Careers in Kinesiology & Health Science

Students in Kinesiology & Health Science receive a strong foundation in biological, behavioural, and socio-cultural disciplines that afford a broad and diversified range of options for careers or related post-graduate studies.

Today, graduates can be found working as planners and administrators; researchers and scientists; educators; consultants; medical and health care professionals such as registered kinesiologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, athletic therapists and chiropractors; fitness specialists and athletic and cardiac rehabilitation advisors; community health counselors; program and policy formulators and managers; personal trainers and fitness club managers; school, university or professional team coach. Many have roles in industry where they apply their knowledge as fitness equipment designers, functional abilities evaluators for insurance companies, food and nutrition researchers and developers, ergonomists and more (see below for more information). 

 

Olakunle OlabodeOlakunle Olabode
2009 BA  Kinesiology & Health Science
Registered Physiotherapist, Brampton Civic Hospital 

Getting his patients back on their feet

Kinesiology & Health Science alumni Olakunle says that his education and experience  in the Kinesiology & Health Science program at York  gave him the knowledge and skills he needed to get to where he is today as a Registered Physiotherapist  at Brampton Civic Hospital.

“Some of the courses I studied at York such as Anatomy, Med Physiology and Exercise Physiology were really important in enabling me to diagnose my patients’ health conditions. I would encourage students who are interested in studying at York to consider the Kinesiology program, as it may lead to other future goals.”

 

Elizabeth FungElizabeth Fung
2014 BSc Kinesiology & Health Science
2018 Graduate of University of Toronto Medical School

Course work and experiential education create pathway to medical school 

Elizabeth’s dream is to be a pediatrician and she worked hard to acquire all of the prerequisite courses in health and life sciences to be eligible for medical school. Moreover, she took advantage of the experiential education opportunities tied to her courses, such as the Kin Kids program at the Driftwood Community Health Centre in the Jane and Finch community in which she applied what she learned in the classroom to her work with children at risk of diabetes. Working with the children, their parents and community health centre staff, she and her fellow students developed non-competitive guided play activities that not only improved the children’s health outcomes but also emphasized activities that were fun to ensure a lifelong commitment to health and physical activity.

“York gave me the opportunity to explore and discover my passion for medicine,” says Elizabeth. “I was provided with a strong foundation in human anatomy and physiology. My degree program also developed my leadership, teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills that are vital for professionals in the medical field.”

 

Jennifer ProsenJennifer Prosen
2010 MSc Kinesiology & Health Science
Executive Director, Ontario Society for Health & Fitness 

From biology to health advocacy and leadership

Jennifer Prosen, Certified Exercise Physiologist (CSEP-CEC) and Executive Director of the Ontario Society for Health and Fitness (OSHF) decided to complete her graduate studies at York University after working for three years at a media company, Canada Newswire (CNW) Group. Prior to that, she had already completed a Bachelor of Science degree at University of Toronto in biological anthropology and archeological science but experienced difficulty getting a job in that field – so she switched career paths and went to graduate school at York.

“I decided to follow my interests rather than a paycheque and return to school for Kinesiology and Health Science.  I didn’t have the academic background to be immediately accepted into the graduate program at York, so I did one year of full-time undergraduate coursework in order to qualify,” she says.

Considering that this would be her second university experience, Prosen was thrilled at the opportunity to participate in activities she had missed out on during her undergraduate degree such as campus life, work/study jobs and attending events. Overall, she maintained an active involvement at York’s Keele campus, which provided an enriching university experience.

In addition to receiving her Master’s degree in Kinesiology and Health Science, she obtained a CSEP-CEP certificate that gave her access to job postings from which she landed her current position at the OSHF in Ottawa. As Executive Director, she assumes the mandate of the OSHF to ensure the promotion and availability of quality fitness and physical activity practices throughout the province.  Considerable research underscores how regular physical activity and being physically fit treats and prevents chronic diseases. “We want all Ontarians to have the opportunity to capitalize on this,” she says “and being a CSEP-CEP gives me instant credibility as a professional. Organizations automatically know that I have completed a minimum of an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, and I have the knowledge and practical skills to work with all kinds of clients. If you plan on working ‘hands-on’ in a fitness-related setting, getting certified is essential."

 

Dr. Nadeem MasoodDr. Nadeem Masood
2007 Bsc Kinesiology/Psychology
Chiropractor

Passionate about assisting others recover from injuries?

While acquiring an injury may be an inevitable part of life, Dr. Masood ensures that his patients are able to function once again at an optimal level.

As a practicing and licensed chiropractor in two multi-disciplinary clinics, Dr. Masood specializes in working with individuals suffering from musculoskeletal injuries. From the initial stages of providing a diagnosis to creating individualized treatment plans that integrate various therapeutic methods and practical tips, he strives towards improving the current state of patients and maintaining their achieved health.

“I am responsible for providing an evidence based, non-invasive approach to health care for patients who suffer from musculoskeletal injuries which includes any injury pertaining to the muscles, joints and nerves. I accomplish this by first performing a comprehensive history and physical exam followed by providing a diagnosis for patients. Next I develop a plan of management and communicate all my findings to the patient. Along with treating patients through adjustments, soft tissue therapy, modalities and acupuncture; I also develop exercise and stretch routines and provide nutritional advice for them.”

Dr. Masood advises that that alongside your academic studies, building your repertoire of experiences is a great way to increase your chances of finding a job. Before graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Science, he had the opportunity to work at a Chiropractic clinic in his fourth year. Gaining this hands-on experience in addition to in-class knowledge from state-of-the-art resources and top professors played a key role in shaping Dr. Masood into the accomplished professional he is today. “I developed not only the social skills necessary to interact comfortably with the real world, but it also allowed me to build a good work ethic and laid down a solid foundation of knowledge which was easy to build upon”.

 

Michelle GroatMichelle Groat
2007 BA Kinesiology & Health Science
2007 BEd
Phys-ed Teacher with the Durham District School Board

Today’s focus on health promotion and wellness is something Michelle Groat is part of every day in her career as a teacher with the Durham District School Board.

“We teach students about the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle while introducing them to different physical activities, at least one of which we hope they will continue to pursue after their mandatory physical education class is over,” says Michelle who teaches phys-ed and math. She also coaches her school’s junior girls’ basketball team, wrestling team, and junior and senior girls’ soccer team.

Michelle has been in her current position for a year, after having spent the previous year as a supply teacher. “Teaching is tough to get into right away, so it’s important to prepare for your career early,” Michelle advises. She recommends joining as many programs at York as possible—student government, intramurals, etc.—which provide good experience for people going into leadership careers.

“Also try to get as much experience as possible with the age group you hope to teach,” she says. “Volunteer in classrooms, coach kid’s teams, tutor high school students, work at summer camps—it’s better to get your experience now, rather than when you’re applying for jobs. Then, when you do apply, submit applications to as many school boards as possible.” Michelle also advises to be prepared to start as a supply teacher or a

“long-term occasional” (a position filling in for a teacher on maternity leave or other extended leave of absence) before landing a full-time position.

 

Want to go on to a professional school?

York is a great place to prepare for a professional school.

What makes York such a great choice for pre-professional school education? Lots of things including:

  • Personal contact with professors
  • Interactive laboratories
  • Tutorials and seminars that develop critical skills
  • Availability of courses required by professional schools
  • Flexibility to structure courses to suit your interests and goals
  • Pre-professional academic advising
  • Pre-professional student clubs
  • Extensive student services including career information sessions,
  • time management workshops, learning skills, mock interviews
  • Volunteer and paid positions in research labs

 

Careers for Kinesiology & Health Science graduates

(with further education)

  • Athletic Therapy
  • Business
  • Chiropractic
  • Counselling
  • Dentistry
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Imaging
  • Medicine
  • Nutrition/Dietitian
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech-Language

 

Kinesiology & Health Science graduates have a wide range of career options in the fields of health education, recreation and leisure. Here are some examples:

Occupations in Kinesiology & Health Science

  • Fitness and Wellness
  • Personal trainer
  • Wellness coordinator
  • Health club director
  • Fitness consultant
  • Strength & conditioning coordinator
  • Fitness club manager
  • Military fitness trainer
  • Rehabilitation
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Athletic rehabilitation
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Biochemist
  • Clinical kinesiologist
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Industrial or insurance company functional abilities evaluator
  • Work site analyst
  • Special population adaptive specialists and designer
  • Exercise Science
  • University professor
  • Human factors engineer
  • Equipment designer
  • Fitness appraiser
  • Exercise prescription counselor
  • Private industry researcher (equipment and footwear)
  • Ergonomist
  • Pharmaceutical sales, researcher and developer
  • Pharmaceutical regulator
  • Food and nutrition researcher and developer
  • Food and nutrition regulator

 

Occupations in Physical Education

  • Teaching
  • Primary/elementary school teacher
  • Junior high school teacher
  • Senior high school teacher
  • Junior college teacher
  • University professor
  • Private school/college teacher
  • Outdoor education teacher/coordinator
  • Educational consultant
  • Educational administrator
  • Principal/vice principal
  • Program coordinator
  • Research
  • University professor
  • Sport equipment designer
  • Consultant to private health clubs and organizations
  • Research associate
  • Coaching
  • School or university coach
  • Community club coach
  • National team coach
  • Professional team coach
  • Coaching certificate stream instructor
  • Administration
  • National sport/active living organization
  • Provincial sport/active living organization
  • Marketing agent
  • Program coordinator
  • Athletic director
  • Government sport/active living consultant

 

Occupations in Recreation and Leisure

  • Municipal Parks & Recreation
  • Sport coordinator
  • Fitness programs
  • Services/programs for individuals with disabilities
  • Seniors’ programs
  • Children’s day camp
  • Summer camps
  • Aquatic activities
  • Swimming pool, rink or other facility manager
  • Community developer facilitator
  • Special event coordinator
  • Provincial/ Federal government
  • Sport consultant
  • Fitness/wellness consultant
  • Facility design
  • Programming consultant
  • Program evaluation consultant
  • Consultant for cultural activities
  • Tourism promotion
  • National and provincial park employee
  • Youth Service Agencies (Not-for-Profit)
  • YMCA/YWCA youth program manager
  • Recreation manager with youth correction agencies
  • After school program coordinator
  • Scouts/guides/ cadets recreation programmer
  • Church sponsored programs
  • Education sponsored programs
  • Institutions (including education)
  • Senior citizens home recreation coordinator
  • Hospital therapeutic recreation
  • Prison recreation program coordinator
  • Universities/ colleges
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Leisure educator in universities/ colleges
  • Recreation leisure researcher
  • Commercial recreation
  • Corporate fitness centres
  • Oil rig recreation
  • Mining camp recreation
  • Factory recreation programs
  • Hotel recreation
  • Fitness centre management
  • Racquetball sport club manager
  • Golf club manager
  • Cruise ship recreation
  • Entrepreneurial recreation
  • Camping and outdoor
  • Outward bound schools
  • Ski instructor
  • Ecotourism
  • Adventure tourism
  • Ski hill manager
  • Water safety instructor
  • Camp administrator

 

Occupations in Health Education

  • Teaching
  • Junior High, High School
  • College, University
  • Private health & wellness club
  • Volunteer sector
  • Disease specific agencies
  • Wellness program special populations
  • Smoking/AIDS prevention organizations
  • Fund raising
  • Special projects coordinator
  • Rehabilitation program
  • YMCA/YWCA
  • Government
  • Public health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation units
  • School boards
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Self-Employment
  • Health behaviour consultant
  • Writer of health related books and articles
  • Health workshop presenter
  • Software developer

 

Useful Websites

Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine
Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute
Canadian Kinesiology Alliance
Canadian Society for Biomechanics
Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology
Canadian Wellness
Kinesiology and Health Science Student Organization
Ontario Fitness Council
Ontario Kinesiology Alliance
Participaction
Pre-Med Society at York University
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario
The Ontario Physical and Health Education Association
York University Career Centre