A valuable way for college graduates to bolster their career is to join professional organizations in their field of study. These organizations share new developments for best practices and offer networking opportunities that foster career advancement. Most industries have professional organizations that graduates can join — and the field of exercise science is no exception.
Recent graduates and current students seeking exercise science organizations should consider the associations presented here. After all, membership in professional exercise science organizations can help recent graduates increase their enthusiasm for this field and deepen their knowledge of theory and best practices.
This society has hundreds of members nationwide. It was formed in the late 1970s and now includes researchers, clinicians, scientists, and students. The society focuses on easing the exchange and dissemination of ideas among professionals involved in exercise science, biological science, health science, ergonomics, engineering, and applied science. Student memberships costs about $20 per year, while regular or professional dues are closer to $80 per year.
This is one of the world’s largest sports medicine and exercise science organizations, as it has more than 50,000 members. It primarily focuses on the advancement and integration of scientific research, providing educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. Annual membership consists of four tiers — students pay $10 their first year, health fitness professionals pay $99, professionals in training pay $155, and professional members pay $240.
Recent graduates seeking exercise science organizations should consider the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). This association focuses on topics that matter to certified athletic trainers and professionals in adjacent fields. It was formed in 1950 and now has more than 44,000 members worldwide. NATA’s mission is to enhance the quality of health care given to patients by athletic trainers and to advance the profession in general. Although dues vary by state and certification, students should expect to pay from $70 to $164 annually, while professionals pay $150 to $309 per year.
For exercise science students and graduates who want to become physical therapists, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) may be a sound choice. The organization consists of more than 90,000 physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, and students seeking to advance physical therapy practice. Through education and research, members strive to promote physical therapy and raise awareness of physical therapy’s role in the broader national health care framework. The cost of membership in this organization begins at around $80 per year for students.
Once exercise science students and professionals join these associations, they can review job openings, networking events, and information about upcoming conferences and seminars that may enhance their education and career. These exercise science organizations also support people who are interested in furthering their careers through graduate study. Although most memberships require dues or annual fees, the career benefits can far outweigh the financial commitment.
If you are interested in entering this field, consider Concordia University, St. Paul’s online Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science. This program consists of flexible coursework that empowers you to succeed in coaching, health and wellness education, and rehabilitation sciences. If you’re interested in taking your exercise science career further, you can pursue CSP’s Master of Science in Exercise Science.