10 Healthy Careers in the New Year

Have you been sticking to your New Year’s resolution? Statistics show that “getting healthy” and career resolutions and are at the top of the list of commitments made starting January 1. By now, a staggering percentage of people have fallen a little short or simply given up altogether–but, that doesn’t mean we can’t get back on track. Though I hesitate to provide lists because I fear giving the impression I believe that a one-size-fits-all is the answer to our career portability epidemic, I provide these suggestions to help you jump back in to your career development should you need a little kick start! I want to emphasize that this is NOT an exhaustive list–just a way to get you thinking about careers other than the usual types of positions we hear of in popular media.

This list was compiled using a number of factors, including the relationship to a healthy lifestyle, the physically demanding nature of the job and/or the necessity of knowledge relating to health-related topics.

1. Aerobics Instructor
Over the past few years, the trend of Zumba® seems to have dominated the world of cardiovascular workouts! Though Zumba® instructors often must participate in specialized training to become certified, in many instances, the training is relatively short. Outside of Zumba®, most occupations in this field require some time and in-depth training—whether on-the-job or vocational. In large cities, Bikram yoga instructors are also becoming popular. Though training varies in intensity and cost, the demand increases especially in the new year.

Aerobics instructors may also teach classes that range from intense boot camps to yoga instruction. Some instructors choose to focus on one type of class or take on a variety. Instructors must be able to manage a room of people as well as effectively communicate concepts and body movements.

2. Personal Trainer
A personal trainer is on the list for obvious reasons. Personal trainers often have a natural affinity for exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle themselves. Perhaps you have even had your own personal trainer in the past. Some fitness centers offer one free consultation and body analysis with a personal trainer. These individuals are often employed within gyms, fitness centers and athletic clubs to ensure the overall health of members as well as provide expertise in proper utilization of equipment. Additionally, personal trainers can work one-on-one with clients to provide personalized fitness plans tailored to the individual’s health goals. Another great option is to start your own fitness business. Technology and busy schedules make the demand for on-the-go, non-gym training increasingly popular!

People attracted to this field tend to be social individuals who enjoy working with their hands and having the ability to take charge of situations. Training and education for this profession may vary based on the employer.

3. Nutritionist/Dietician
This type of profession often requires a higher-level degree, such as a Masters–and I know many of my clients keep asking me to help them find the jobs that require the use of their degrees. Nutritionists often assist individuals with food counseling and nutrition programs. Some of their responsibilities include listening to clients about their goals, desires and health concerns. Critical thinking is a huge component of this type of job in order to effectively develop nutrition plans that are catered to clients’ needs.

Nutritionists may develop community-training programs and engage in public speaking, work in physician’s offices and counsel individuals in a private practice. They may also deal with eating disorders, weight loss topics and general health concerns.

4. Recreation Aid/Worker
Often seasonal in nature, this profession is ideal for Army wives looking for temporary employment or part-time work. Typically, a recreation worker plans, organizes and implements activities at community centers, local parks, day camps or recreation areas. BLS.gov states that recreation workers hold a variety of positions at different levels, from camp counselors to directors of recreation and parks. Typical hours therefore range from full-time nine-to-five employment to irregular hours on nights and weekends.

Conventionally, recreation workers enjoy time outdoors, like working on their feet and particularly want to engage in physical activities. The required education for this type of profession varies greatly depending on the position desired.

5. Fitness and Wellness Coordinator
This profession combines managerial skills with knowledge of health and wellness. If you are an Army wife with a passion for leading others and managing large-scale operations, this profession may provide an outlet for your skill sets.

I’m a nerd for O-net Online, and found that Fitness and Wellness Coordinators often oversee entire wellness programs, create fitness schedules and deal with budgeting of facilities. This type of position also oversees fitness staff and health educators. The great news for military spouses is that this type of position is expected to grow quickly, which means it may become a high demand job with many opportunities!

6. Athletic Trainer
Do you love to travel? Do you love sports? Have you found that you have the inclination to assist others in need? If so, you may want to consider a profession as an athletic trainer. Though there are administrative requirements to this profession, the large part of this job entails assessing the injuries of athletes and developing a care plan to rehabilitate them. Some athletic trainers also speak publicly to the community about the prevention and care of athletic injuries.

Usually, a degree relating to sports medicine or similar field is necessary. Often, a four-year degree is a pre-requisite—but not always. Additionally, many potential employers desire to see a resume filled with relevant athletic training experience.

7. Health Educator
This particular title is somewhat of an all-encompassing term. Health educators may be Diabetes Educators, Community Health Educators, Child Development Specialists or a number of other specialists.

In general, health educators promote overall health within the community and to individuals. O-net Online outlines that health educators develop health marketing materials, create health education programs and deal with overall promotion of healthy living.

Ideal candidates for this type of position enjoy public speaking, exhibit great focus and possess keen critical thinking abilities. It is also important for health educators to have excellent communication skills in order to effectively communicate high-level concepts about health to the general population.

8. Construction Laborer
Though this profession may not be related to health education as many of the others have been, its physically demanding nature landed it a spot on the list. According to O-net Online, tasks in this type of job may involve physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites.

Strength and stamina are at the forefront of this profession, and it is not for the faint of heart! If you enjoy working with your hands and with others on completing large-scale projects, this profession may fit your interests. This field is deemed high growth as well as “green” by O-net’s standards.

9. Physical Therapist
The nature of this job is physically demanding and requires a keen knowledge of the body and fitness. Physical therapists are a type of healthcare professional who help individuals of all ages with rehabilitation relating to functional problems.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that most physical therapists work a 40-hour week with some opportunity for part-time employment. Additionally, physical therapists may practice in hospitals, outpatient clinics or private offices.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also indicates that this field is likely to grow much faster than the average, making it an ideal profession for Army wives looking for a high demand position helping others; however, every state regulates required licensure, meaning that the requirements vary from state-to-state. Army wives must do research regarding individual state licensing requirements before pursing this field.

10. Green Technology
No one ever said that a healthy career had to be limited to individual health! In this profession, health simply relates to the creation of a healthier planet! According to O-net, Renewable Energy Generation covers activities related to developing and using energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. This field may also include traditional, non-renewable sources of energy that are undergoing significant green technological changes.

Growth for this field is expected to greatly increase, making it a great option for military spouses with an interest in green and sustainable energy and technology.


Remember that each of these professions requires some form of education or training, and it is important that you research these requirements prior to making any drastic changes. Additionally, utilize resources such as O-net Online and BLS.gov to find out more about what professions are in demand right now. Though a profession may sound perfect initially, it is necessary to find out as much about the industry before you pursue it.


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