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Iridologist: Starting a Career in Iridology

Iridologists need little formal education. Learn about the education options, job duties, and professional certification to see if this is the right career for you.

Iridologists examine the human iris to identify potential health problems. Iridology is an alternative health practice and does not require a degree. Certification programs are available and licensing or registration may be required.

Essential Information

Iridology is a holistic field that involves examining the human iris and sclera to determine whether someone is at risk for health problems; however, it is not a recognized medical field. Read on for more information about starting a career in iridology.

Education No requirement, but degree programs are available
Certification Professional certification available from the Iridology Practitioners Association
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $48,270 (healthcare workers and practitioners otherwise unclassified by the BLS)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Iridologist Job Duties

Those considering careers in iridology should note that iridology is not recognized by the mainstream medical community in the U.S. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed evidence that iridology has no therapeutic value, and most U.S. insurance companies do not cover iridology.

According to the International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA), iridologists conduct close examinations of the human iris, the colored portion of the eye, using tools such as flashlights, magnifying glasses and cameras (www.iridologyassn.org). After taking close-up images of the iris, iridologists examine factors such as eye color, spots and noticeable rings. They also look at the white portion of the eyes, known as the sclera. Iridologists then compare images of the patient's eyes to various charts that indicate correlations between markers on the iris and sclera with potential health conditions.

During consultations with patients, iridologists explain any abnormalities found on the patient's iris or sclera. For example, certain iris colors have been linked to digestive problems or allergies. Iridologists may instruct patients on homeopathic ways of dealing with health problems, such as taking supplements, making dietary changes or increasing physical activity.

Iridologist Education Requirements

There are no standard educational requirements for iridologists. Several institutions offer degree programs in natural or holistic medicine, and some institutions offer certificate or diploma programs in iridology. Coursework related to iridology covers topics such as signs and pigmentation, iris topography, iris analysis, holistic medical practices and client consulting techniques. Some programs may also require students to conduct complete iridology analyses on patients in order to graduate.

Iridologist Licensing and Certification Requirements

Iridology practitioners are not regulated by the government for either the safety or the efficacy of their practice, as most healthcare practitioners are. Since iridology is a form of complementary and alternative medicine, some states may require iridologists to complete licensing or registration procedures. Although each state has different licensing requirements for alternative medicine practitioners, most states require applicants to hold certain degrees and other credentials related to their field of expertise. Obtaining iridology certification from a nationally recognized board, such as the IIPA, may provide workers with the credentials needed for state licensing or registration.

To obtain IIPA certification, applicants must first become members of the organization. Next, applicants must complete certification coursework. After completing courses, applicants will have a 60-day period to examine 20 patients and document each case in accordance with IIPA consultation standards. A review committee examines the documented cases while applicants take additional written and practical exams. Upon passing the exams and meeting all other requirements, applicants are deemed certified.

Iridologists obtain images and analyze the human iris to identify health risks. Iridologists are sometimes able to resolve issues like allergies and digestive problems. Certification programs are available and some states require licensing or registration.


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