Healthy businesswoman at a desk

How to Become a Health and Wellness Manager

Duties, Responsibilities, Schooling, Requirements, Certifications, Job Outlook, and Salary

Healthy businesswoman at a desk

From private companies to nonprofit charities to government offices, many organizations realize the benefits of implementing health and wellness programs that benefit employees and communities alike. After all, healthier, happier people make better employees, friends, and neighbors! And, of course, any successful health and wellness program will need planning, organization, and oversight from trained experts like health and wellness managers.

If you’re looking for a career where you’ll get to design and implement programs to help people become healthier, becoming a health and wellness manager could be one of the best public health careers for you! Your work will make a positive difference in many areas of people’s lives, from nutrition and fitness to stress reduction and mental health. The opportunity to earn a great living is a nice bonus, too! In fact, we recently featured health & wellness managers on our list of the highest-paying public health jobs in 2021.

This career guide will teach you everything you need to know about becoming a health and wellness manager, including the educational requirements, necessary certifications, and some of the daily responsibilities you can expect while on the job. You may also be pleasantly surprised at how long it takes to become a health and wellness manager—it’s a career that’s achievable in less time than you might think!

Not sure if becoming a health and wellness manager is the right career path for you? Click here to see our full list of the highest paying public health jobs.

Health and Wellness Manager Definition

What is a Health and Wellness Manager?

Health and wellness managers are public-health experts who oversee health and wellness programs designed to benefit a particular group of people. Depending on their specific role and employer, health and wellness managers may focus their efforts on an organization’s employees, people at risk for particular conditions, or the community.

Health and Wellness Manager: Job Description

What Does a Health and Wellness Manager Do?

Health and wellness managers generally take a holistic approach toward helping people become healthier. They may oversee fitness and nutrition initiatives, coordinate on-site flu shot clinics, or provide resources for people who may be struggling with their mental health. In addition to developing and implementing wellness policies and programs, health and wellness managers will also communicate with organizational leadership to track their progress and prioritize initiatives that will make the greatest overall impact.

Health and Wellness Manager Duties

Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of health and wellness managers include:

  • Developing and implementing health and wellness programs
  • Tracking the effectiveness of programs and making changes as necessary
  • Coordinating wellness events like health screenings or flu-shot clinics
  • Advising organizational employees or clients on available health resources
  • Educating employees, clients, or the general public on specific health and wellness topics
  • Managing program budgets and projecting future needs and expenses

Medical professional creating spreadsheets

Health and Wellness Manager Skills

The best health and wellness managers work at the intersection of compassion and organization. You’ll need natural protective instincts and a strong sense of empathy, but you’ll also need to be on top of things when it comes to managing projects, budgets, and people. Health and wellness managers will benefit from polished interpersonal skills, which come in handy when communicating with the people they serve and working with project stakeholders and organizational leadership.

Where Do Health and Wellness Managers Work?

Health and wellness managers can work with all types of organizations in both the public and private sectors. You’ll often find them employed at businesses with large workforces, as well as in places like hospitals, health insurance companies, government offices, and community health organizations. Health and wellness managers tend to work full-time, 40-hour workweeks and spend much of their time in office environments. Occasional travel or fieldwork may be required, mainly if you work for an organization with multiple locations or one that hosts public health events.

Health and Wellness Manager Schooling & Certification

How Long Does It Take to Become a Health and Wellness Manager?

What Degree Do You Need to Be a Health and Wellness Manager?

To build the organizational, leadership, and project-management skills necessary to do their jobs effectively, health and wellness managers must earn at least a bachelor’s degree. While traditional bachelor’s degree programs require a full four years in school, some accelerated degree programs can be completed in just two and a half years. Some colleges offer bachelor’s degree programs focused specifically on health and wellness, which is a fantastic starting point for this career. However, health and wellness managers can also prepare for their career by completing another healthcare-focused bachelor’s degree program, particularly if they plan to pursue a postgraduate degree.

The highest-paid health and wellness managers also frequently earn a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, which often provides more chances to advance into higher-level positions. Many master’s degree programs require another two to three years in school, but just like your bachelor’s degree, you can finish your MPH degree much faster with an accelerated degree program. Some MPH programs can even be completed entirely online in as few as 63 weeks!

Like any other long-term goal, becoming a health and wellness manager can be broken down into a series of smaller steps, which can keep you on track and make the final outcome feel much more attainable.

Healthcare symbols hovering over a laptop and stethoscope

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the education, experience, and certifications you’ll need to become a health and wellness manager:

1. Enroll in a Healthcare-Focused Bachelor’s Degree Program

The first step in your health and wellness manager training is enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program from an accredited college or university. To set yourself up for a career as a health and wellness manager, you may want to consider a Bachelor of Science in Health & Wellness or a B.S. program in an adjacent field like public health or healthcare administration. While earning your bachelor’s degree requires discipline and hard work, it’s a goal that’s achievable for just about anyone willing to put in the effort. For example, to enroll in any of the healthcare bachelor’s degree programs at Brookline College, all you’ll need is a high school diploma or GED, plus a passing score on a Scholastic Level Exam and a computer literacy exam.

2. Earn Your Bachelor of Science Degree

In order to design and implement effective health and wellness programs, you’ll need to gain a fundamental knowledge of human health and the issues surrounding it and learn how to become a great leader, organizer, and communicator. That means earning a healthcare-focused bachelor’s degree can give you a major head start over other degree programs as you work toward a career as a health and wellness manager.

Like any bachelor’s degree program, you should expect to study a number of general-education subjects like math, literature, statistics, psychology, and communications. There’s a reason these types of classes are required of all bachelor’s degree students—they’ll make you a more well-rounded person and professional and help you discover new interests and talents.

To succeed as a health and wellness manager, you’ll need plenty of contextual knowledge about human health and behavior, as well as how public health programs and initiatives work in the real world. Any bachelor’s degree program with a concentration in healthcare will likely include courses in everything from kinesiology to psychology to courses focused on health education and healthcare administration. Other classes will teach you leadership and management principles and how to use data and statistics in the context of public health issues. All these skills are vital for health and wellness managers, who must develop initiatives to solve health issues and track their outcomes to measure effectiveness and determine any necessary shifts in strategy.

3. Earn Your Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree

While it’s possible to begin working specific entry-level public health jobs with only a bachelor’s degree, earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree can make it much easier to land one of the highest paying jobs for health and wellness managers. An MPH program is where you’ll polish the advanced leadership and communication skills you’ll need to research health problems, develop long-term strategies, and deploy effective wellness initiatives.

Your public health master’s program will build upon your bachelor’s degree with courses like epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as courses that will teach you about environmental and occupational health, clinical effectiveness, and how to analyze and improve health and wellness procedures and policies.

At the end of your MPH program, you’ll need to complete a capstone course where you’ll apply the statistical methods you’ve learned to some aspect of public health. This capstone will demonstrate your ability to analyze the kind of data that health and wellness managers use to measure outcomes and discover where there’s room for improvement moving forward.

Health and Wellness Manager Salary

How Much Do Health and Wellness Managers Make?

Like all the other top public health careers, the salary* range for health and wellness managers tends to be highest for those with the most education and experience. According to, employee health and wellness managers across the country earn an average annual salary* of just over $94,000, which works out to an hourly rate of just over $45. However, health and wellness manager salaries in the top 25% start at over $109,000, and those in the top 10% of earners can reach $123,000 per year or more.

Pile of medical masks

Health and Wellness Manager Job Outlook

What is the Job Outlook for Health and Wellness Managers?

Many more companies and organizations are becoming wise to the undeniable benefits of a healthy, well-cared-for workforce and populace, which means health and wellness managers should have excellent long-term job prospects. While the BLS doesn’t provide detailed job data specifically for health and wellness managers, they do estimate that the overall employment of medical and health services managers (a closely related field) will increase 32% by the year 2030. That’s several times higher than the average 8% growth rate for all jobs across all industries, which is surely good news for anyone considering a career as a health and wellness manager.

Ready to Start Your Career as a Health and Wellness Manager?

If developing health programs to help companies, groups, and communities become healthier sounds like your idea of a dream job, becoming a health and wellness manager could be the public health career you’ve been looking for. It’s a fantastic fit for people who want the opportunity to make a wide-ranging positive impact for the people around them, and it’s also one of the top-paying jobs anywhere in public health!

Ready to begin your journey toward a long and rewarding career as a health and wellness manager? Click here to learn more about the MPH program at Brookline College, and start taking steps to achieve your new career in public health today!