Top 10 High Paying Jobs for Masters in Exercise Science

In the field of exercise science and physical medicine, there are lots of lucrative career paths that its respective students can take. However, the majority of them (if not all) are similar involving the improvement of one body’s functioning capacity, strength, and conditioning. For students with masters in exercise science, or even a graduate degree, their careers will be clinical. This field involves operating in the area of health care, athletic trainingclinical exercise, and monitoring the individual’s overall performance.

But that’s not all. Other prosperous career options involve researching, teaching, administering sports medicine, conducting physical therapy, and other administrative and business responsibilities!

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the field of exercise science is increasing. With the numbers continuing to rise, students with either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree program will find no shortages of careers to choose from.

What is exercise science?

Exercise science is a broad field that covers a wide range of topics. Exercise science is the study of how the human body responds to exercise. It is concerned with how muscles, bones, heart, lungs and other organs respond to physical activity.

Exercise scientists also study how exercise can be used to prevent and treat certain diseases. Exercise science degree programs often include classes in biology, chemistry, physiology, anatomy and mathematics.

Exercise science has two main goals: first, to find out how much and what types of exercise are needed for people to be healthy; and second, to learn ways of preventing or treating problems that can occur in people who are exercising (such as muscle injuries).

10 High Paying Jobs for Masters in Exercise Science

Here’s a look at top 10 high-paying jobs for students with masters in exercise science. So, continue reading.

      1. Exercise Physiologists 

The first in the list of top-paying jobs for masters in exercise science is the role of exercise physiologists. Their job roles entail –

  • Helping patients better their overall health and functioning
  • Addressing their flexibility, cardiovascular function, and other chronic diseases from which they are recovering
  • Carefully monitoring all key health indicators during their treatment of patients and keeping them safe. Plus, also introducing advanced exercise physiology plan if the need arises suiting their physical capabilities

Ideally, to become an exercise physiologist, candidates will need a bachelor’s degree or masters in exercise science at best to be eligible.

Plus, according to the BLS, their median annual salary ranges from $49,270 – $54,760.

     2. Athletic Trainers 

The role of athletic trainers- as the name suggests is helping professional athletes with their sports-related injuries and illnesses. Primary work at sporting events are as follows –

  • They deliver first-aid care whenever necessary
  • Maintain precise records of all treatment plans

Besides, they also handle budgeting, purchasing, and other sporting business responsibilities.

The median annual salary range of an athletic trainer is $47,510 –$49,820. Those with masters in exercise science can easily apply for this job role. However, for those who don’t have a Master’s degree, they should have a bachelor degree at best in the respective study field.

     3. Recreation Workers 

Recreational workers are responsible for assisting individuals of all ages to have fun and stay fit when participating in a host of recreational games and sports.

Besides these, their other responsibilities involve –

  • Leading these sporting games and adequately explaining the rules, and deliver necessary equipment to individuals
  • Monitoring every individual during their sporting activity and ensuring their well-being

The annual median salary range of a recreational worker is $25,600 –$34, 890 depending on their position, expertise, and place of employment. Henceforth, this is another career option which is worth pursuing for exercise science students.

     4. Aerobic and Fitness Trainers 

Their role is pretty similar to that of a physical trainer. They help clients during different exercises and physical activities.

Besides, they conduct workouts like – strength training, stretching, cardiovascular exercises, and more; to augment their overall health and physical endurance! More so, they even help individuals perform those exercises correctly with minimum risk of injuries.

But, if any injuries do come about, they even provide proper first-aid care and advice regarding their health and diet.

The educational criteria vary among employers and place of position. However, for students with masters in exercise science can easily apply for this job role.

     5. Coaches and Scouts

One popular career choice for exercise science students with a bachelor/master’s degree is the role of a coach or scout. Both their positions require individuals to operate with sports person at different sporting levels. They conduct running practices, fitness drills, and even come up with game-time decisions. Their objective is to enhance every player’s game skills and technique and even make sure all of them are familiar with the game rules.

As per the BLS, the median annual salary range of coaches and scouts is $33, 780 –$40,980.

     6. Strength Coach

The role of a strength coach is another standard job option for aspiring job seekers who undergo a master’s program in health promotion and exercise science. Their part is to prep athletes in pre/post/in-season.

In addition to that, they also have to –

  • Conduct physical assessment and come up with running, lifting and conditioning programs to keep them physically active
  • Keep a close watch on each individual as they perform exercises and even correct them whenever they make mistakes
  • Put individuals through tests to closely determine the root of weakness in their performance

In addition to their sports management tasks and observing individuals’ performance, a strength coach also has to ensure they follow the right eating habits to improve recovery and maximize their athletic performance

Typically, a strength coach works at high schools, colleges/universities or professionally focussing on one particular sport. Often, they have under lots of pressure to keep the team optimally ready whenever the season starts. However, there is a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in performing the role of a strength coach.

The median annual salary range of a strength coach should be $46,764 –$50, 870. And due to this, it is another lucrative career post for Master of Science students!

     7. Physical Therapist

Another straightforward career path to embark on is that of a physical therapist. To become one, students need a graduate certificate from a unique exercise science program. However, any major in the respective subject will also work fine.

Some Responsibilities of a Physical Therapist Includes the Following –

  • Performing thorough quantitative and qualitative patient assessment which helps measure both neurological and musculoskeletal components
  • They will use highly specified manual diagnostic tests, a namely anterior or posterior drawer for the shoulder or knee to assess the level of impairment

In addition to these, a physical therapist will even perform other therapeutic exercises like home workouts, custom braces, apparatus fabrication, hydrotherapy, ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, and so on

Typically, the BLS states that the demand for efficient physical therapists is growing. And their median annual salary range is $82,000 –$88,880.

     8. PE Teacher 

As per the US BLS, the role of a PE teacher is to hang out in gym wear all day. They get to exciting coach sports like kickball, dodgeball. Plus, they even carry out physical fitness instructors for numerous sport-fanatic students.

It is most definitely a role which can prove very rewarding for its aspiring candidates. Typically to become a PE teacher, students will need a graduate certificate in exercise science along with a master’s in education.

However, students with masters in exercise science and either a teaching credential or personal training certification are also eligible.

Plus, students applying for the role of PE teachers can expect an annual median salary ranging from $42,500 – $55,200. Although it may not seem too much, one should not forget the other conveniences which come with this post. PE teachers often get summer holidays, all school holidays, and even teacher pension benefits.

     9. Chiropractor

The role of a chiropractor is curing neuromuscular disorders by emphasizing on manual adjustment or spinal manipulation. They aim to reduce pain, discomfort and improve their patients’ functionality.

Some of the most familiar conditions which a chiropractor has to treat include as follows –

  • Headaches
  • Lower back pain
  • Leg pain or Sciatica
  • Repetitive strains
  • Neck ache
  • Sports injuries
  • Arthritis injuries
  • Car accident injuries

According to the BLS, the median annual salary range for a chiropractor is $85, 870 –$100,000 depending on their location and work experience.

So, this makes this job role another excellent option for students with masters in exercise science.

     10. Personal Trainers 

Choosing to become personal trainers is one of the most familiar career paths for students with masters in exercise science. The primary roles of a personal trainer are –

  • To come up with a safe yet effective fitness program
  • Help individuals reach their optimal personal health and fitness objectives
  • Conducting cardiovascular, flexibility, and resistance exercises best suiting their body limits.
  • Performing screening and client assessments proficiently to evaluate their progress

 Most importantly, encouraging and supporting clients to stick to their fitness goals no matter what

In addition to that, there are many other roles and responsibilities which a personal trainer has to do. Most of their job roles depending on where they work. Ideally, a personal trainer works in –

  • Client homes
  • Cruise ships
  • Beaches
  • Sports complex
  • Private training studio
  • Club gym
  • Corporate setting
  • Apartment complex
  • Community centres

And so on!

According to the BLS, a median annual salary of a personal trainer ranges from $56, 875 –$81,000. The differentiation in payouts will depend on the expertise, skills and location of work.

Nonetheless, the role of a personal trainer is undoubtedly another lucrative and exciting career choice for masters in exercise science.


A master’s in exercise science can be a helpful and rewarding way to pursue your passion for health, fitness, and wellness. The field of exercise science is constantly evolving with new research and discoveries, which means you’ll always have something new to learn. By pursuing an exercise science degree, you’ll not only hone your skills in the field but also make a difference in people’s lives.

Each of these lucrative job roles offers lots of growth prospects, along with other job incentives. So, without wasting any more time, procure a Master’s degree in exercise science and pick your career path from the above list.