Physiology pertains to the cells and structures of plants and animals. It's a broad field with careers ranging from exercise physiology and rehabilitation to lab work, research, teaching and medicine. Physiologists in the medical field may work in sales, food and nutrition, forensics or epidemiology, which is the study of diseases. Salaries in physiology can vary, depending on experience and geographical location.
Salary Between $55,000 and $60,000
The average salary for a physiologist was $56,000 as of 2014, according to the job site Indeed. Educational requirements for this job usually range from a bachelor's degree on up to a Ph.D. in physiology, depending on the employment setting. Researchers, scientists and university professors in physiology, for example, usually need Ph.D.s. Some also may need post-doctoral training. Exercise physiologists, who help patients prevent or recover from injuries through training regiments, usually have bachelor degrees in physiology. They must also take and pass certification exams through The American Society of Exercise Physiology or The American College of Sports Medicine. Other essential requirements for all physiologists are attention to detail, compassion, interpersonal and decision-making skills.
Top Pay In D.C.
In 2014, salaries for physiologists varied most significantly in the West region, according to Indeed, where they earned the lowest salaries of $35,000 in Hawaii and the highest salaries of $60,000 in California. Those in the Northeast made $50,000 to $68,000 in Maine and New York, respectively. Physiologists averaged $49,000 in Louisiana and $70,000 in Washington, D.C. -- the lowest and highest salaries in the South. In the Midwest, they made the most in Illinois and the least in Nebraska at $64,000 and $41,000, respectively.
Exercise Physiologists Earn Less
While all physiologists made $56,000 in 2014, according to Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported average annual salaries of $48,790 for exercise physiologists as of May 2013. Average salaries for exercise physiologists are likely lower than other physiologists because they are only required to earn bachelor's degrees in physiology, while many physiologists have master's or Ph.D.s. As for employers, exercise physiologists made the highest salaries of $68,750 working for the federal government, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their salaries were also highest in New York and California, where they earned $61,230 and $59,460, respectively.
Average Job Growth
The BLS only forecast jobs for exercise physiologists, which are predicted to increase 9 percent from 2012 to 2022 -- an average rate compared to the 11 percent average for all occupations. The number of jobs for exercise physiologists will increase as hospitals continue to recognize the importance of exercise for preventing and treating chronic diseases and ailments. While the field of exercise physiology remains highly competitive, those interested in a career in physiology can choose one of many industries in which to practice, including health economics, occupational therapy and toxicology.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Athletic Trainers and Exercise Physiologists Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become an Athletic Trainer or Exercise Physiologist
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Athletic Trainers and Exercise Physiologists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Exercise Physiologists
- ONET Online: Physiologists and Cytologists
- Indeed: Physiologist Salary
- Indeed: Physiologist Salary in Maine, and New York
- Indeed: Physiologist Salary in Hawaii, and California
- Indeed: Physiologist Salary in Louisiana, and Washington, DC
- Indeed: Physiologist Salary in Nebraska, and Illinois
- Photo Credit michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images
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