Physiologist Salary Guide and Career Outlook

Physiologists, referred to also as exercise physiologists, undertake exercise and fitness program creation for patients, athletes and others concerned with their health. Their work emphasizes the enhancement of cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal and muscular function.

These professionals earn a mean pay of $50,310 in the United States and C$42,000 ($33,385 USD) in Canada. The mean rests at £29,888 ($40,367 USD) for exercise physiologists in the United Kingdom, AU$56,014 ($43,756 USD) and NZD$63,468 ($45,043 USD) in New Zealand.

Pay for exercise physiologists in India average INR5,39,062 (INR539,062 in Western form) ($8,443 USD) in India. Those in South Africa fetch on a mean basis R192,000 ($15,551 USD) in South Africa.

physiologist salary

How Much Does a Physiologist Make per Year by State?

Physiologist SalaryUSCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$24.19C$20.19£14AU$26.93NZD$31INR259.16R92.31
Annual Pay$50,310C$42,000£29,888AU$56,014NZD$63,468INR5,39,062R192,000

Physiologist Salary Influencing Factors

Overall, more experience leads to higher pay for exercise physiologists. Given the presence of and opportunities for self-employment in the field, many of these professionals can set their own rates and influence their own pay. Location and the type of employer also factor into compensation.

1. Location

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks California as the highest paying state for exercise physiologists, at $68,190. Those in Arizona follow at $67,230, with physiologists in New York being the third-highest paid, at $65,680. Among metropolitan areas in the United States, San Diego-Carlsbad occupies the top spot at $72,470. Physiologists in the Los Angeles area make on a mean basis $70,070, good for second place.

According to PayScale, earnings for exercise physiologists in New Castle and Gold Coast, Australia ascend 22 percent and 11 percent respectively above Australia’s overall mean pay. In Brisbane, exercise physiologists can garner ten percent more than the national mean. For those in Adelaide, salaries descend nine percent lower than average.

In New Delhi, earnings for clinical exercise physiologists stands at INR5,60,623, above India’s national mean. For those in Hyberabad, India, the mean reaches INR5,44,451.

How Much Does a Physiologist Make in the US?

Physiologist Salary USPer YearPer Hour
Total Pay$32,290 to $74,330

How Much Does a Physiologist Make in Canada?

Physiologist Salary CanadaPer YearPer Hour
Total PayC$29,778 to C$81,703

How Much Does a Physiologist Make in the UK?

Physiologist Salary UKPer YearPer Hour
Total Pay£18,000 to £100,000

How Much Does a Physiologist Make in Australia?

Physiologist Salary AustraliaPer YearPer Hour
BonusAU$492 to AU$7,830AU$0.24
Total PayAU$45,131 to AU$75,352

How Much Does a Physiologist Make in New Zealand?

Physiologist Salary New ZealandPer YearPer Hour
Total PayNZD$41,000 to NZD$90,000

How Much Does a Physiologist Make in India?

Physiologist Salary IndiaPer YearPer Hour
Total PayINR3,92,029 to INR6,84,059

How Much Does a Physiologist Make in South Africa?

Physiologist Salary South AfricaPer YearPer Hour
Total PayR59,598 to R436,045

2. Experience

PayScale reports that “Experienced” exercise physiologists in Canada, or those with ten to 20 years in the field, earn 50 percent more than the national average. Pay for experienced exercise physiologists in Australia runs on a mean basis 27 percent above the mean. At the five to ten-year experience level, earnings rise 17 percent above the national mean.

According to the New Zealand government, cardiac physiologists make NZD$41,000 as trainees. Upon achieving qualified status, these physiologists can earn nearly NZD$47,000. Salaries average NZD$60,000 for those with five years of experience, while senior level cardiac physiologists can fetch up to NZD$90,000.

SalaryExpert sets the entry-level pay for clinical exercise physiologists in India at INR3,92,029 and the pay for those with eight or more years of experience at INR6,76,027.

3. Industry

In the United States, 53 percent of exercise physiologists are self-employed and another 26 percent work in hospitals, as of 2016. According to Job Bank Canada, nearly 22 percent of those in “Other professional occupations in therapy and assement,” which includes exercise physiologists, work on a self-employed basis.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “General Medical and Surgical Hospitals” held the highest number of employed exercise physiologists. In this sector, the mean pay in 2016 stands at $50,160. In “Offices of Physicians,” exercise physiologists earn on a mean basis $48,440. The highest paid exercise physiologists in the United States work in “Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools,” at $80,210.

Work setting also differentiates the pay of exercise physiologists in the United Kingdom. Graduate Prospects Ltd. states that, in the sports and athletics arena, exercise physiologists generally earn between £18,000 and £35,000. Salaries for physiologists in major sports leagues can fetch from £60,000 to £100,000 on average. Exercise physiologists working under the National Health Service make from £21,909 to £28,462 at the beginning stages of their careers. For those in academia, the salary range runs from £23,952 to £36,162.

In New Zealand, most cardiac physiologists work in public hospitals, but some private sector facilities also employ these professionals.

Schedule & Working Hours

Setting can influence schedules and work hours of exercise physiologists. In hospitals, offices and clinics, shifts tend toward traditional weekday and daytime hours. Physiologists employed by or offering services to athletes may have frequent evenings or weekends due to competitions and other events.

A majority, but not a vast majority, of exercise physiologists work full-time. Job Bank Canada states that “Other professional occupations in therapy and assessments,” which includes exercise physiologists, have a full-time employment rate of 66 percent.

Bonuses & Benefits

Seven out of ten exercise physiologists in Canada reported to PayScale enjoying medical and dental coverage. Vision benefits went to 60 percent of exercise physiologists in the country.

In Australia, exercise physiologists enjoy medical benefits at the tune of only eight percent. Only one percent have dental and two percent get vision care through employment. Commissions for exercise physiologists in Australia average AU$5,200.

According to PayScale, one out of four medical exercise physiologists in South Africa have medical benefits. None report receiving vision or dental coverage as a job benefit.

Career Outlook

Demand for exercise physiologists should rise due to a push toward exercise and other forms of preventative care to prevent or control heart disease and other conditions. Heart disease and its causes are prevalent throughout the globe. For instance, in South Africa, nearly 17 percent of South Africans die from cardiovascular disease. In India, 52 percent of deaths from cardiovascular disease occur before age 70. In Western countries, the rate of deaths by those younger than 70 from cardiovascular causes stands at 23 percent.

Additionally, athletes rely on exercise physiologists for training, treating injuries and improving performance in competitions.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an increase of 13 percent in employment of exercise physiologists by 2026. As a small occupation, numbering 15,100 in 2016, exercise physiology should have 2,000 additional jobs by 2026.

New Zealand faces a shortage of cardiac physiologists, as the population ages and experiences at increasing rates conditions that require these professionals’ interventions. With this shortage will come plentiful job prospects for qualified candidates.


Fitness, athletics, and concerns over diseases will fuel the demand for exercise physiology. Professionals in this calling can become self-employed or work for teams, hospitals and other medical and health providers. The size of the employer, experience and location and help exercise physiologists enhance their compensation prospects.

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