Finding a professional line of work that is stable and well paying can be a challenge in current times. While the healthcare field is still experiencing steady growth, public health careers can offer greater stability and more of a chance for advancement.
Between veterans with disabilities and an aging population the call for treatments that address pain and mobility are becoming more in demand. Health science kinesiologists address these issues on both a practical and a research front, to generate better therapies in regaining movement. If you are interested in a public health career that can truly improve quality of life, then a job in health science kinesiology can be a good place to start.
What Is A Health Science Kinesiologist?
Health science kinesiologists study and practice therapy methods that help individuals regain strength and mobility. This can include conducting therapy sessions with clients who have lost range of motion from injury or illness. Some sessions will be rehabilitation for individuals who are coping with lost limbs, or have suffered neurological damage from a stroke. In both practical application and research, the focus is to develop both general and specific treatment plans that address community issues with mobility and quality of life.
For a career in health science kinesiology, you would have the following expectations as a part of your work:
- Work with clients through physical therapy exercises.
- Interview community member to determine issues and concern with pain and physical impairment.
- Devise programs that are suited to both general and individual needs.
- Test new therapeutic approaches to determine efficacy.
- Report outcomes and finding to other health professionals as a means of extending access to treatment methods.
These professional skills can also help health science kinesiologists perform their job:
- Patience: You will need to be able to allow your clients to work at their own pace, while still being encouraging and supportive.
- Observation: You will need to be aware of even minute changes in strength and mobility in order to ascertain the effectiveness of treatment.
- Communication: This type of therapy required that you are able to give clear body movement cues that clients will be able to follow.
Nature Of The Work
Health science kinesiologists may work in an academic, research, or practical field. Many practitioners will divide their time between several of these disciplines. In the academic field, health science kinesiologists will help to educate future practitioners and oversee clinical practice hours with community clients. For researchers, the focus is on developing better treatment interventions for different causes of mobility impairment. Many researchers will also work in a practical setting, such as rehabilitation centers, or community wellness programs. This allows for the application of different treatment modalities and the observation of outcomes. In any of these fields of practice, health science kinesiologists will also document results through notes and patient histories and share these reports with other healthcare professionals.
Education And Training
Health science kinesiologists will usually hold a doctorate degree, although some employment opportunities are available for individuals with a Master’s degree as well. Courses of study will need to include biology, physiology, and body mechanics. For the graduate and post graduate studies, a Master’s in education and a doctorate in research is generally recommended for this line of work. Candidates will also need to complete 2,000 to 4,000 hours of clinical hours to prepare for licensing.
This field of work will require that you become licensed as a kinesiotherapist, even if you plan to follow a research or education path. This is accomplished through a board examination and maintained with continuing education credits. If you are planning to teach, then you will also need your educator’s license. This is also done by examination, through the state boards of higher learning, and will need to be maintained through continuing education hours as well.
Health science kinesiologists are in one of the higher pay ranges for public health careers. Starting salaries can range between $58,000 and $65,000 per year, depending on whether you choose to teach or to research. The top 10% of wages in this field are over $100,000 per year, and this is for either job aspect within this career.
Prospects for employment are also quite advantageous for health science kinesiologists. It is expected that over the next decade, a 19% increase in positions will be created and this means over 230,000 openings for health science kinesiologists in any of the employment settings. For a job that offers admirable public health benefits and provides good compensation, the career path of a health science kinesiologist may be a good one for you to follow.