4 jobs to pursue if you’re passionate about health

Jobs for health nuts

Here are four jobs for people who want to put health first – both personally and professionally.

If you’re devoted to living a healthy lifestyle, why not bring that dedication into the workplace? There are many jobs related to health and wellness that let you practice what you preach.

Here are four jobs for people who want to put health first – both personally and professionally.

1. Nutritionist. If eating healthy is an interest of yours, consider a job where you can help others do the same. As a nutritionist, you’ll connect with people who want to make a healthy change to their lifestyle.

With food allergies and intolerances on the rise, there is a need for people who can customize diet plans for (and educate) these growing populations. The rising concerns over obesity – in children and adults – have also opened up more positions for nutritionists.

Typical education*: Depending on your state, you'll probably need either a certification in nutrition or a license. However, four states don't require any certification. Check with your state before making any education decisions. If your state requires a license with experience, look for a program that offers an internship with its course offerings. You can also pursue an advanced degree in nutritional science. This places you one step closer to being certified through the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists.

Median annual pay: $59,410

2. Health food store employee. If you love leading a healthy lifestyle and want to pass your insights on to as many people as possible (without spending years in school), a job as a health food store employee may be the perfect fit. Customers will have plenty of questions and those who don't will enjoy sharing their healthy-living experiences.

To work in a health store, you’ll want to be customer-focused and an eager problem solver. Most stores will expect you to have great product knowledge and suggestions for its customers to pursue a healthier lifestyle. As a bonus, some stores will offer commission on your sales and/or a discount on products.

Typical education: Typically, no formal education credential is required. Depending on the store, your level of education may be less important than your dedication to encouraging wellness.

Median annual pay: $23,370

3. Blogger. Blogging is another way to impart information about your healthy-lifestyle choices to a larger audience. There are multiple paths to blogging. While most blogs are in written format, video blogs or a YouTube series are options as well.

You can create your own blog about wellness and build an audience, but know that building an online presence takes time. As a result, it might be worth blogging on your own time while you work at another job – at least at first.

If doing it on your own sounds risky, you can work for a company instead. This ensures you will have a steady paycheck and benefits, but the marketing team will likely dictate content strategy.

You can also freelance for a wellness-centric company. There may not be a steady paycheck, and you won't receive benefits, but if you can publish under your name, it's a way to build an audience through a well-known publisher and translate that into your own blog later.

Typical education: Writers typically have a bachelor’s degree. While there are no education requirements for bloggers, a strong command of the language in which you write is a plus. You should also feel comfortable around technology because there's a certain amount of experimentation that goes into setting up your site.

Median annual pay: $61,820 (writers). If you’re starting your own blog, you won't be paid for your writing at first, but as you build a following you can monetize your blog. You can accomplish this in a couple of ways, such as by selling ad space to companies with a stake in the health market or doing product reviews.

4. Personal trainer. To excel as a personal trainer, you'll need the right combination of coaching skills, knowledge of how the body works and dedication to customer service that will make people want to use you in the long term and refer friends and family to you as well.

You will need to push your clients without breaking them, and encourage them even when the results don’t happen overnight. You will need to understand your customers’ health goals and customize a program that suits their needs. Some trainers also cross over into nutrition and create meal plans for their clients.

Typical education: The education and training required varies by type of specialty, and employers prefer to hire those with certification. Personal fitness trainers, group fitness instructors and specialized fitness instructors each need different preparation.

Median annual pay: $39,210

*Typical education and median annual pay from Bureau of Labor Statistics

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