Clinical Exercise Physiologist Job Description

Clinical Exercise Physiologist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a clinical exercise physiologist. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a clinical exercise physiologist.


Who is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist?

A Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) is a medical specialist who has received training in working with patients with comorbid conditions and chronic diseases for which exercise training gives therapeutic value. Some of these diseases are cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, immune, hematologic, neuromuscular, and chronic musculoskeletal illnesses.

To help patients recover from sickness and prevent or manage chronic disease, clinical exercise physiologists use scientific reasoning to undertake clinical exercise testing, exercise prescription, physical activity counseling, exercise supervision, and health education/promotion. When patients continue to benefit from exercise instruction post-rehabilitation, the CEP also aids in maintaining the continuity of treatment. The CEP’s practice and supervision are governed by publicly available professional standards, guidelines, and applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

For people with a wide range of pathological illnesses, CEPs evaluate, prescribe, supervise, and monitor exercise and lifestyle regimens intended to attain specified health regulations.

CEPs develop an exercise program based on a patient’s current medical status in collaboration with the patient’s general practitioner and other healthcare professionals (such as physiotherapists, dietitians, psychologists, occupational therapists, and medical specialists). This is to ensure the program is safe and effective in achieving the necessary health goals.

CEPs also offer enhanced health and physical activity education, advice, inspiration, and support to encourage individuals to lead healthy and active lifestyles.


Clinical Exercise Physiologist Job Description

Below are the clinical exercise physiologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of the Clinical Exercise Physiologist include the following:

  • Use the available medical information, the patient’s condition, and the current drug regimen to provide activity progression for the patient.
  • Recognize activity restrictions and unusual patient reactions and report to doctors and medical specialists as necessary.
  • Include information on the patient’s initial assessment, daily progress, and education in their electronic medical record.
  • Give patients and their families the required education, including post-discharge instructions.
  • Implement cardiac secondary prevention principles.
  • Perform additional tasks as directed if necessary.
  • Conduct patient assessments and creates a treatment plan in collaboration with other professionals.
  • Monitor patients who react improperly to exercise.
  • Assess each patient’s development regularly by cooperating with the entire team.
  • Perform exercises showing the correct body alignment and equipment usage.
  • Monitor every workout session.
  • Utilize telemetry, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, clinical evaluation abilities, and reactions to aberrant situations to keep an eye on the patient.
  • Update data from the patient’s first and daily assessments into the electronic medical record as often as possible.
  • Keep equipment and monitoring tools in functioning order and report issues to the properly supported staff.
  • Maintain a secure atmosphere for patients.
  • Help with emergency care as necessary.
  • Observe the guidelines, protocols, and standards of care for cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.
  • Provide instructional material individually and in groups.
  • Perform additional tasks as directed if necessary.



  • Have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or exercise physiology
  • Have the Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-CEP) certification
  • At least 1200 hours of hands-on clinical experience without a master’s degree in exercise science or exercise physiology, or at least 600hours with the degree.
  • Experience working in cardiac rehabilitation or a clinical setting
  • BLS Certification: Basic Life Support
  • Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)


Essential Skills

Here are the skills you require to excel in your career as a clinical exercise physiologist:

  • Anatomy Knowledge
  • Biomechanics
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Exercise Evaluation
  • Fitness Physiology
  • Heart Rehabilitation
  • Kinesiology
  • Nutrition Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Organizational
  • Motivational
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Sports Medicine

Anatomy Knowledge

The study of body systems and the pieces that make them up is known as anatomy. Clinical exercise physiologists use anatomy to understand how the body functions and to develop successful patient treatment strategies. They can better direct their pressure or support during physical therapy sessions by understanding anatomy.


The study of how bodily components move and interact with one another is known as biomechanics. Clinical exercise physiologists can identify the kinds of workouts most advantageous for a patient by analyzing their movement patterns using biomechanical knowledge. An exercise physiologist could suggest alternate workouts like cycling or swimming to a patient who experiences knee discomfort when jogging.


The ability to present knowledge in a way that others can understand is known as communication. Clinical exercise physiologists frequently work with patients unaware of their problems or available treatments, so this skill is crucial. They can effectively explain these subjects so patients may decide on their health through effective communication.


The ability to understand and experience another person’s feelings is known as empathy. As a clinical exercise physiologist, you work with sick patients. Empathy can help you connect with your patients and encourage them to keep up with their treatment. Additionally, it enables you to offer assistance and direction at crucial times.

Exercise Evaluation

The method through which a clinical exercise physiologist uses their expertise in anatomy, physiology, and exercise science to decide what kinds of activities a patient should practice is known as exercise evaluation. You can use this skill to design training plans for patients depending on their objectives. For instance, an exercise physiologist could recommend weight training over aerobic exercises if a patient wishes to increase muscle mass.

Fitness Physiology

This is understanding how the body reacts to exercise and the optimal workouts for various objectives. For instance, a client can desire to gain muscle or reduce weight, so it is critical to understand which exercises would support their objectives. Additionally, you must understand how the body alters when someone begins an exercise program and how to alter routines as customers advance.

Heart Rehabilitation

Patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation can learn how to lead healthier lifestyles while recuperating from heart issues. Exercise routines and dietary modifications are frequently part of cardiac rehabilitation, which speeds up patient recovery and lowers their chance of developing long-term health problems.


Kinesiology is the study of how the human body moves and how that movement affects various bodily systems. A kinesiology is a tool that clinical exercise physiologists use to evaluate their patients’ physical capabilities, choose the right workouts for them, and monitor their development over time. Clinical exercise physiologists may develop personalized treatment programs for each patient using this talent, ensuring that they are consistently moving toward their health objectives.

Nutrition Knowledge

The technique of eating and drinking to sustain health is known as nutrition. A clinical exercise physiologist needs nutrition knowledge to teach clients good eating practices that complement their exercise regimens. These abilities are also necessary to ensure they get the nourishment they need to be healthy while working with customers.


You need leadership qualities if you want to inspire and direct people. Clinical exercise physiologists frequently supervise teams of other medical specialists, so they must have strong leadership skills. To provide duties and obligations to other team members, one must possess excellent interpersonal skills. It also entails giving advice and criticism to your coworkers when needed.


Being organized means being able to manage your time, duties, and resources. As a clinical exercise physiologist, you can work with several clients simultaneously, who need unique treatment strategies. You can handle these obligations well if you have great organizing abilities. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain organization while composing paperwork for insurance companies or keeping track of your medical procedures.


Clinical exercise physiologists frequently inspire their patients to meet their fitness objectives. They could bolster their confidence by praising their progress and highlighting little victories. This might support the client in maintaining their attention on their health and pursuing their objectives. Setting hard but feasible objectives for their exercises is another method through which a clinical exercise physiologist keeps oneself motivated.

Respiratory Therapy

Patients with respiratory issues might receive a treatment called pulmonary rehabilitation. Physical therapy, breathing exercises, and other techniques aid the patient’s recovery from their ailment. Clinical exercise physiologists frequently incorporate pulmonary rehabilitation into their treatment plans to ensure that their patients get all the required care.

Sports Medicine

Clinical exercise physiologists frequently have a specialty in sports medicine. This ability enables them to treat patients with ailments and injuries caused by physical activity, such as joint problems or muscle sprains. Additionally, it assists them in creating exercise plans for individuals who require rehabilitation following an accident.


How to Become a Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Below are the steps to take to become a Clinical Exercise Physiologist:

Step One: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The minimum education needed to become a clinical exercise physiologist is a bachelor’s degree. Prospective clinical exercise physiologists frequently finish degree programs in scientific and health-related subjects including biology, anatomy, kinesiology, exercise science, and nutrition because few academic institutions provide a specialized curriculum in exercise physiology. Possible employers may be convinced that you are a qualified professional with a recognized education if you have a degree from an accredited university.

Step Two: Achieve a Master’s Degree

Some clinical exercise physiologists achieve master’s degrees in exercise physiology, exercise science, or a closely related discipline. You may improve your knowledge and skill set by earning a master’s degree, which will enable you to treat patients more successfully. A master’s degree might aid in your test preparation for board certification. Some establishments are increasingly requiring exercise physiologists to obtain a master’s degree.

Step Three: Acquire a Clinical Expertise

Obtain first-hand clinical experience with the science, technology, and interpersonal aspects of the position after completing your study. A clinical study may be a required component of some bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, giving you the chance to accrue crucial clinical hours. By applying for an internship or an assistant post, you can also get clinical experience. For the majority of certifications and to be eligible for the majority of exercise physiologist professions, clinical experience is necessary.

Step Four: Obtain Board Certification

Clinical exercise physiologists are not yet subject to any kind of nationally recognized certification or licensing requirements. Your state, facility, and employer will all have a major impact on the precise qualifications you require.

Clinical Exercise Physiologist with Certification (CEP) is a relevant certification for CEPs. Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a closely related subject and 1,200 hours of clinical experience are eligible for this certification from the American College of Sports Medicine. Candidates with 600 hours of clinical experience and a master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology are also eligible.


Where to Work as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist

CEPs are most frequently found at medical (or other) exercise facilities, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. They might work in stress testing departments, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, industrial rehabilitation, health education settings, or cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation (such as employee or community wellness programs, diabetes centers, etc.)

Although CEPs can operate alone, they frequently collaborate with other medical specialists including dietitians, social workers, doctors, and nurses.


Clinical Exercise Physiologist Salary Scale

In the United States, clinical exercise physiologists make an average salary of $53,276 per year or $25.61 per hour. The salary range falls between $29,000 to $95,000.

The typical salary for a clinical exercise physiologist at entry level is £30,819 in the United Kingdom. A clinical exercise physiologist at the senior level makes an average salary of £53,146.

In Canada, the average gross pay for a clinical exercise physiologist is CA$88,243, or CA$42 an hour. Additionally, they get a CA$1,315 bonus on average. The typical income for a clinical exercise physiologist at the entry-level is CA$63,199. The average pay for a clinical exercise physiologist at the senior level is CA$108,983.

In Germany, the average gross pay for a clinical exercise physiologist is €54,723, or about €26 an hour. Additionally, they receive an €815 bonus on average. The typical wage for a clinical exercise physiologist at entry level is €39,192. A senior-level clinical exercise physiologist makes an average pay of €67,584.

The average gross pay for a clinical exercise physiologist is AU$99,090 or AU$48 per hour in Australia. Additionally, they receive an AU$1,476 bonus on average. An entry-level clinical exercise physiologist, on average, earns AU$71,083. A clinical exercise physiologist at the senior level makes an average salary of AU$122,578.

In Ireland, the average salary for a clinical exercise physiologist is €56,071 per year and €27 per hour. The salary range falls between €40,427 and €67,342.

In Nigeria, the average salary for a clinical exercise physiologist is about ₦658,000 per month. From ₦372,000 to ₦1,180,000 is the salary range.

Salary ranges can vary significantly based on various crucial aspects, including education, credentials, skills, and the length of time working in a given field.

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