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Explore: The global wellness industry

Improve your understanding of the wellness industry and learn how to gain a career in this exciting sector.

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According to the Global Wellness Institute, the “wellness economy” was worth more than \$4 trillion in 2018, which is roughly the GDP of the United Kingdom and Canada put together.

Consumers’ evolving relationship with healthcare is reflected in the growth of a massive international wellness sector. People are prioritising lifestyle more than ever before, taking control of their health and spending money on their wellbeing.

After reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the wellness industry and how to gain a career in this exciting sector.

What is the wellness industry?

The wellness industry encompasses far more than simply the latest fad diet or supplement trending on social media – it’s the pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that contribute to holistic health. Many customers are becoming proactive these days, investing their money in lifestyle-based wellness programmes.

The wellness economy is made up of industries that enable consumers to adopt healthy habits into their day-to-day lives.

From exercise and training to food, nutrition, and aesthetics, wellness spans a wide range of activities and goods. A functional training programme, an exfoliating facial lotion, and a meditation app appear to be very different on the surface. But what do they all have in common? A proactive, consumer-driven approach to health and wellbeing.

How big is the wellness industry? 

As stated above, the global health and wellness industry is valued at around \$4 trillion. Annual growth is around 5-10%. The wellness sector is becoming increasingly crowded, requiring a smart approach to where and how businesses compete.

Personal care, beauty, and anti-ageing products account for most of the wellness industry. As many consumers are prepared to invest more in anti-ageing and beauty products, this sector has a market share of \$1,083 billion.

With a market value of \$52.5 billion, the United States holds the greatest share of the wellness industry. With \$19.9 billion, China comes in second. Australia is ranked third, with a value of \$9.5 billion, followed by the United Kingdom and Germany, with \$9 billion and \$6.4 billion respectively.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the wellness industry?

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, health and wellness are more vital than ever. The pandemic caused seismic changes in the sector.

Increased health awareness pushed wellness spending into overdrive, resulting in a stronger, healthier industry. There has been an increase in demand for wellness products and services that individuals can use from home, with many companies stepping forward to accommodate this. These changes may stay in place long after the pandemic has faded into history.

The fitness industry has reinvented itself; at-home workout platforms are similar to what Netflix and Hulu have done for the entertainment industry. Many of us now work out at home thanks to companies like Peloton. Personal workouts and on-demand streaming classes are more popular than ever.

Many consumers are also creating home gyms; online sales of fitness equipment grew by 55% between January 1 and March 11. Furthermore, several gyms have begun renting or selling their equipment.

Careers in the health and wellness industry

Fitness roles

Personal training is often the first career route that comes to mind when discussing the wellness industry, and it can be a very gratifying, dynamic, and interesting option.

You can work in a gym or another facility as a base for your training programs, or you can work as a freelancer and advertise your skills on a website or social media page.

There are also online opportunities: launch a video course, start a YouTube channel, or write a blog.

It’s recommended that you become certified as a personal trainer through a recognised organisation. It will improve your prospects, provide formal instruction, and help you further your career.

Nutrition roles

As a nutritionist, you’ll be able to work in a variety of environments, including gyms, health centres, spas, hospitals, and more. If you’re interested in how food affects our health and wellness, this could be a great career choice for you.

Nutritionists can help someone recover from an illness, lose weight, attain a fitness goal, or simply teach them how to eat healthier and feel more energised.

You can also establish your business online rather than in a physical location. You can offer consultations via an app or a website, so that you don’t have to limit the number of people who can benefit from your knowledge.

You’ll need to earn a formal qualification in nutrition, but it’ll be a great investment in your wellness career.

Physical therapy roles

Massage treatment is an excellent supplement to any type of physical exercise, whether professional, amateur, or recreational. Many people who don’t exercise regularly and live a sedentary lifestyle also use massage for relaxation.

Working at sports facilities, spas, and wellness centres is a great way to get your foot in the door. You’ll need to take a massage course, but it’ll be far less time-consuming than a personal training or nutrition course.

Traditional medicine and herbalism roles

Herbalists, like nutritionists, must complete an extensive training programme. However, as a herbalist, you may discover that you have easier access to clients due to the popularity of alternative therapies.

This is a good career choice if you like working with plants and taking a holistic approach to health. You can work online or in person, and you can also include cooking courses and recipes in your packages.

Corporate wellness roles

Corporate wellness is becoming increasingly trendy as more companies recognise the value of workplace wellness.

This trend provides a fantastic opportunity for ambitious wellness enthusiasts to start a business that has a great chance of success.

A workshop, a course, or a weekly coaching session can all be used to promote corporate health. You can specialise in anything from physical activity to nutrition or mental wellness.

You’ll need some experience and a track record, as well as the ability to work in a corporate setting.

How do salaries compare?

The wellness industry, like any other, has a wide range of salaries. The overall compensation is affected by your job role, amount of experience, the country you work in, and even the type of company you work for. Let’s look at the average annual wage rates for wellness-related positions.

(Data obtained from salary websites including GlassDoor, and Payscale).

Role UK US Australia Canada
Massage therapist £43,622 $54,260 AU$55,000 CA$85,000
Yoga teacher £25,550 $51,028 AU$84,600 CA$70,288
Personal Trainer £28,757 $49,156 AU$68,848 CA$52,814
Dietician £37,235 $43,936 AU$63,183 CA$47,419
Corporate wellness coach £28,823 $51,230 AU$86,500 CA$60,798

What skills do I need to enter the industry?

The wellness industry includes many different disciplines, so it might be difficult to define exactly what skills you’ll need. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ skillset. Your chosen path will most clearly define what you’ll need to focus on, but there are a few skills that will be useful in every situation.

Hard skills

Hard skills are teachable qualities that are easily defined and quantified. There are a few specific hard skills that can help you advance in the wellness sector.

For starters, you’ll need good business and marketing skills. While some wellness professionals opt to work for organisations such as hospitals, corporations, schools, and wellness centres, many prefer to work for themselves. Strong business and marketing skills will help you promote yourself and gain potential clients no matter which path you choose. Look for a training programme that teaches business and marketing fundamentals so that you start off on the right foot.

You may also want to take a specific course in your chosen field – for example, nutritional science, sports science, or traditional medicine.

Soft skills

Having the necessary hard skills is one aspect of the job – but, in any profession in the wellness sector, showcasing what you’ve gained through experience is a must. This is where soft skills come in.

It’s critical to bring empathy to every session as you support your client on their wellness journey. Remember that the reason your clients hired you is because they felt that they could not do it alone. They may go through periods where they feel discouraged and want to give up. At other times, they may feel pleased with their achievements and as if they can take on the world. As a wellness professional, your job is to be a helpful, enthusiastic partner in the good times and the bad. Be pleasant, present, approachable, and caring.

Holistic thinking, often known as big picture thinking, is another important skill to have while working with clients. An effective wellness sector professional recognises that a client’s perspective and behaviours are influenced by a variety of interconnected elements. They look at every aspect of a client’s life, from health to relationships to work and beyond, to see how certain behaviours and beliefs are preventing them from achieving their goals.

Why choose a career in wellness?

There are lots of reasons why you may wish to pursue a career in wellness. These will vary from person to person – however, the following are some of the most common:

  • A growing industry. With the expansion of the wellness industry has come an explosion of job opportunities in a diverse range of companies. The wellness industry isn’t going anywhere, so you’ll have long-term job options.
  • Endless opportunities. Although the wellness industry has developed and many start-ups have grown into larger organisations, we continue to see a steady stream of new start-ups emerge. This not only ensures the industry’s continuous expansion, but also guarantees a wide range of companies to work for.
  • A rewarding career. Because of the industry’s growth and professionalism, you can work for a firm and/or in a role that truly fulfils you while also getting paid what you deserve. This is the ultimate in long-term career fulfilment.
  • Flexibility. Many wellness professions allow you to work part-time, with fewer hours, or at different times depending on how you work best. Some even allow you to work from home.

How to get into the wellness industry 

The health and wellness industry, like many others, does not have a single path to success. Depending on what you want to accomplish and which role you want to pursue, you can think about how to get started in a wellness career. Some jobs don’t require any training at all, or you can learn on the job – while others will demand official certification.


With some formal education, whether it’s a short course or a longer, in-depth study choice for your chosen career, you’ll stand out to employers and prospective clients. There is an almost limitless number of practical and theoretical courses to choose from.


To advance in a wellness career, you may need to learn on the job as a trainee or assistant. For example, you could begin as a yoga teacher’s, or massage therapist’s, assistant.


If you’re self-employed, accumulating expertise will allow you to gradually increase your rates and earn more money. If you work for a company, your experience may eventually lead to a management role.


Once you’re in the wellness industry, you’re in; you can go from job to job with relative ease, gaining new clients through existing clients’ friends and relatives. Making a name for yourself in the wellness industry can be beneficial, but you won’t be able to do so unless you know how to network.

Final thoughts

The wellness industry isn’t going anywhere, and today’s health-conscious trends make this the perfect time to get started. Take the first step with FutureLearn’s range of courses on health and wellness, and launch your new career today.


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