Online Aromatherapy Degree Program Overviews

While degree programs in holistic health or massage therapy incorporate aromatherapy as part of their curricula, students can focus solely on aromatherapy through accredited certificate programs. Online options are available and are considered a starting point for a career as an aromatherapist.

Essential Information

Online aromatherapy degree programs are not available, although certificate programs in this field can be completed through distance learning. Some programs may be completed 100% through an online learning format, but others are offered in a hybrid format and require some on-campus attendance. These programs are typically offered through specialty schools that focus on holistic and alternative healing methods.

Aromatherapy programs may be offered at different levels, and some online programs may prepare graduates to take the Aromatherapy Registration Council examination. Students who would like to earn professional credentials should check with their school to see if an online program can provide proper preparation.

Online Certificate Programs in Aromatherapy Overview

Aromatherapy, a branch of holistic medicine, uses essential oils to heal a person's mind, body and spirit and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Aromatherapists work with patients to promote optimal physical and emotional balance and well being using natural essential oils. As students, they learn about the history of essential oil use in alternative medicine. Their instructors also demonstrate the proper ways to handle essential oils, tailor therapy treatments for clients and obtain client referrals. Individuals learning about aromatherapy often study other fields of alternative medicine or beauty services, such as general health and nutrition, reflexology and massage therapy.

Program Information and Requirements

Special institutes not typically associated with colleges or universities offer certificate programs in aromatherapy, which usually consist of around 100-170 hours. Students may take 1-2 years to complete the requirements. While some certificate programs use a hybrid format, others have all of their classes online. Students receive online login information so they can receive and submit course materials over the Internet. Some programs provide new students with an orientation to familiarize them with the online format.

Distance-learning students need access to a computer with high-speed Internet. Instructors deliver lectures online and combine the pre-recorded instruction with texts, webinars, homework and projects to give students a comprehensive learning experience.

List of Courses in Aromatherapy

In addition to teaching students about the use and benefits of essential oils, some certificate programs in aromatherapy cover human anatomy and physiology. They might discuss certain systems of the body, such as skeletal, muscular, nervous, digestive and circulatory systems.

Aromatherapy Introduction Course

This course introduces students to the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy and its modern practice. Topics covered include the basic administration and therapeutic uses of essential oils.

Aromatherapy History Course

Students receive a comprehensive briefing in the origin, history and contemporary practice of aromatherapy. This course prepares students for careers as aromatherapists by introducing them to good client practices, such as constructing and implementing personalized remedies, conducting client interviews, taking heath histories, assessing energies and asking for referrals.

Essential Oil Use Course

Instructors explain the uses of certain essential oils in-depth in this hands-on course. Students study the oils' therapeutic benefits, application methods, active ingredients and handling practices. They learn how to extract, distill and utilize essential plant oils to mix their own oils and create personal scents.

Career Information

Aromatherapists find work in hotels, spas, resorts, cruise ships, healing centers and health stores. Some professionals operate their own private practices. The career offers an extremely flexible schedule with opportunities in virtually every state. According to, in 2007 aromatherapists could expect to earn $15,000-$45,000 per year. The salary range depended on whether or not aromatherapy was supplementary to another profession, such as massage therapy.

Continuing Education

Licensing and certification requirements aren't currently in place for practicing aromatherapists, but professionals may choose to earn a voluntary certification through such organizations as the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Although a certificate program in aromatherapy is considered a terminal level, individuals who study aromatherapy are often interested in other fields of alternative medicine and nutrition. Students may pursue such options as an associate's degree in massage therapy or a bachelor's degree in holistic health.

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