Cracking the Best Jobs for Health Nuts

There's a saying that says do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life. The desire for, and interest in a healthy lifestyle can turn into a lucrative career. Here are a few suggestions on how you can turn your personal interest in health into a job that helps others adopt your passion about the subject.


Image via Flickr by Masahiro IharaVegetables and health

If eating healthy is something you're interested in, why not help others do the same? Becoming a nutritionist will put you in daily contact with people who want to make a healthy change to their lifestyle. You can work in a variety of settings including a doctor's office, cafeteria, nursing home, hospital, government agency, or private practice.

With the increase in food allergies and non-tolerances, as well as an increasing number of people suffering from diabetes, there is a great need for people who can customize diet plans (and education) for these growing populations. The growing concerns over obesity, in children and adults, have opened up more positions for nutritionists in areas they may not have been before.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the position of nutritionist is expected to grow 20 percent over the next several years. 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.

After you know the requirements of your state, you can begin to investigate degrees. Most likely you'll need a bachelor's degree in nutrition. If your state requires a license with experience, look for a program that intertwines 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. However, this is not necessary to be a nutritionist. Some nutritionists specialize, in areas such as geriatric nutrition or diabetic care.

Once you have your education and whatever requirements are necessary for the certification/licensure of your state, gather the needed information and apply to your state. 

Health Food Store Employee

If you love leading a healthy lifestyle and want to pass your insights to as many people as you can, without spending years in school, a job as a health food store employee may be the perfect fit. Depending on the store, you may receive a lot of education on supplements, vitamins, and natural cures. Customers will have plenty of questions and those who don't will enjoy sharing their healthy-living experiences. Depending on the store, your level of education may be less important than your dedication to encouraging wellness.

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 life-style. The desire to educate is key. Some stores will offer commission on your sales and/or a discount on products as well.

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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, you could create a video blog or series for YouTube as well.

You can create your own blog about wellness and build an audience. You won't get paid for your writing at first, but as you build a following and increase the numbers of people who interact with you and look to you for advice, you can monetize your blog. This can be done a couple of ways. You can sell ad space to companies with a stake in the health market or you can do product reviews.

If you decide to add product reviews to your blog posts, you should always be transparent about the company paying you to review the product or providing you the product for free for review. Companies such as offer affiliate links that you can place on your site for products you mention on your blog.

Understand that building an on-line audience takes time. You might begin blogging on your own time while you work in another job. 

There are no education requirements to becoming a blogger but a strong command of the language you chose to write in will help. You should also feel comfortable around technology because there's a certain amount of experimentation that goes into setting up your site and your blog.

If doing it on your own sounds a little risky, you can work for a company. This ensures you will have a steady paycheck and benefits, but the strategic marketing team will probably dictate your choice of content.

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

Personal Trainer

Trainers come in all levels of experience from someone who has a natural inclination towards exercise, such as a former athlete, to others who majored in kinesiology in college. To excel as a 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 them without breaking them, and encourage them even when the results they were hoping to see are slow to come to fruition. You will need to understand your customers health goals and customize a program for them. Some trainers also cross-over into nutrition and offer to create meal plans for the clients.

As U.S. population ages and there's more thought given to adopting a healthy lifestyle, the number of job opportunities in the wellness field will explode. It's about time you turned your passion for health into a career.

Contributed to by Kim Evans

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