Earning an online health and wellness degree will open your mind to holistic healing methods and natural healthcare resources. This field can encompass the study of many disciplines including herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, prayer, ergonomics, aromatherapy and chiropractic medicine, as well as conventional medical practices.
There are numerous potential paths for your career when you have an online health and wellness degree. You’ll be trained in ways to help people improve their overall health and wellbeing, allowing you to enter careers such as a public health educator or health services manager. You can work in the private sector as a corporate wellness coordinator, which are hired by companies to create and improve organizational wellness programs. If you want to work one-on-one with people, a career as a health coach allows you to educate and motivate clients on specific strategies for maintaining wellness.
THE CAREER PATH
Of all the benefits you can realize from this career, one of the most important is the chance to positively change people’s lives. You’ll wake up every day knowing that your working is making people healthier and happier, and that’s a motivation that few people can claim. Unlike many careers, you’ll have a deep pride that comes from your work. The other benefit is more tangible: a steady, in-demand education and career. With a degree in health and wellness, you’ll have the chance to enter numerous careers that have outstanding expected growth, giving you access to a reliable industry that shows no sign of fading. Here are two popular career outcomes.
- Health Educator—This is likely the career that most directly applies to your education in health and wellness. As a health educator, you would be responsible for teaching people about behaviors that improve wellness and promote a healthy lifestyle. Developing strategies for individuals or groups, depending on the job, these professionals may also collect and discuss information to encourage healthy living. Employed by numerous groups, including family services, government organizations, and religious institutions, these professionals have a decent pay, with the top 10% earning over $64,000 annually. What’s most attractive about this career, however, is the expected growth of 16% between 2016 and 2026.
- Dietitian—Although you will need an education directly related to diet, a degree in health and wellness can be a wonderful start to the career as a dietitian. These are the experts in food and nutrition who counsel patients, clients, and customers on what and how they should eat. From meal plans to creating educational materials, these professionals help people understand the impact of their diet. Dietitians also have a strong salary; if you work your way into the top 10%, you can expect earnings over $83,000. Once again, we see stellar growth for this career, with an expected rise of 15% resulting in almost 78,000 total jobs by 2026.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
To excel in a health and wellness career, you need the right attitude and the right traits. Most of all, you should be a caring, compassionate person who is genuinely concerned about the health and wellbeing of your friends and neighbors. You should be dedicated to improving their health, and have a strong belief that a healthy body is one of the most important aspects of overall wellbeing. You should also have an interest in biology, nutrition, anatomy, and other sciences. Health and wellbeing draws heavily on numerous sciences, so a basic interest and appreciation for these disciplines is a good start. For example, if you have performed well in past biology classes, you may be a good candidate for a health and wellness career.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Expect an online health and wellness degree to include a mix of the traditional sciences (biology, anatomy and chemistry) as well as counseling, health psychology, stress reduction, botanical medicine and holistic health classes, depending on the program you choose. You may also study health research methods and alternative diagnostic procedures. Other classes may include acupuncture, therapeutic massage and mind-body connections.
Health and wellness is a wonderful education choice, but you still need to select the right program for your future goals. Start by reviewing the program’s curriculum to make sure the classes will help achieve your goals. For example, if you want to become a dietitian, you will want to look for programs that offer a focus on diet and nutritional issues. If the classes meet your needs, you’ll also need to verify that the course is offered 100% online; if there are in-person requirements, you may need to adjust your schedule. Above all, check for accreditation. Accreditation in a process of verifying the consistency and quality of an educational program. Administered by independent organizations, accreditation helps ensure your are getting a quality health and wellness education and degree that you can take to any employer.
If you want to learn more about the following online health and wellness programs, click on a program listing for additional information. With resources and information, you're well on your way to finding the right program to achieve your career goal!