The exercise and sports-related industries are very big, growing, and diverse in the United States, and a degree in exercise science can open up a surprisingly wide range of career options to graduates. From working in public schools to working on training regimens for top athletes, this degree can offer a rewarding career path in an expanding industry. Trainers, personal fitness instructors, physical therapists, and many other positions are in high demand as well. So what can you expect when studying for your exercise science degree in Chicago? Let’s dive in.
What exactly is exercise science?
The term “exercise science” is fairly self-explanatory. Students will learn about the human body, its optimal movements, its nutritional needs, and the techniques that will improve performance during physical activity. In your career, you will likely be tasked with helping clients in a variety of ways, from helping students through their exercise routine to setting fitness programs for athletes. Some careers paths are more extraordinary, such as those where you will work with patients that have lost mobility or who feel debilitating pain.
Basically, any job that has a focus on physical fitness can fall under the umbrella of exercise science or human performance. The highest-level positions within the field will generally require a medical degree, and they will focus on medical procedures, surgery, and injury prevention and treatment within sports.
Your coursework will revolve around understanding the human body, its movements, the role of nutrition, and their relation to physical performance and disease prevention. For example, an introductory course that you may participate in will revolve around the best practices that lead towards a healthy lifestyle. This includes habits, physical activity, and a nutritional regimen that will maximize health and well-being.
Other courses will tackle kinesiology, which is the field of study that catalogs human movement. You will learn about the skeletal and muscular system, joints and nerves, and other elements relating to the human anatomy. Injury care and prevention is another big field of study, and it covers some of the most valuable skills that you will develop during your education. You will learn how to warm-up and cool-down before a training session and how to quickly care for any injury that develops during physical activity. Other elements of the curriculum will cover aging, strength conditioning, taping and wrapping techniques, and other essential subjects.
As mentioned above, you have a ton of career options at your disposal when graduating, and you also have the option of continuing your studies and opening up new avenues and pay grades. As it stands, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exercise physiologists earn around $49,270 per year, or $23.69 per hour, and this is at the Bachelor’s level. This position has a projected growth rate of 10% over the next decade, which is faster than the national average. At the higher end of the spectrum, you can earn around $85,790 per year as a physical therapist, or, if you further your studies past a Bachelor’s into a Master’s, better paid positions in the research and development field become available.
Earning an exercise science degree in Chicago
If you are interested in a career in human performance, you can earn your exercise science degree in Chicago at the Robert Morris University. We offer a series of programs that can be tailored to your schedule and objectives, and our courses are focused on arming you with both the theoretical knowledge and practical experience you will need in order to succeed in your career. Contact us today if you’d like to know more.