Healthcare & Wellness

Do you have an interest in clinical fields such as medicine, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, or athletic training to help individuals rehabilitate from disease or injury? Are you interested in assisting clients with exercise programs, nutritional guidance, or behavior change to enhance wellness? If so, the Healthcare & Wellness Career Community will provide you with opportunities to learn about career options.

 Explore Your Options 

Career paths are available in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, school systems, public and private fitness centers, and wellness divisions within corporations.


Key Skills

Strong background in biological and social sciences, communication and interpersonal skills, clinical experience, technical ability, critical thinking, research experience, and intercultural fluency.


Common Majors


Explore Options

  • I want to lead, teach, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise settings.
    Consider becoming a fitness instructor & personal trainer. Various settings include commercial fitness centers, corporate wellness programs, community-based centers, hospital-based fitness centers, strength & conditioning programs, and military wellness and recreation programs. They may work with people of all ages and skill levels. Several specialty certifications are available for fitness instructors. Educational level may vary but a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is recommended.
  • I’m interested in helping injured people improve their movement and manage their pain.
    Consider becoming a physical therapists. Physical therapists often work as part of a team of clinicians in the rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries. Physical therapy requires completion of a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree after completing a series of prerequisite courses as part of a bachelor’s degree. Entry level jobs are available as PT aides or PT assistants with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees.
  • I want to treat patients with illness, injury, or disability to help them regain activities of daily living. 
    Consider becoming a occupational therapist. They help individuals to develop, recover, and improve these activities.  Occupational therapists often work in clinics, hospitals, schools, senior care centers, and home health services. A graduate degree is required to become an occupational therapist after a bachelor’s degree has been completed.
  • I want to specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses. 
    Consider becoming an athletic trainer. Many athletic trainers work in educational settings, such as colleges, universities, and secondary schools. Others work in hospitals, clinics, and with professional sports teams. A graduate degree is now required to become certified as an athletic trainer. Certification is also required after extensive hands-on clinical training.
  • I want to specialize in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage health conditions. 
    Consider becoming a dietitian and nutritionist. They provide individuals with guidance on what to eat to meet their health-related goals. Dietitians must have a bachelor’s degree, along with the completion of an extensive internship in order to become a registered dietitian.
  • I want to provide recreation-based treatment programs for individuals with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses.
    Consider becoming a recreational therapist. They may work indoors or outdoors and in settings that may include hospitals, nursing homes, or park-like settings. A number of modalities may be used such as art, aquatics, horseback riding, and dance. Recreation Therapy requires a bachelor’s degree and certification.
  • I’m interested in developing fitness and exercise programs that help patients recover from chronic diseases and improve cardiovascular function.
    Consider becoming an exercise physiologist. Some exercise physiologists are self-employed while others work for hospitals and healthcare providers to monitor exercise during rehabilitation programs. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree plus certification is recommended for entry-level employment. Some may go on to earn advanced degrees aimed at clinical or human performance research.

Source
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/, visited June 2020.

The outcomes on this page are filtered to common majors found within this specific career community. For a full view of outcomes across all programs and degrees in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, explore the Outcomes page.

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Career Resources

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The Medical Anthropology minor provides a cross-cultural and evolutionary/historical perspective on health; methods training that includes ethnographic, statistical, and laboratory…

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