Department of Exercise Sciences


You can get a wide variety of jobs when you have a degree in Exercise Sciences.

Introducing possible career paths

Exercise Sciences is an applied subject. The programme will suit the needs of students seeking a career in the fields connected with  exercise, movement science, sport, health and rehabilitation. Although the programme does not specialise in recreation management or physical education teaching, a number of graduates have developed successful careers in these areas also.

The degrees and diplomas offered within the Department of Exercise Sciences can lead to a career in any of the following:

  • Cardiac physiologists are responsible for performing a wide range of tests (e.g., ECGs, blood pressure) and reporting the results. The work involves setting up, calibrating and operating the equipment used to investigate the physiological functions of the body. In some procedures the physiologist works as part of a team, while in others they work independently, including the analysis and reporting of their results and using exercise principles to prescribe exercise and improve patient fitness.

  • Cardiac perfusion technologists specialise in the operation of heart-lung machines used during cardiac and other surgeries that require a machine to temporarily function as the patient’s heart and lungs.

  • Clinical exercise physiologists help patients to improve and manage their health. Medical conditions that respond to professionally prescribed exercise include diabetes, lung diseases, cardiac diseases, post-cancer treatment, chronic kidney disease, and neurological diseases such as stroke. Using stress tests and other evaluation tools, the clinical exercise physiologist evaluates a patient’s cardiovascular function and metabolism and then designs a fitness plan that will meet the patient’s goals and/or needs, including building endurance and strength and improving balance and flexibility.

  • Corporate health assessors are employed by occupational health organisations who contract their services to large corporations. The corporate health assessor records a wide range of physiological measures to assess the risk of the corporation’s employees developing diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  • Exercise physiologists work with both amateur and professional athletes who want to boost their performance. They analyse their clients’ fitness and prescribe an individualised plan in order to maximise the athlete’s gains. Exercise physiologists may also work with “apparently healthy” clients to help them improve and maintain good health.

  • Exercise scientists work as academics in tertiary organizations such as universities or as researchers in a range of industries, e.g., health equipment manufacturers, dairy companies, shoe manufacturers.  The sub-specialties of exercise science include exercise physiology, movement neuroscience, exercise psychology, and biomechanics.

  • Exercise and sport psychologists use scientific methods to study the psychological and environmental factors that are associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise and other types of physical activity. Sport psychologists are interested in two main areas: (a) helping athletes use psychological and behavioural principles to achieve optimal mental health and to enhance performance and (b) understanding how participation in sport, exercise and physical activity affects an individual's psychological development, health and well-being throughout the lifespan.

  • Injury prevention consultants apply the principles of exercise and biomechanics to assess the risk of injuries in specific contexts such as industry. Injury prevention consultants also work within insurance companies, and the ACC.

  • Respiratory physiologists typically work with patients in a hospital setting who have lung, chest wall, airway, or blood oxygenation disorders. They analyse the patient’s level of respiratory function and the response to treatment. They work with patients by performing tests using a variety of skills, techniques and sophisticated equipment, while the patient is at rest or during exercise. Their assessments are particularly important when doctors are determining whether a patient is likely to survive major surgery.



Help with career planning and advice

A science degree from the University of Auckland will give you a foundation of knowledge and skills that can lead to a wide range of career opportunities. Our graduates begin their careers in research organisations, local government, central government, universities, commerce and industry, international and community organisations. You may begin your career in a science position, or in a position that is not directly science related but where your science knowledge and skills are of benefit.

CDES can assist you with all aspects of your career development, from finding a part-time job while you are at University to landing that dream graduate role. Explore the website and login to MyCDES, your personalised career management system, to book into workshops, one-on-one appointments with Career Development Consultants, and recruitment events. Discuss your career options, get your CV and application letters checked, get help with your career direction, try a practice interview, and much more.

For more information on job vacancies, internships, graduate career opportunities and more, login to MyCDES and search the job board.