A career in kinesiology starts with choosing the right education program and degree. Please review the information below first, then review the roles and areas of practice for kinesiologists further below.
Choosing the Right Post Secondary Institution, Degree and Courses
Those considering a career in kinesiology need to carefully assess the degree programs offered at the various post-secondary institutions they are considering attending – not all degree programs provide the same education, skills or competency to be a professional kinesiologist.
To ensure the degree will provide the necessary training and skills to be successful in professional kinesiology practice, you must review the institution’s degree programs, course options carefully and contrast this with what area you want to practice in. Kinesiologists in BC are recognized as healthcare professionals in BC and the BC Ministry of Health recognizes Kinesiologists as Allied Health Professionals.
Professional practice degree programs (compared to general or non-specialized degree programs) provide a greater focus on delivering hands-on, entry-to-practice knowledge, skills and work integrated learning to help prevent and treat disease, treat orthopaedic injuries, to work with older adults and areas such as disability management and ergonomics. The profession has evolved beyond that of athletic performance and coaching and now requires knowledge of disease pathology and exercise, orthopaedic injury assessment and treatment, job demands analysis and return to work or home activities planning.
A program that delivers hands-on, entry to practice knowledge and skills will provide education and training in many of the following topics:
- Clinical client intake and risk screening
- Disease pathology/pathophysiology
- Advanced/clinical exercise testing
- Advanced/clinical exercise physiology
- Exercise testing and prescription for endocrine/metabolic disorders, pulmonary disease (incl. COPD), cardiovascular disease, cardiac conduction disorders, neurological disease, oncology, arthritis, MS, CF and potentially others)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Concussion Management
- Exercise counselling/behaviour modification/cognitive behavioural therapy
- Work Integrated Learning (WIL)/practicums/internships &/or Co-op education programs
- Practice skills for treatment of mental health disorders, Alzheimer's, Dementia and other diseases of aging
- Healthy living, disease preventative and corporate wellness program design and implementation
- Active rehabilitation and disability management
- Musculoskeletal (clinical) assessment of orthopaedic injuries; including -gait, sport and exercise related injury assessment
- Functional movement and task analysis/assessment
- Ergonomics, including physical demands description and analysis, office and industrial workstation (re)design, work hardening programs
- Assistive/Adaptive Devices - assessment and utilization
- Return-to-work coordination and implementation programming
- Interdisciplinary practice and settings
- Healthcare provider ethics
- Healthcare provider record keeping (charting, report reading and writing)
- Professional conduct and scope of practice
- Professional health regulation
Details of the essential knowledge and skills a BCAK Practicing kinesiologist can be found in the Essential Competencies of Practice