The rise of chronic disease across the globe over the past several decades has caused public health professionals to raise the alarms to improve people’s health and wellbeing through professional health services, more equitable food and health systems, and research and entrepreneurship opportunities for those passionate about individual and community health and wellness.
As the world recognizes the role that nutrition, mental health, physical activity, and wellness can have in preventing and managing chronic disease and strengthening the immune system, people and communities have turned to health and wellness professionals to support them in living more healthful, balanced lives.
If you’ve landed on this page, you are likely looking for a way to apply your interests, passions, and skills in health and wellness to a career in the field and contribute to improving lives in your community and across the world.
The good news is the opportunities in the health and wellness market are wide and deep. In 2020, the global health and wellness market reached an estimated value of $3.31 billion. Some of the sub-industries reflected in the wider health and wellness market include:
- Personal care and beauty
- Weight management
- Preventative health and medicine
- Personalized medicine
- Holistic health
Whether you are looking for ideas on what to study or if you want ideas on how to apply your current skills, we have created a list of promising and diverse health and wellness careers that will allow you to contribute to making this world a healthier place for everyone.
Whatever you choose to do in the health and wellness field, getting your health coach certification is a great next step. Not only does health and wellness coaching have endless career applications, but it can also be a stepping stone to other professions in the wellness field.
Personal Health and Wellness Coach
What Is a Health and Wellness Coach?
A health and wellness coach is a certified professional who works with individuals and groups to facilitate conversations and empower clients to set and achieve goals they identify together. Health and wellness coaches are allies for their clients, as they aim to improve and strengthen the seven dimensions of wellness: physical wellness, emotional wellness, cultural wellness, spiritual wellness, occupational wellness, interpersonal and social wellness, and intellectual wellness.
Health and wellness coaches can relay general information to help clients improve their diet, exercise, stress levels, and more. More importantly than providing the information, however, is providing a framework where clients can identify their goals, boundaries, and desires; visualize the path to achieving those goals; and actively work toward them.
Best of all, health and wellness coaches are scientifically proven to help improve people’s wellbeing.
How to Get Started
If you want to become a health and wellness coach, the first thing you need to do is get certified. You can choose from a wide variety of coaching certifications in nutrition, health, personal training, fitness, and more. If you aren’t sure which to choose, you can follow this seven-step process for finding the best certification for you.
Once you are certified, you can choose to apply your coaching skills in many settings, including opening your private practice, working with other health professionals in a multidisciplinary clinical practice, and outsourcing your services to established wellness companies.
How do you build your entrepreneurial skills once you are certified? AFPA, as a company focused on educating and certifying health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition coaches, has a wealth of resources for people who want to succeed in the health and wellness world. Explore the AFPA blog to learn more.
Digital Content Creator
What Is a Digital Content Creator?
A digital content creator, sometimes just called a content creator, is someone who contributes information to digital media outlets. Digital content creators in the health and wellness field can write or create blogs, articles, text, videos, visual content, and audio for websites, blogs, and social media platforms with the goal of communicating information, skills, techniques, research, and ideas to the health and wellness field.
There are many different ways to create digital content, and you might want to focus on one specific area based on your creative skill set since each skill set can take time to develop to create successful content.
One of the key skills all digital content creators must develop is the ability to create compelling, high-converting, engaging content that inspires others to read, watch, and listen to the content created.
You can be a digital content creator for your own pursuits, as a way of getting your message out there, or you can offer your skills to other companies.
How to Get Started
Health and wellness digital content creation is a promising career, and there is no one way to make it your own. The basic skills you need to have include interest and knowledge in health and wellness and skills in a digital art form, like researching and writing, marketing copywriting, making videos, audio editing, social media posts, and more.
Adobe Spark suggests four steps to take to get started as a digital content creator: create a portfolio, network, pitch yourself, and don’t give up.
What Is a Media Contributor?
Health and wellness media contributors are communications specialists in the health and wellness field. Usually, they have specific health and wellness credentials, like a health-related certification or a clinical license to practice, and they offer their knowledge and communication skills to analyze different topics in food and nutrition and communicate their thoughts and explanations to the general public.
Media contributors may be writers for a newspaper, podcast hosts, or even work for a popular show or news channel.
Media contribution may overlap with other professions on this list as a promotion opportunity or part-time gig, or it could be a full-time job.
How to Get Started
As mentioned above, media contributors for health and wellness often have credentials and experience that validate their authority to analyze and explain different topics to the general public. Other skills that are helpful in landing an opportunity as a media contributor include journalism, writing, and communications.
When you are ready to put yourself out there, one of the most valuable things you can do is start doing it on your own. Whether it is starting a blog or website or creating and uploading videos of yourself online, the most important thing is to get practice and have a place to showcase your skills. If you decide you want to contribute your skills to companies, you can use your media to build a portfolio or demo of your work.
What Is an Entrepreneur?
A health and wellness entrepreneur has a valuable product or service idea that fills a need in the market.
Some entrepreneurs have a unique idea for a product or service that doesn’t currently exist or doesn’t exist exactly in that form.
To be an entrepreneur, however, you don’t need to be an inventor, but you do need to imagine and build ways to fill needs. For services, this may be in the form of expanding a health and wellness-related service, modifying it, or providing your expertise as an independent consultant. For products, you may want to make a product available to a new area or market and deliver it in a new way.
How to Get Started
If you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, we encourage you to read personal stories about how entrepreneurs became successful. One thing you’ll notice is that there is no one way to become an entrepreneur. Some people invent things out of their garage and have wild success when they bring them out into the world, while others study business and entrepreneurship for years before building their business. Another thing you’ll notice is that overcoming failure was an important skill for all entrepreneurs.
In that sense, there is no right way to get started as a health and wellness entrepreneur. Entrepreneur magazine offers some useful tips on getting started. These include:
- Make a conscious decision to make your entrepreneurial dream happen
- Identify the right business for you
- Make a business plan
- Get to know your target audience before making an investment
- Understand your personal finances
- Build a support network
- Focus on selling the value you are creating
- Get the word out about your product or service
What Is a Clinician?
A clinician is a health professional that works one-on-one in a clinical setting. Clinicians work with patients as caregivers in hospitals, nursing facilities, private or public clinics, or in patient’s homes. They are responsible for documenting patient medical history, using medical equipment, giving diagnostic tests, observing vital signs, implementing a specified treatment, and providing prognoses of individual progress. Some clinicians can diagnose and prescribe treatment, while others cannot; the laws vary between states and countries.
Clinicians are licensed professionals that have successfully completed specific education, but the specific requirements vary depending on what type of clinician you would like to become.
Some clinical professions include:
- Physician (general or specialized)
- Nurse practitioner
- Licensed clinical social workers
- Clinical pharmacists
- Registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist
- Occupational therapist
- Clinical psychologist or therapist
How to Get Started
Getting certified as a coach or consultant in the health and wellness field is a great stepping stone to becoming a clinician. It allows you to get one-on-one experience with clients who want to improve their health and wellness, and you can identify areas in which you’d like to specialize.
After you’ve decided what type of clinician you want to become, you need to successfully complete the required education for the region where you want to practice as a clinician. Education involves several courses and practice hours in a clinical setting and usually a licensure exam.
Once you’ve completed your education, you can choose to open a private practice, work for an existing private practice, work for NGO or government health practices, or look for opportunities at hospitals through fellowships and direct hire.
Nutraceutical Sales Director
What Is a Nutraceutical Sales Director
A nutraceutical sales director is someone who represents a brand and works with a team to sell health and nutrition-related products to individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments. Sales directors lead a team of salespeople and marketing specialists and organize opportunities to help strengthen their knowledge and skills in the industry.
While sales director skills can be learned, many professionals who go into this field are often extroverts who love interacting with people and often have sales experience in other fields. Those who want to lead the sales team are passionate about helping people learn about and gain access to health and wellness products like workout equipment, pharmaceuticals, supplements, coaching programs, and foods.
Some people love sales leadership positions because they have a high earning potential, room for growth within the company, and often have flexible work hours.
How to Get Started
Most companies in the health and wellness field require people to have at least a high school diploma, but any additional education, especially in the health and wellness field, is a plus.
If you’ve never worked as a sales representative, the first thing you can aim to do is get hired as an entry-level salesperson. When you are starting out, you will receive on-the-job training on the products and services you’ll be selling and sales skills you’ll need to close sales.
Once you have some sales experience, you have the opportunity to move up the ladder within companies. Here, if health and wellness is your passion, you can use your interests, and potentially the knowledge you gained while earning your health coaching certificate, to get hired as a sales director in a nutraceutical or wellness product company you love.
Public Health Educator
What Is a Public Health Educator?
Public health educators provide information to populations about health and safety concerns and priorities. Public health educators understand the complex factors that impact health behaviors on community and national levels, and design and relay strategies to:
- Identify health issues that affect populations
- Formulate population-specific outreach programs in a way that are widely accessible to the public
- Speak to communities, organizations, schools, and community leaders to provide information on public health concern awareness and strategies
- Create digital and print educational materials that are circulated to the general public
- Answer health concerns the public may have
- Promote equitable, culturally sensitive, and accessible healthcare
Effective public health educators have a wide-reaching skill set, including communication, teaching, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
How to Get Started
Public health educators usually require a Master’s degree in education or public health and a Bachelor’s degree in an area related to the health and wellness field. In rare cases, a long history of involvement in public health initiatives is sufficient.
There is a growing need for public health educators in the government and NGO sector, meaning many entry-level job positions are available.
Corporate Wellness Consultant
What Is a Corporate Wellness Consultant?
A corporate wellness consultant, sometimes called a corporate wellness educator or corporate wellness coach, provides services to small, medium, and large companies to evaluate the current state of wellness among employees and provides the plan and skills to improve wellness in the workplace.
While you may work with the employees for specific activities and evaluations, corporate wellness consultants usually work primarily with decision-makers within the company to relay your findings of the state of wellness and provide insight, suggestions, and tools through a formal plan aimed at improving workplace wellness.
How to Get Started
There are no college-related degrees that focus on corporate wellness consulting, but there are several ways to obtain skills that allow you to become a corporate wellness educator, including health and wellness coaching certifications and completing an undergraduate education in health, nutrition, and wellness.
Additionally, understanding the inner workings of companies through experience or a bachelor’s degree in business is also important to provide advice specific to the corporate environment.
If you are passionate about helping improve people’s health, there are dozens of career opportunities for you. In this article, we described different careers you can take on in the health and wellness field, including health coach, clinician, content creator, public health educator, and sales representative.
More importantly, we provided basic information on how to get started, covering topics like:
- Personal talent
Keep in mind that whatever field in health and wellness you see yourself in, getting a health, wellness, nutrition, or fitness certification with AFPA is an intelligent next step to landing your dream job. Not only do you gain technical health knowledge, but you also learn about behavior change frameworks and have the opportunity to work with real people to improve their health and wellness before taking the next step in your career.