If wellness is an important part of your personal life, have you thought about how to make it an important part of your career as well? The healthcare and wellness field is projected to grow 16% between 2020 and 2030, which is much faster than the average for all industries. Below is an overview of 4 jobs that have wellness as the focus and might just be your ideal next career move.
If you envision yourself working one-on-one with clients to help them set and achieve wellness-related goals, becoming a Wellness Coach may be a good option for you.
Wellness coaches sometimes work independently and other times work embedded within a larger organization, like a hospital or a corporation. Either way, wellness coaches are experts in evaluating individual client needs and developing personalized action plans toward a healthier lifestyle. These plans can include stress management goals, exercise and movement goals, meal and hydration goals, and other lifestyle goals. Some key skills for success as a wellness coach include problem-solving, creative thinking, interpersonal communication, and patience.
Becoming a wellness coach requires a certification. There are two organizations that offer the required certification: the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA). To learn more about the cost, time commitment, and requirements for each certification option, visit the linked websites.
Wellness Education Specialist
Do you have an interest in teaching or education alongside your interest in health and wellness? Wellness education specialists work at the intersection of these two fields to help individuals, families, and communities maintain healthy lifestyles.
Wellness education specialists play an important role in both combating false information about living healthy and spreading awareness of healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness, and other wellness-related practices. An example of wellness education you may be familiar with is the required health classes in elementary, middle, and high school. However, this is just one of many examples where wellness education takes place; others include hospitals, clinics, government agencies, insurance companies, and nonprofits. Wellness educators demonstrate strong skillsets in public speaking, written communication, and teaching.
The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) oversees the Certified Health Education Specialist credentialing process. They offer both a student option, which can be taken up to 90 days before graduation for a reduced fee and an option for graduates.
Wellness Program Coordinator
If you are interested in becoming part of an existing wellness program that allows you to combine interests in wellness and business operations, wellness program coordinators (or just wellness coordinators) do just that!
Wellness programs exist in many settings, including local gyms, children’s summer camps, and corporate offices. Some common examples include step-tracking challenges, weight loss programs, fitness classes, meal planning instruction, and stress management activities. Wellness program coordinators may run some of these classes or activities, however it’s more typical for them to hire and coordinate other professionals/experts to do so. Their role tends to be more coordination-focused, which is why business operations knowledge comes in handy. It’s important for wellness program coordinators to be especially skilled in teamwork and organization.
Although there is no certification required to become a wellness program coordinator, prior experience or certification in one or more aspects of wellness (ex. personal training, health coaching, etc.) can help improve your chances of getting a job.
Community Wellness (or Health) Worker
If you are looking for a way to pair an interest in public service with a career in wellness, becoming a community health worker might just be the perfect combination.
The simplest way to describe what a community health worker does is to act as a liaison between the community and local medical/social services. Setting it apart from other wellness-related careers, being a community health worker requires sharing commonalities (ex. race, ethnicity, language spoken, socioeconomic status, etc.) with the community in order to intimately understand their needs and advocate for them. Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of a community health worker could include meeting with community members and taking note of their needs/concerns, providing basic medical care and education, and meeting with local medical/social services to advocate for change in the services they are offering to local patients. Some key skills required for a career as a community health worker include cultural competency, interpersonal communication, and advocacy.
To learn more about becoming a certified community health worker in the state of Connecticut, visit the Connecticut State Department of Public Health website.
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