Day in and day out, many women spend countless hours taking care of other people, from kids to spouses to clients, and often neglect taking care of themselves. That's where a wellness specialist comes in. Also called a health educator, this specialist assists clients with health, nutrition, exercise and mental health. A wellness specialist can help women deal with issues uniquely related to females, such as pregnancy, menstruation and menopause, and guides them in overall health.
Depending on her interests and experience, a wellness specialist can find employment with a variety of different companies and organizations. Wellness specialists serve in medical settings, such as hospitals, medical centers and doctors' offices, providing services to patients and their families. A number of private companies now employ wellness specialists to provide services to their employees, to increase production and cut costs. Other employers include government agencies, schools, fitness facilities and nonprofit groups.
Education and Skills
Each employer mandates different educational requirements, but many require at least a bachelor’s degree in health education or a related degree field, like community health or health and human services. Because a wellness specialist interacts with people on a daily basis, she should have excellent communication skills, both written and oral, be well organized, able to multitask and willing to work with people of all backgrounds. She should be able to problem solve and offer effective and flexible solutions.
While not necessary, certification as a wellness specialist often means more money and better job prospects. Designations for wellness specialists come in all types and forms, like the certified corporate wellness specialist designation from the Corporate Wellness Conference. Other examples include the certified health education specialist certification from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing and the certified worksite wellness specialist from the National Wellness Institute. Earning certification typically requires hitting the books for online or in-person courses and then passing a certification exam.
A wellness specialist’s main focus is education. She strives to provide her clients with the most up-to-date and accurate information on diet, exercise and health. The exact job duties vary depending on the type of employer, but most include meeting with clients to determine their health wants and needs and setting up programs to help clients achieve their goals. A wellness specialist manages smoking cessation, weight loss and exercise programs for companies and individuals. Clients count on wellness specialists to locate medical services and health resources. A wellness specialist also creates educational materials, collects data and advocates for wellness programs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, wellness specialists made on average $45,000 a year. Yearly wages for specialists vary greatly, with the bottom 10 percent earning just over $26,000 and those in the top 10 percent bringing home over $80,000 a year. While most wellness specialists keep a 9-to-5 schedule, some also work evenings and weekends.
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images