9 wellness careers (with salaries and requirements)

Updated 29 January 2023

The health and wellness industry has plenty of variety in terms of possible careers. If you value good health and like to help others achieve and maintain it, you might consider a career in this field. Knowing your options can give you a better idea of what the industry is like and what you'd like to pursue specifically. In this article, we present you with nine examples of health and wellness careers, along with their salaries and requirements.

9 wellness careers

Below is a list of nine various health and wellness careers for you to consider:

1. General practitioner (GP)

National average salary: £68,333 per year

Primary duties: A general practitioner, or GP, is a medical doctor who provides the local community with general medical care. This can range from standard check-ups, answering queries, investigating ailments and managing prescriptions. They also give advice and can refer their patients to specialists if an issue needs further investigation. GPs work with other medical professionals, such as nurses and junior doctors. They can also perform minor surgery.

Becoming a GP can be a lengthy process. Initially, they complete a five-year degree in medicine that's recognised by the General Medical Council. After, they complete a two-year foundation course in general training, followed by a three-year course of training in general practice.

Related: 15 skills you need as a doctor

2. Psychiatrist

National average salary: £89,477 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who diagnoses and treats mental health issues. Psychiatrists typically spend a lot of time speaking with their patients, sometimes in extended sessions. This allows them to determine what the root causes of some of their problems are, although some checks, like blood tests or scans, may require further examinations to determine the exact nature and cause of the issue. Their conversations with patients often involve determining how the patient feels, their thoughts and their emotions.

Psychiatrists also prescribe medication to treat mental health problems, besides therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The education and training necessary to become a psychiatrist are lengthy. Initially, they complete a five-year degree in medicine. Then, they complete two years of general training, three years of psychiatry core training and a further three years of speciality training.

Related: 19 types of therapists (with key responsibilities)

3. Occupational therapist

National average salary: £35,117 per year

Primary duties: Occupational therapists help people suffering from mental or physical problems to overcome their issues. These might result from an unfortunate accident, illness, ageing or problems that started from birth. For instance, an occupational therapist might have a patient who suffered a stroke. They would help recover and become independent again. They can also help people with learning disabilities, assist and advise their families, encourage sufferers of depression and even advise businesses on how to accommodate certain people, either as employees or clients.

There's more than one way of becoming an occupational therapist. For instance, they may complete a university degree in psychology, health science or biological science. Alternatively, they may enrol in an occupational therapist degree apprenticeship, which typically takes four years to complete. Occupational therapists might work at private or local hospitals, at a particular client's business, a GP practice or a care home.

Related: A guide to what you can do with a psychology degree

4. Nurse

National average salary: £15,39 per hour

Primary duties: Also known as an adult nurse, this professional care for the sick and injured, in addition to cooperating with and helping other medical professionals. They can also look after patients suffering from various disabilities. Nurses can perform medical procedures, such as taking blood samples, measuring temperature and checking pulse rates. They can also give patients injections and administer drugs. Nurses clean and dress wounds, set up transfusions and drips, operate medical equipment and advise patients and their families.

Nurses can work in local or private hospitals, care homes, clients' homes or prisons. They might also work within the armed forces. To become a nurse, they may pursue a degree in adult nursing that's approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Alternatively, they may complete an apprenticeship in nursing or train as a nurse within the armed forces.

Related: Advocating for patients: definition, importance and tips

5. Nutritionist

National average salary: £28,726 per year

Primary duties: Nutritionists use their knowledge of biology and food to advise patients on their diets to improve their health. Nutritionists often perform research to acquaint themselves with the most effective practices and advice. They might perform trials to determine the efficacy of approaches, for which they might recruit volunteers and then collect data. Nutritionists also collect and analyse biological samples, run workshops, initiate healthy eating programmes and cooperate with medical professionals like doctors and nurses. Nutritionists can work in private or local hospitals, at a health centre, a GP practice or in a research laboratory.

To become a nutritionist, they complete a university degree or postgraduate qualification approved by the Association for Nutrition. This can cover food and nutrition, physiology, public health, biochemistry and general health promotion.

Related: Dietitian vs. nutritionist: what's the difference?

6. Personal trainer

National average salary: £28,692 per year

Primary duties: A personal trainer advises and works with their clients to improve their fitness and health. A lot of their work involves speaking with their clients to determine their needs and expectations and then suggesting or developing exercise and diet programmes to achieve them. They can then motivate their clients and oversee and guide their progress, taking regular measurements for body fat levels, heart rate and other health indicators.

Personal trainers can work at fitness centres, or they can set up a practice. This profession doesn't require a university degree. Instead, they may pursue a college course like a Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness or a Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training. There are also advanced apprenticeships available, training through the armed forces or they can apply directly. It's also quite common for fitness trainers to have a first-aid certificate.

7. Dermatologist

National average salary: £92,449 per year

Primary duties: A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specialises in treating problems and diseases relating to the skin, hair and nails. This can range from minor issues like rashes and acne to rare skin diseases, skin cancer and psoriasis. They can also treat hair loss. Dermatologists can specialise in particular areas, such as cosmetic dermatology, paediatric dermatology or trichology.

Becoming a dermatologist involves similar training to other medical doctors. They complete a degree in medicine and then undergo years of training and specialisation. A dermatologist might work in a private or local hospital, a specialist practice or a wellness centre.

Related: What does a dermatologist do?

8. Pharmacist

National average salary: £46,968 per year

Primary duties: Also known as a dispensing chemist or hospital pharmacist, these professionals advise on the use and application of various medicines and treatments, in addition to medical appliances. They can advise customers about over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, and run screening programmes for issues, such as diabetes. They also manage the supply and stock levels of the drugs they provide. A pharmacist can offer advice to nurses, doctors and the general public regarding the use and dosage of medication.

Some pharmacists run clinical trials and can research new medicines. A pharmacist might work in a local or private hospital, GP practice, university or research centre. To become a pharmacist, they typically complete a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree that's approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council, in addition to a one-year pre-registration pharmacy training course. There are also pharmacy foundation degrees that can allow them to access the MPharm which typically takes two years to complete.

Related: How To Become a Pharmacist

9. Dentist

National average salary: £76,167 per year

Primary duties: Also known as a dental practitioner or dental surgeon, a dentist is a medical professional who specialises in teeth and gums. They work to prevent diseases of the mouth and to promote oral health. A dentist may lead a dental team to diagnose a patient's dental problems. Dentists also perform regular check-ups on patients and carry out procedures like extracting teeth, fillings and fitting bridges and dentures. They give local anaesthetics and take X-rays. They also might refer their patients to a dental therapist or dental hygienist based on their needs.

To become a dentist, you would need to complete a five-year degree in dentistry that is approved by the General Dental Council, after which you complete up to two years of training. Sometimes, you could take a four-year course, if you already have a degree in a related field like biomedical sciences, biology or chemistry.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

Related: How to become a certified herbalist: a step-by-step guide

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