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7 health care jobs perfect for fitness nuts

For a feel-good career, set your sights on mending injuries and restoring well-being.

By Morgan Kastner, Monster contributor


inding a job that combines good
pay and strong growth potential is a
dream come true. Add in the possibility
of helping others, and it’s almost too
good to be true. Or maybe not. Fitness
jobs are popular throughout health care,
which means you can generate a strong
career for yourself.
According to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS), the health care industry is projected to grow a whopping 18
percent through 2026. Using BLS data,
Monster identified seven health care
jobs that are dedicated to helping set
patients on the path to well-being while
offering great job growth and some pretty awesome salaries too.


What you’d do: Athletic trainers
work with professional athletes but also
with non-athletes—from young children to soldiers—to prevent, diagnose
and treat muscle and bone injuries and
illnesses. They also create comprehensive programs for athletes to prevent
injury and illness, and rehabilitation
programs for injured athletes.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is needed, but master’s degrees have
become more common. State requirements vary, but most require athletic
trainers to be licensed or certified.
What you’d make: $46,630 per year


What you’d do: Exercise physiologists develop fitness and exercise
programs to improve cardiovascular
function, body composition and flexibility to help patients recover from
chronic diseases and disorders. They

make individualized fitness regimens
for each patient depending on an individual’s goals and medical history.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in science or health-related courses
is needed. Currently, Louisiana is the
only state that requires exercise physiologists to be licensed.
What you’d make: $49,090 per year


What you’d do: Massage therapists
treat clients by using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues
of the body. With their touch, therapists
relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve
circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation and aid in the general wellness of
What you’d need: Massage therapists typically complete a postsecondary education program of 500 or more
hours of study and experience, although
standards and requirements vary by
state or other jurisdictions. Most states
regulate massage therapy and require
massage therapists to have a license or
What you’d make: $39,990 per year


What you’d do: Occupational therapists treat the injured and disabled to
improve their ability to perform skills
needed for daily living or working. They
evaluate a patient and recommend different exercises, equipment or changes
to a patient’s environment to help them
live a more independent life.
What you’d need: Occupational
therapists must have a master’s degree
and be licensed to practice. In the

Photo provided by Getty Images

degree program, occupational therapists
go through 24 weeks of supervised
fieldwork to gain clinical experience.
What you’d make: $83,200 per year


What you’d do: Physical therapists
work with patients during rehabilitation
from chronic conditions, illnesses or
injuries. A physical therapist assesses
each patient’s needs and develops a plan
consisting of exercise, functional movement training and/or the use of canes,
wheelchairs, etc. The goal is to increase
the patient’s range of mobility.
What you’d need: A Doctor of
Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is required. The program lasts about three
years and students usually need a bachelor’s degree before they enter the DPT
program. All states require that physical
therapists be licensed.

What you’d make: $86,850 per year


What you’d do: Recreational therapists work with people who are disabled,
ill or injured to help improve their
physical, social or emotional well-being.
They develop and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for
patients, often including activities such
as dance, art, sports, aquatics or drama.
For patients with limited mobility, the
recreational therapist may offer lessons
on how to perform tasks by emphasizing
the functional parts of their body.
What you’d need: Recreational
therapists need a bachelor’s degree in
recreational therapy or a related field,
such as recreation and leisure studies.
Most employers require their recreational therapists to be certified.
What you’d make: $47,680 per year


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