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Exercise physiologist: Salary and conditions

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  • Salaries can vary greatly depending on the type of employer.
  • Exercise physiologists employed in the sports sector may earn £18,000 to £35,000. For those working in high-profile sport science, salaries can exceed £60,000 and may reach up to £100,000.
  • Clinical exercise physiologists working in the National Health Service (NHS) are usually covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) Pay Rates . You would typically start at the lower end of Band 5 (£21,478 to £27,901) 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 start in the region of £30,500. Details of the pay scale for lecturers can be found at the University and College Union (UCU) .
  • Working hours are irregular and include evenings and weekends to cover appointments with clients. 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 is 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 sportswear 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 2014

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