Clinical exercise and rehabilitation - Clinical Exercise Physiology (AEP)

Use exercise as medicine to treat individuals with injury or chronic disease

Jennifer Smallridge

What do Exercise Physiologist do?

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) is an Allied Health professional who specialises in the prescribing exercise to help patients improve their health, fitness and function. AEPs can use exercise to help treat medical conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, and many other conditions.

AEPs aim to prevent or manage acute, sub-acute or chronic disease and injury. They utilise behaviour change skills to motivate clients to achieve their health goals.

Where are the jobs?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists are the fastest growing allied health professionals in Australia. Since 2006 AEPs have been formally recognised by the Federal Department of Health and Ageing into allied health to deliver Medicare-compensable exercise services for those with chronic conditions or complex care needs. This has increased the career opportunities for those with an AEP recognised qualification. More than 70% of graduates are employed within 6 months in AEP related employment in medical hospital/clinic rehabilitation, occupational, community, or sports rehabilitation, private practice, elite sport or in case management through compensable schemes such as Medicare, Worksafe, or the TAC.

Job titles to search

Accredited Exercise Physiologist

Exercise Physiologist-Clinical

Rehabilitation consultant

Research assistant

Skills required for the job 

Accredited exercise Physiologists have skills in prescribing therapeutic exercise programs. They need to

- have skills in communication, motivation and exercise-counselling strategies.

-assess lifestyle behaviours, including physical activity patterns, eating habits, stress levels and readiness to exercise.

-perform functional evaluation assessments

-Educate clients of the benefits of physical activity and to encourage self efficacy

How to develop your skills?

To give yourself the best opportunity to be job ready at the end of your degree, we recommend that you:

Volunteer your time in opportunities that allow you to prescribe exercise. This can be with healthy clientele, athletes or individuals with chronic disease

Join professional organisations such as ESSA, many offer a student rate for membership

Attend Professional organisation events or seminars and set yourself a goal to meet two new people every time you attend

Seek paid work as an exercise scientist, personal trainer, or allied health assistant

What units or courses to study at Deakin?

From 2017 Students enrolled in the H343 Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, and from 2019 D394 Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science/Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) or D333 Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science/Bachelor of Nutrition Science will meet the required areas of study through their core units. For Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science students major sequences to consider include Exercise Physiology or strength and conditioning or Sport Coaching.

After completing undergraduate study to meet Exercise Scientist level of accreditation, student can apply for entry into H743 Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology (link to course site https://www.deakin.edu.au/current-students-courses/course.php?course=H743&version=1 ).

How do i become an Accredited Exercise Physiologist

To become an Accredited Exercise Physiologist you must complete a relevant postgraduate qualification. Deakin’s Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology https://www.deakin.edu.au/current-students-courses/course.php?course=H743&version=1 is ESSA accredited and provides you with knowledge and skills to become an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

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