College of Education and Human Development

School of Kinesiology

Careers in kinesiology

When choosing a major, many students think about what careers could come out of it. If you’ve been thinking about which major is right for you and possible careers, look no further.

The School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota offers a bachelor of science (BS) in kinesiology. The kinesiology BS gives its students a wide range of options for careers in a wide range of fields and disciplines. Graduates often obtain positions in medicine, sport, fitness, community development, and even product development.

What is kinesiology?

Kinesiology studies movement of the human body. Kinesiology covers physical, biological, behavioral, and social sciences concerning human movement. Students study human anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, movement science, sport and exercise psychology, and sport sociology.

Why should I get a kinesiology degree? 

An undergraduate kinesiology degree opens many doors. Graduates are able to enter the professional world as well as pursuing graduate and advanced degrees. The kinesiology BS is a versatile degree, there’s no one path that graduates follow. With this degree, you can enter into a wide range of fields and careers.

What fields do kinesiology graduates end up in?

  • School of Kinesiology graduates have gone into the following fields:
  • Athletic training 
  • Biomechanics 
  • Chiropractic medicine 
  • Dentistry 
  • Ergonomics 
  • Exercise physiology 
  • Exercise rehabilitation 
  • Movement science 
  • Motor performance 
  • Nursing 
  • Occupational therapy 
  • Physical education licensure 
  • Preventative and rehabilitation medicine 
  • Psychology of sport and exercise 
  • Sport sociology

Within those fields, there is an even wider variety of positions. Some, like chiropractic and dentistry, require advanced degrees. Others, like occupational therapy and certain positions in athletic training, may require other sorts of certifications. Luckily, the things you learn for a kinesiology BS extensively prepare you for those programs.

Where do kinesiology graduates work?

There’s a wide range of institutions that graduates find work in all around the world:

  • Colleges, universities, high schools
  • Community organizations
  • Corporate health centers
  • Health clubs and fitness centers
  • Hospitals
  • Olympic training centers
  • Professional fitness centers
  • Professional sport teams
  • Public and private schools
  • Sport medicine centers and injury clinics
  • Recreational organizations or leagues
  • Rehabilitation clinics

Besides all the possible institutions you can work in, there’s also a variety in working conditions. Hate being stuck behind a desk? Hate being on your feet all day? You can find positions that keep you moving, keep you comfortable, and everything between.

What positions do kinesiology graduates work in?

There’s a wide variety of positions that kinesiology graduates work in. They work with people, with products, and with systems. Some positions are in medical contexts, others in professional ones. Some job titles include: 

  • Athletic apparel designer
  • Business operations process improvement specialist
  • Cardiac rehabilitation specialist
  • Coach
  • Chiropractic assistant
  • Ergonomics specialist
  • Fitness consultant/specialist
  • Mental skills coach
  • Orthotics/prosthetics specialist
  • Personal trainer
  • Sports medicine clinician
  • Sport and Fitness educator
  • Recreation program director

There’s no shortage of fields, institutions, or job titles for kinesiology graduates. The field of kinesiology is broad but also has opportunities for great depth and advanced education.

Do any of these career paths interest you? Consider becoming a kinesiology major to set yourself up for success.