Salary and Job Outlook for a Naturopathic Doctor

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a naturopathic doctor. Get a quick view of the degree program requirements, job description and career options to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Naturopathic doctors are primary care physicians who are trained in modalities of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). They practice in public and private clinics and may also work in education and research. Naturopathic doctors have seen a rise in job opportunities over the past decade.

Required Education (Physicians and Surgeons) 4-year undergraduate degree and a professional medical degree (e.g., Doctor of Medicine), along with educational training in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)
Projected Job Growth (Physicians and Surgeons) 18% from 2012-2022*
Mean Annual Salary (May, 2013) (Physicians and Surgeons) $187,200*

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Naturopathic Doctor Salary Information

The website of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, (AANMC) stated that, after establishing themselves for some years, naturopathic doctors earned average net incomes of approximately $120,000 a year (www.aanmc.org), but also indicated that many naturopaths are self-employed rather than salaried. Payscale.com indicated that the median salary for naturopathic physicians as of September 2014 was $58,958.

Job Description

The goal of a naturopathic doctor is to gain a complete understanding of a patient's history and lifestyle to treat the whole person. The path to healing is based on a blend of modern diagnosing, and alternative and traditional methods of healing. Naturopathic doctors use forms of treatment, such as exercise, nutrition and herbal supplements. Many times naturopathic doctors work in collaboration with allopathic or traditional doctors to come up with a course of healing for a patient.

Naturopathic Doctor Job Outlook

The AANMC showed a positive outlook, and reported that employment of physicians would grow faster than average through 2014. Additionally, employment for physicians and surgeons was expected to increase by 18% from 2012-2022, based on BLS predictions.

Career Options

It's common for naturopathic doctors to start a private practice or partner with other complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, and naturopathic doctors increasingly work in integrative medicine departments at hospitals and clinics. AANMC also pointed out that naturopathic doctors work in public health, research and development, wellness education and natural pharmacy.

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