The COVID-19 pandemic revealed two positive things, at least for healthcare workers:
Firstly, healthcare professionals play a critical role and have one of the most stable and consistent careers.
Secondly, the pandemic also revealed that immunocompromised people and people with chronic disease and comorbidities were at a higher risk of being infected with COVID-19 than those without major health issues.
The last one and a half years have revealed that the healthcare industry is extremely stable, and demand for healthcare professionals continues to increase no matter the country’s economic or political situation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health education and community jobs are projected to grow by 11% from 2018 to 2028.
That said, it’s still important to acquire the necessary academic and practical qualifications to become a healthcare worker. At the very least, a college diploma or a university degree in the health sciences is a must for a career in health. The same applies to the wellness industry. Most programs in wellness and health run for 3-4 years and include courses in the basic sciences, fitness, health, nutrition, and diseases.
After graduation, people may be required to complete an internship or residency to acquire the relevant clinical experience. There are also opportunities to do more advanced studies and obtain a Master’s or a Ph.D. The more qualified the individual, the greater the number of opportunities and pay. Naturopaths are required to pass a national exam and become licensed in the state/province to practice.
Healthcare professionals can either choose to pursue their solo practice, join a group of other health workers, join a government health agency, work for a hospital, undertake research, and/or advise or work for pharmaceutical companies.
Types of career paths in health and wellness
Some of the most lucrative career paths in the health and wellness industry including:
- Naturopaths are health professionals who use a combination of natural and traditional forms of medicine to cure disease. The philosophy behind naturopathy is to enhance the healing power of the body using natural treatments. Naturopaths advocated healthy diets and changes in lifestyle to prevent disease. Many people today are turning to naturopaths because of disappointments or lack of faith in conventional medicine. Naturopaths focus on alternative treatment options such as acupuncture, herbs, hydrotherapy, and traditional Chinese medicine. To become a naturopath, one must complete a four-year program from a naturopathic college, obtain practical clinical experience and acquire a license. The salary for naturopaths varies from $70K-$150K.
- A Health Coach provides education and support on health and wellness. They educate people on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition. They use a holistic approach to improve physical and mental health. Health coaches are in big demand, especially because today, people are focused on nutrition and wellness. There are several health coach certifications and programs that candidates can opt for to pursue a career in this sector. Health coaches are well paid, and the salary varies from $50K to $90K.
- Corporate Wellness Coordinators can play multiple roles, including managing a wellness program, facilitating health and fitness activities, and arranging fitness programs for corporate employees. They may also speak at seminars, provide classes and offer personal training seminars. As more employers have become aware of improving the overall wellbeing of their employees, the demand for corporate wellness coordinators has increased. As a result, they have many job opportunities, and salaries vary from $55K to $140K.
- Health Writer/Journalist: Health writers and healthcare journalists are also always in demand, especially those with a healthcare background. There are several different options for healthcare writers, including working for healthcare institutions, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare marketing agencies, healthcare websites, blogs, etc. The pay for health writers varies from $25-$40 an hour, depending on the type of company and job requirements.
- Mental health counselors offer counseling to people with mental health conditions. However, they cannot prescribe medications. Becoming a mental health counselor requires a master’s degree and several years of clinical internship. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a very high demand for mental health counselors. The average salary ranges from $45K to $70. Those who have their private practice often charge by the hour and can easily make much more money.
- Fitness Trainers have many roles. They instruct, educate, and motivate people to engage in physical activities. They are fully trained to educate people on the benefits of exercise, including strength training, weight lifting, and stretching. They may work solo, in a gym, rehabilitation centers, or spas. Fitness trainers can also work with people in different age groups, depending on their skills and qualifications. Fitness instructors charge by the hour and can easily make anywhere from $40-$100 per hour.
- Massage therapists are trained to use massage to ease pain, relieve muscle spasms, promote blood flow and reduce stress. For people with acute or chronic injuries, a massage can be an important complementary treatment for improved function and motion of the tissues. Massage therapists are in high demand. They usually charge by the hour, and their pay rate can range from $35-$70 an hour.
Overall, the healthcare industry offers many different options to healthcare workers. Different career paths can be chosen, and healthcare workers also have several different types of healthcare facilities they can choose to pursue a long-term career. This industry is extremely stable and has been showing consistent growth over the last many years.