Health and wellness job market to surge in coming years

Chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy see especially high growth

Page Menu

Request information

Are you looking for a fulfilling career that offers the opportunity to do well by doing good?

The health and wellness field is BOOMING with meaningful jobs with good pay, flexible schedules and a career that gives you the daily satisfaction of knowing you’re helping others feel their best.

Healthy jobs, healthy growth

The U.S. Department of Labor projects healthcare employment to grow by 19% from 2014 to 2024, nearly three times faster than the national average for all jobs. That’s 2.3 million new positions! Plus, NINE of the top ten jobs on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “The 100 Best Jobs” are focused on health and wellness.

With healthcare costs increasing, complementary and integrative forms of medicine are surging in popularity. In addition, many patients prefer natural and integrative care to surgery and prescription drugs—they see value in treatment that considers the whole person.

Let’s look at three health and wellness jobs that are projected to be in particularly high demand for the next eight years.

1. Chiropractor

Overview

Millions of Americans are discovering that simple and regular spinal adjustments can dramatically improve their comfort and quality of life. Members of the aging baby-boom generation in particular are living longer, more active lives. As many start to develop neuromusculoskeletal and joint problems, they are turning to chiropractors for relief.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60% of chiropractic patients have health plans that cover treatments, and more people are insured now than ever. That means referrals. Lots of them. Which helps explain why chiropractors have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at a scant 0.1% (MarketWatch).

Job market outlook

Chiropractors: 17% growth

National average, all jobs: 7% growth

(U.S. Department of Labor)

Salary

Median: $139,897

Top 10%: $241,068

(Salary.com)

By the numbers

-          Four in five people experience low back pain

-          U.S. chiropractors receive 190 million patient visits every year

-          More than 40% of all chiropractors own their own practice

(Association of Chiropractic Colleges)

Thoughts from a pro

“Sometimes I ask my patients, ‘Do you want to be healthy, or just not sick? Do you want to feel good, or just not bad?’ It’s leading toward the positive, then you guide them step by step.”—Dr. Juneau Robbins, graduate and owner of Cultural Chiropractic

Explore health and wellness degree and certificates programs from Northwestern Health Sciences University.

 

2. Acupuncturist

Overview

It’s amazing to think that a 5,000-year-old practice is the fastest-growing field in medicine (World Health Organization). But an increasing body of research shows that Chinese medicine helps alleviate common ailments such as migraines, allergies, arthritis, asthma, digestive disorders, insomnia, respiratory problems, various forms of pain, even infertility—without pricey artificial drugs or side effects.

Acupuncturists instead rely on natural remedies such as plants, minerals and human touch, believing the key to freeing patients from disease is harmonizing with nature rather than conquering it.

Job market outlook

Acupuncturists: 12% growth

National average, all jobs: 7% growth

(U.S. Department of Labor, healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other)

Salary

Median: $74,710

Top 10%: $135,950

(U.S. Department of Labor)

By the numbers

-          Acupuncture is shown to help alleviate 128 common ailments (WHO)

-          Acupuncturists typically charge between $65 and $120 per session (The New York Times)

-          The use of acupuncture among U.S. adults rose 36% from 2002 to 2012 (CDC)

Thoughts from a pro

“When people see what a simple herbal formula can do and they get relief after years of other treatments, it really validates what we do.”—Chris Volesky, graduate and practitioner at Northeast Internal and Integrative Medicine

Explore health and wellness degree and certificates programs from Northwestern Health Sciences University.

3. Massage Therapist

Overview

The best part of working in this fast-growing and flexible field has to be the variety. Practitioners can learn more than 80 different types of massage treatments such as deep-tissue, acupressure, reflexology, orthopedic, Swedish and shiatsu. There’s a massage art to ease anyone’s pain, from athletes to the elderly, pregnant women to cancer patients, and manual laborers to desk jockeys.

Sure, massage relieves the stress we carry in our shoulders, but it’s also commonly used to alleviate osteoarthritis, post-operative pain, carpal tunnel, high blood pressure, headaches, fibromyalgia, immune deficiencies and alcohol withdrawal. Keep in mind, many of those spas and fitness centers you see popping up on every street corner are looking for good massage therapists—the same goes for hospitals, retirement homes, sports teams, massage franchises, hotels, and cruise ships. Or, you can be your own boss!

Job market outlook

Massage Therapists: 22% growth

National average, all jobs: 7% growth

(U.S. Department of Labor)

Salary

Median: $38,040

Top 10%: $74,860

(U.S. Department of Labor)

By the numbers

-          39.1 million U.S. adults receive massage services every year (American Massage Therapy Association)

-          Massage therapists charge an average of $68 for a one-hour session (American Massage Therapy Association)

-          Massage therapy was a $12.1 billion industry in the U.S. in 2015 (IBIS World Industry Report)

Thoughts from a pro

“Clients will ask me how I knew that it hurt there. It’s the anatomical knowledge that I acquired. There is a science to it, not just a feeling.”—Kelli Quist, graduate and former Minnesota Twins massage therapist

Explore health and wellness degree and certificates programs from Northwestern Health Sciences University.

Other growing healthcare fields

Dentist

Median Salary: $158,310

Top 10%: $187,200

Projected Growth: 18%

Registered Nurse

Median Salary: $67,490

Top 10%: $101,630

Projected Growth: 16%

Physician’s Assistant

Median Salary: $98,180

Top 10%: $139,540

Projected Growth: 30%

Physical Therapist

Median Salary: $84,020

Top 10%: $119,790

Projected Growth: 34%

Medical Lab Technician

Median Salary: $60,520

Top 10%: $84,300

Projected Growth: 16%

(U.S. Department of Labor)

Nutritionists and Dieticians

Median Salary: $57,910

Top 10%: $80,950  

Projected Growth:

Dietitians: 16%

(U.S. Department of Labor)


Are you considering an exciting and fulfilling career in natural medicine? Northwestern Health Sciences University is a great place to start. Explore our programs today!

 

Back to Top