Kinesiotherapist - How to Become a Kinesiotherapist


Jump to:

Kinesiotherapist Job Description


Injury or disease can cause the loss of muscle strength and function. Kinesiotherapists are medical professionals who develop and evaluate exercise programs to help patients regain these lost abilities. A kinesiotherapist may specialize in helping specific types of patients or conditions, such as people overcoming injuries or those afflicted with degenerative musculoskeletal disease.

Kinesiotherapists are required to have a thorough knowledge of anatomy and the function of each part of the human body. He or she must know how the parts of the body work in conjunction with each other as well as how they function independently. The kinesiotherapist will then choose specific exercises that will achieve target goals in strength or mobility enhancement. The goal is to achieve these improvements in functionality without causing the patient further damage or increased pain. 

A successful outcome to treatment depends on several factors:

  • Choosing the best exercises for the individual patient

  • The patient and therapist working well together

  • The kinesiotherapist building a trusting rapport with the patient

  • Successfully motivating the patient to comply with the exercise regimen on regular schedule




The kinesiotherapist may perform any or all of the following for a patient:

  • Assessing the patient’s mobility, strength and endurance.

  • Discuss and explain treatment goals.

  • Provide information to the patient about how the body functions and the causative factors in the patient’s impairment.

  • Work in conjunction with the patient to develop a targeted, appropriate treatment plan.

  • Instruct the patient in performing exercises correctly and guide the patient in how to perform them.

  • Provide ongoing monitoring of the patient’s progress.

  • Make adjustments and modifications to the treatment plan as needed to meet specific goals.





Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.


Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 


Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.


Working Conditions


Kinesiotherapists can find employment opportunities in all types of health care settings, including:

  • Hospitals

  • Sports medicine facilities

  • Rehabilitation centers

  • Fitness centers

  • Private offices

Some of the techniques employed by kinesiotherapists include guiding patients through their therapeutic exercise programs, instructing patients in aquatic therapy, helping patients learn to walk, teaching patients to use prosthetics and orthotics and helping patients develop a lifelong exercise regimen.



How to Become a Kinesiotherapist:


1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years) 


A kinesiotherapist is required to master the art and science used in exercise therapy, be able to apply practical first aid skills and command a working knowledge of the various conditions that can impair movement. They study the mechanics of human movement in order to develop and monitor custom exercise programs designed to promote rehabilitation and help the patient regain function.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) confers a four-year bachelor’s degree in exercise science, human performance, kinesiology or another approved major from an accredited training program. 

Not only is classroom study required, kinesiotherapy students must perform 1,000 hours of clinical work under the direction of a Registered Kinesiotherapist (RKT).

Students learn to design and monitor exercise programs that are appropriate to providing the following services:

  • Neurologic care
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic care
  • Geriatric care
  • Pediatric care
  • Psychiatric care
  • Fitness and wellness programs
  • Post-rehabilitation programs


The preparation timeline below provides an example kinesiotherapy curriculum:


Grade Level Example Courses

Freshman Year


  • Chemistry I & Lab

  • Terminology for Allied Health Professions

  • Swimming I

  • Introduction to Allied Health Professions

  • First Aid & Safety

  • Physiology of Exercise I & Lab

  • Kinesiotherapy I

  • Humanities Requirements

  • Electives

Sophomore Year

  • Sports Technique and Motor Skills I

  • Intermediate Swimming

  • Kinesiology II

  • Kinesiology & Analysis of Human Management I & Lab

  • Organization & Administration of Physical Education

  • Tests & Measurements in Physical Education

  • Neuroanatomy

  • Humanities Requirements

  • Electives

Junior Year


  • Anatomy & Physiology I

  • Sports Technique and Motor Skills II

  • Social Psychology

  • Supervised Experience in Clinical Settings II

  • Supervised Experience in Clinical Settings II

  • Humanities Requirements

  • Electives

Senior Year

  • Supervised Experience in Clinical Settings III

  • Abnormal Psychology

  • Therapeutic Exercise

  • Clinical Internship

  • Remaining Requirements

  • Remaining Electives


Find an Accredited Kinesiotherapy Program 


2. Become a Registered Kinesiotherapist (RKT)


A kinesiotherapist’s knowledge and skills are validated by passing the Kinesiotherapy Registration Examination for certification. While it is not required to be eligible for hire, candidates who are registered are typically offered higher salaries and more opportunities. 

Exam eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be a graduate of a CAAHEP accredited Kinseiotherapy program

  • Must have satisfied core course requirements

  • Must have maintained a minimum GPA balance of 2.5 for core courses

  • Must provide a letter of sponsorship from a Registered Kinsiotherapist, documenting 1000 hours of clinical experience, minimum

The exam is offered bi-annually in January and July, there is a $60 application fee, and a $200 fee for the exam once the applicant is approved.


Learn More About Becoming a Registered Kinesiotherapist 


Salary Outlook