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Turning Your Knowledge of Health and Wellness into a Career

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health and wellness career

The generation that has been taking care of America’s population for the past few decades is now retiring. According to Pew Research, around 10,000 boomers are leaving the workforce every day. While this is unfortunately making the healthcare industry even more expensive, there is a silver lining here.

If you’re looking to use your knowledge of health and wellness, your passion for helping people, or your motivation to pursue a higher education to enter the healthcare industry, now is a better time than ever. Demand for professionals in the health and wellness sector is at an all-time high, and so are the salaries.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that health care job growth will rise by 18% come 2026. That’s around 2.3 million jobs – more than any other industry. That said, you have a lot of options to explore here. The world of healthcare encompasses a variety of professions and in this post, we’ll take a look at 7 of the most promising for 2019 and beyond.

Pharmacist

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Pharmacists use their extensive knowledge of health issues and medications to provide prescriptions and advise customers on appropriate treatments for their ailments. This job may also involve conducting screenings, giving flu shots and vaccinations, completing insurance forms, overseeing interns and performing administrative tasks.

Since pharmacies are usually open at night and on weekends, you usually have the option to choose a work schedule that suits your lifestyle. Around 20% of pharmacists work part-time. Pharmacists in entry-level positions earn around $87,120 per year, while those in the top 10% often make over $150,000.

Optometrist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, optometrists made an average of $111,790 per year in 2018. This is considerably higher than the overall average salary in the States, which was $45,789 per year in the same period. Granted, you’ll need to complete a four-year degree to become a Doctor of Optometry.

The BLS also predicted that more than 7,000 optometrist positions will need to be filled by 2026. Once you’ve obtained your degree, you will have an extensive knowledge of optics, physiology and anatomy that you’ll use to diagnose and treat visual disorders.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Nursing is the biggest industry to be affected by the departure of boomers, which has naturally resulted in exponential expected growth in the sector.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked family nurse practitioner in the top 10 best jobs for 2019 thanks to high levels of job satisfaction, excellent salaries and great flexibility. Family nurse practitioners work with patients of all ages, diagnosing illnesses, providing treatment and overseeing patient health.

If you’re curious about how to become an FNP, there’s a specific process that includes getting licensed, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and then a Master of Science in Nursing. This post explains everything you need to know about how to become an FNP.

Nutritionist

Do you value the importance of healthy eating? If so, your passion for nutrition is in dire need. Between 2015 and 2016, over 93 million adults in the U.S. suffered from obesity, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Obesity is linked to more than 60 chronic diseases that result in hundreds of thousands of deaths per year in the States alone.

As a nutritionist, you will help to solve this epidemic by recommending healthy diets to your patients. By 2026, the dietician and nutrition sector is expected to see a rise of 15%. As more and more people become conscious of the correlation between eating and wellness, you can expect strong employment opportunities in the industry.

Chiropractor

An increasing percentage of the national workforce are spending their days hunched over a keyboard in corporate and home offices. We’re also spending more time looking at our smartphones. As a result, poor posture and its subsequent health consequences are becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in modern society.

This is where the medical knowledge and expertise of chiropractors come in. This is an especially suitable career for those who enjoy working independently, as most chiropractors have their own practice. The chiropractor sector is set to rise by 12% before 2027 and the BLS reports that the top 20% earn $149,170 per year on average.

Dental Hygienist

Did you know that the average American consumes a frightening 20 teaspoons of sugar per day? Aside from diabetes, heart disease and liver disease, sugar is also really messing up our teeth. This is one of the reasons why the dental hygienist profession is set to see growth of around 20% by 2026.

After obtaining an Associate’s Degree, dental hygienists can expect to earn between $53,300 and $93,000 per year. This job involves examining patient’s dental health, checking for signs of oral diseases and cleaning their teeth. You will also be responsible for educating patients on what they can do to improve their dental health.

Genetic Counselor

The job of a genetic counselor is a rather interesting one. It involves assessing a patient’s genetic information to educate them on their risk of inheriting certain diseases. From here, you will advise them on what they can do to reduce this risk. This is an extremely important job, as almost every patient you treat is akin to saving a life.

Genetic counselors typically work in medical centers, private/public hospitals or diagnostic laboratories. A rather impressive 29% growth rate is expected for this sector before 2026. That said, it’s worth noting that a master’s in a relevant subject is usually the minimum requirement to become a genetic counselor.

Conclusion

A growing number of Americans are facing a variety of mental and physical health issues. If we don’t take the initiative to employ an educated workforce of healthcare professionals soon, things will only get worse down the line.

By entering the health and wellness industry, you’ll be doing your part to save countless lives and contribute to the overall wellbeing of your country.

The benefits of doing so are nothing short of immeasurable. Take a moment to consider the type of career that is best suited to your personality and make a meaningful difference today.