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Career Opportunities

Career Resources for Health Promotion & Education Students

There are a plethora of fields that students who major in Health and Kinesiology can go into. We have compiled a list of several options below. For more information and guidance, please reach out to the Career and Professional Development Center here at the U.

Careers in Health

Groups and individuals alike are interested in taking control of their health. Many of them need assistance to meet their goals. Health promotion and education play a vital role in helping both private and public sectors meet these goals.

Government/Community

Many professionals are employed by the government through state, county, and local health departments. A typical job announcement will include skills such as the following: planning and coordinating health education activities, identifying and assessing target populations, conducting teacher in-service workshops, counseling in healthy lifestyle topics, developing curriculum, media campaigns, conducting pre-program and post-program surveys, doing follow-up evaluations with participants, and providing screening services for blood pressure, cholesterol, and body composition.

Non-profit organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Utah AIDS Foundation, and American Diabetes Association hire health educators who are usually involved in making presentations, implementing community awareness programs, creating curriculum and materials for dissemination, in-servicing teachers, recruiting, training volunteers, fundraising, and hosting special events.

Clinical

Students who choose the Nuclear Medicine emphasis can become nuclear medicine technologists working directly with patients in hospitals and labs. Health educators are also hired in the clinical setting. Job responsibilities may include patient education for individuals and groups, needs assessments, and program development, implementation, and evaluation. A clinical background is highly recommended.

Emergency Medical Services

Health educators with an EMS background find jobs in many settings including hospitals, ambulances, fire service departments, law enforcement, and clinical health care. The skills health educators bring to these settings are improved patient care, illness and accident prevention, public speaking, program planning and evaluation, and needs assessment. Emergency Medical Services, like other healthcare fields, has recognized the importance of preventing illnesses and accidents as opposed to treatment after the fact. The field is moving toward expanded healthcare and preventive services, and health educators will continue to have a strong impact on this field.

Public Schools

School health educators are prepared and certified to teach in schools at the K-12 levels. They are employed by various school districts and work in scholastic and after-school programs throughout their communities.

Corporate

Health educators are often hired in corporate settings to work with employees. Employee health promotion programs have been shown to reduce absenteeism, improve attitude, improve overall production, and reduce healthcare costs. Programs may vary from large in-house programs to external consultants providing services for smaller companies. Good corporate health promotion programs are comprehensive in services, meaning they provide corporate and individual needs assessments that include the following services beyond just personal fitness: health screenings, stress management, nutrition, smoking cessation, chronic disease control, drug abuse prevention, weight management, and recreation. Health educators in the corporate setting should have a broad understanding of health promotion, healthcare, fitness and nutrition, in addition to a knowledge of the resources available in their community.

Careers in Kinesiology

Physical Fitness/Exercise – Non-clinical

Kinesiology graduates who go on to secure their Exercise Physiology or Strength and Conditioning certifications are qualified to work as Personal Trainers, Group Exercise Instructors or Strength & Conditioning Coaches in a number of settings. Graduates with these certifications can work for city and state health departments, county recreation facilities, gyms, universities, corporate organizations, insurance companies, nursing homes/long-term care facilities, and can start their own businesses. Graduates interested in working specifically with athletes, should pursue the Strength and Conditioning certification. Graduates can also go on to be certified in specific areas, such as Zumba, Boxing, Yoga, Pilates, etc.

Physical Fitness/Exercise – Clinical

Kinesiology graduates who secure their Exercise Physiology certification are also qualified to work as an entry-level Exercise Physiologist/Exercise Specialist in a clinical setting. For those wanting to continue working in a clinical setting, it is recommended to gain a master’s degree, or gain 1200 clinical hours to then take the exam for the Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification. Exercise Physiologists can work in Cardiac Rehab, Pulmonary Rehab, Oncology, and more!

Research

Kinesiology graduates who engage in research during their undergraduate experience can also go on to careers in research. This could include clinical or non-clinical research in areas of the graduate’s interest. Graduates could work for universities, hospitals, or other organizations focused on research.

Coaching

Kinesiology graduates currently involved in sport, or previously involved in sport, who have gained coaching experience in their sport of choice can apply for coaching positions after graduation. Coaching within high schools/middle schools typically requires the graduate to also teach subjects in the classroom. This requires an education license, which can be obtained without an Education degree through the Alternative Track to Licensure. It’s also possible for graduates in certain areas to coach through private centers, such as gymnastics facilities. Coaching at the collegiate level or professional level is more competitive, but is easiest to attain through experience as an athlete, or through personal connections in order to gain hands-on experience.  

Sport Management

Kinesiology graduates can also choose to go into the business side of professional or collegiate sports. This could include marketing, corporate partnerships, game operations, etc. Students interested in this track should seek internships or part-time jobs in sport management to prepare for careers after graduation.

Healthcare Administration

Kinesiology graduates can also pursue careers on the business side of healthcare within hospitals and clinics or insurance agencies. This can include patient services, marketing, operations, management, etc. Students interested in this track should look for internships or part-time opportunities to be involved in during their time in college to prep for careers after graduation. Graduates wishing to continue on this track can consider a Master of Healthcare Administration program to further their knowledge and move into higher level positions.

Medical Device/Pharmaceutical Sales

Graduates of Kinesiology are able to break into the field of medical device or pharmaceutical sales if they become involved in sales during college. Students are encouraged to find sales experience in any area, but also actively connect with professionals in medical/pharmaceutical sales to make it easier to find a career after graduation. There is a wide variety in the type of device or pharmaceuticals graduates can sell, and they should look for areas that interest them in order to find more fulfillment and success.

Kinesiology Graduate School Paths

  • - Athletic Training/Sports Medicine
  • - Physical Therapy
  • - Occupational Therapy
  • - Nutrition & Dietetics 
  • - Public Health
  • - Healthcare Administration
  • - Sport Management
  • - Medical School
  • - Physician Assistant School
  • - Dentistry School
  • - Pharmacy School
  • - Chiropractic School

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