making skills. Most importantly, the ability to support and motivate others is indeed a must.

Job Outlook

Clinical exercise physiology is a relatively new career field. It has only been around in the healthcare industry since the late 1960s. Thus, the job market for this field is still narrow and competitive but is growing very fast too. Another less competitive field is protology. Read our Proctologist’s Success Tip: Start From The Bottom And Work Your Way Up.

According to, there are 4420 clinical exercise physiologists in the United States in 2020, whereas the US exercise physiologist workforce has about 15100 members. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% growth from 2019 to 2029 in the exercise physiologist job market, which is much faster than the average growth for all occupations (5% to 8%)

Good at biology, the Top 8 Career Options For Biology Majors might be what you are looking for.

Job Outlook - Is Clinical Exercise Physiologist Salary Good Money?

The job market for Clinical exercise physiology is promising – Source: Hush Naidoo Jade Photography.

Entry-level Jobs And Their Pay Rate

You must be wondering: How much does a physiologist make?

An Exercise Physiologist’s pay ranges from 40000 to 60000 dollars per year, depending on their degree of education. In fact, clinical exercise physiologist salary in the United States is around  $49,170 annually. So, good Exercise Physiologists can easily make up to $50,000 every year. 

However, the average clinical exercise salary in some states can be much higher than in others. For example, the top 5 states in the US that pay the highest are:

  • Arkansas: $66,520
  • California: $65,720
  • Minnesota:  $56,720
  • New York: $58,980
  • Virginia: $56,780

Certified exercise physiologist salary also depends on seniority. According to, the best pay for expert-level exercise physiologists is in Nevada, where they can make an average of $75100 each year, according to

SeniorityAverage annual payment
Top-level exercise physiologist$69,097
Senior-level exercise physiologist$58,812
Mid-level exercise physiologist$49,170
Junior-level exercise physiologist$41,109

Certified exercise physiologist salary – Source:

How To Get Started

The first requirement to be a clinical exercise physiologist is to have a bachelor’s degree or preferably a master’s degree in either exercise science or physiology, which will take about four years to obtain.

How To Get Started - Is Clinical Exercise Physiologist Salary Good Money?

A bachelor’s degree will come in handy – Source: MD Duran

Below is the list of the top 10 colleges for exercise physiology in the United States in 2021.

top 10 colleges for exercise physiology in the United States in 2021.


The second requirement is a certificate, as proof of one’s hands-on experience in the field. You can gain the experiences required through internships or jobs as an assistant. To get registered, a bachelor’s prepared individual will need at least three years of experience. As for a master’s prepared individual or higher, the minimum requirement is one year of experience.

Two acceptable certifications in the US are Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) and Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP). Both require passing a clinical exercise physiology certification exam administered by the ACSM (short for American College of Sports Medicine). After having a certificate, you can apply to a hospital or even open your own clinic.

The second requirement is a certificate, as proof of one’s hands-on experience in the field

A certificate is a must for an exercise physiologist – Source: Ryan Snaadt.

Conclusion – Clinical Exercise Physiologist Salary

Like many other career paths, a clinical exercise physiologist will take a lot of hard work, patience, and determination to pursue and reach success. However, if you find happiness in helping people, you’ll find satisfaction every step of the way.

We hope through this article, we have provided you with helpful information about this field and can feel assured about your decision. Good luck, and as Walt Disney used to say: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Like what you’ve just read? Then you might be interested in other fascinating articles on our website.

Emmanuel Davies

Most of Emmanuel Davies's professional life has been spent in education. Early in the year 2020, he teamed up with JobandEdu, getting a career counselor writer role and contributing such as career overview, employment counseling, and workplace culture. Davies has deep expertise in the academic and career advisor position gained via past roles at diverse establishments and foundations. Consequently, he plans to use writing to disseminate his knowledge and counsel to the masses.