I am not a pre-PT student but I was on this side of this forum looking around for a friend. I have about four friends who are pre-PT students and each of them are Kinesiology major students. At Michigan State most of the pre-PT students go down the Kinesiology degree, but the main issue is that many of these students apply to the out of state PT schools simply because their KIN program doesn't require any Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psych, or Stats courses in the degree that most Michigan PT schools require. Some of my friends that are KIN majors are in the same situation that you stated "but I fear and have hesitations about some of those degrees, should PT school, for whatever reason, not work out for me. I keep hearing that there is not much work or money to be had with those degrees without taking them to the professional level" because they were 3.3 students in an easy major and haven't been competitive in the PT cycle for two years now (will be the 3rd cycle this fall). One of my friends stopped the pre-PT stuff when he found out how competitive it was after his first cycle of getting rejected. Now he is going for his passion of being a personal trainer for golf or hockey since he was an All-State golfer and hockey player in HS.
A career in exercise physiology is far from what an athletic trainer or Physical Therapist is. For example, I have a Human Physiology degree and despite attending just one of less than a dozen universities that offer that degree I can't find practically any real life lab experience with that degree despite having more lab credits than almost any other graduate from my area. I am a pre-podiatry student and my backup plan is getting a Masters in Biostatistics. Unfortunately, in today's new era a Bachelor's of Science (with exception to engineering degrees) are not going to find you a job without a master's or doctoral degree. Unless you go to a top 10 university a B.S. in Microbiology, Biochemistry, basic biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physiology, Kinesiology isn't going to get you that $70K job by the age of 35. After dozens of lab positions I applied to I finally got a job with a pharmaceutical company where I will make less than $35K a year and I don't plan on being there more than a year because I want to get my Masters Degree or go to podiatry school next fall. I haven't started my job yet, but during the interview they made it seem like there are only two other workers that I work with to make ALL the pharmaceutical drugs this stock traded company makes. The issue with careers in the science field that many of my business friends don't understand is that at a laboratory they will hire three people to a shift that do all the work that the company is known for, but you go to a company and look at their business aspect of it and there are four different accountants, five finance employees, and a half dozen HR workers. Most science jobs they tend to expect the lab workers to be able to work at a faster pace so then they don't have to hire anybody else, but for the business side of the game most of the time they are sitting in their cubicle dozing off. Unfortunately, there are more job openings in the business and administration aspect of companies than the science companies because the science/lab companies have more expenses due to equipment costs.
It is sad because I was taught in HS that a B.S. in a natural science degree was the most valuable degree, but that is far from accurate now. Engineering degrees are the ones that if you get a degree you can find a good paying job without any additional schooling. Assuming you are a freshman start looking at the PT programs right now and then look at the degrees offered at your school to see which ones require less pre-reqs to get to PT school. If your KIN program at your school is like my school's then you better be ready to take summer courses for at least two of your summers during undergrad.