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Exercise physiologist: Salary and conditions

  • Salaries can vary greatly depending on the type of employer.
  • Clinical exercise physiologists working in the National Health Service (NHS) are usually covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) Pay Rates  (Bands 4-6). You would typically start at the lower end of Band 5 (£21,176-£27,625) and would need to undertake a considerable amount of continuing professional development (CPD) to progress up the pay scale. 
  • Salaries for exercise physiology lecturers in higher education: £30,500-£40,000, rising to £39,000-£48,000+ for senior lecturers. See the University and College Union (UCU)  for details.
  • Starting salaries in the sports sector may be lower but for some exercise physiologists working in high-profile sport science, salaries can be very high, up to £100,000.
  • Exercise physiologists can expect to work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends. When on tour or at training camps with athletes or teams, working hours may be long.
  • Exercise physiologists working within sport usually work either in a laboratory or in the field. Those working as clinical exercise physiologists are typically based in hospitals, medical centres and private healthcare organisations.
  • Part-time work and self-employment are possible. Consultancy work is also available for experienced and accredited physiologists.
  • Although career opportunities available to sport and exercise physiologists are currently expanding, competition for jobs is fierce and considerable postgraduate training/experience is usually required.
  • Dress code depends on the particular area of work. A uniform is often supplied or appropriately smart sports wear is expected.
  • Opportunities exist across the UK and abroad.
  • Travel and time away from home may be required to attend training camps, competitions, fixtures and events.
  • For those working with children and young people, a Disclosure and Barring Service  check may need to be carried out.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by AGCAS editors
December 2012

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