A Career in Kinesiology

Kinesiologists - Your Human Movement Specialists

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

A Rewarding Future Awaits

Kinesiologists utilize their scientific, evidence-backed knowledge and skills in human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor learning, exercise physiology and exercise prescription to deliver high quality solutions for clients to improve or maintain physical functional, performance and mental health.

Typical workplace settings include: multi and interdisciplinary healthcare centres, hospitals, care facilities, public recreation centres, large employers in manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, construction, utilities, and crown corporations. Kinesiologists serve valuable healthcare roles in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.

The Roles of a Kinesiologist

Physical Rehabilitation

strengthening, kinesiologist

Assessing and treating injuries through client education and active exercise therapy. WorkSafeBC, ICBC, third-party benefits providers, and disability plan managers, along with large employers, support active exercise rehabilitation and prevention programs to deliver a durable return-to-work, and prevent injury recurrence or secondary injury. Kinesiologists employed in this sector work as part of interdisciplinary healthcare teams who develop and implement progressive exercise therapy programs or in community recreation and care settings.

Fitness and Health Promotion

performance coaching-030321.jpg

Kinesiologists working in this area of practice deliver exercise and lifestyle education to help clients improve or maintain physical and mental fitness.

Jobs in this sector focus on employee wellness and can be found in medium to large organizations, such as manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and logistics, government, crown corporations, and related agencies.

Occupational Biomechanics & Ergonomics


Kinesiologists working in this area of practice assess and provide recommendations on ways to improve workspace design/layout or adapt a work/home environment to increase productivity, while reducing the risk of injury or repetitive strain. The assessment of work spaces and tasks, when done in collaboration with the worker, can help to improve worker job satisfaction and safety by reducing postural strain, repetitive reaching and improving productivity through work height and task optimization.



Kinesiologists perform valuable healthcare research at research hospitals, and post-secondary and private organizations/institutions. Kinesiologists in this sector can also contribute to advancement in evidence-based professional practice techniques through case studies and collaborative practice projects, where client outcomes are analyzed and in terms of treatment methods and protocols and their relation to overall wellness and client satisfaction.

Cookies are used to analyze traffic to this site and improve your on-site experience. By continuing, you consent to the use of cookies. Read more