Natural Healing Practitioner Career Info

Find out what a natural healing practitioner does. See what kind of education and training this job calls for, and learn about the job prospects to decide if this is the right career for you.

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Career Definition for a Natural Healing Practitioner

Natural healing practitioners practice what is broadly referred to as natural medicine (sometimes called alternative medicine). There are various specialties within natural medicine, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, massage therapy, reflexology, aromatherapy, and many others. Natural healing practitioners' duties include evaluating patients, diagnosing illnesses and diseases, discussing treatment options, providing treatment, and other duties as needed.

Massage Therapist Acupuncturist Chiropractor Naturopathic Physician
Education High school diploma or training program Master's or doctoral degree Doctoral degree Doctoral degree
Job Skills Attentiveness Business skills Empathy Communication, able to discuss treatment options
Median Salary (2015) $38,040 $74,710 $64,440 $74,710
Job Growth (2014-2024) 22% 9-13 17% 9-13%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net Online

Required Education

The educational and licensing requirements to become a natural healing practitioner will vary by your chosen specialty and state of residence. You may be able to practice massage therapy or with a high school diploma and the completion of a one- or two-year training program. However, becoming an acupuncturist, homeopathic medicine practitioner, or naturopathic medicine practitioner may require a four-year bachelor's degree and a professional, master's, or naturopathic medicine degree; you should find the certifying or licensing association that governs your specialty for more information. Common coursework to become a natural healing practitioner includes herbal and naturopathic medicine, anatomy, physiology, and botany.

Skills Required

Natural healing practitioners, though they do not have a medical degree, are responsible for caring for and treating patients; they should be attentive, empathetic, and able to effectively discuss treatment options with their patients. Because many natural healing practitioners own their own practices, a thorough understanding of business and management principles will also be helpful.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The employment outlook for health care, which is the wider field that includes natural medicine, is good; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment growth of about 12% for alternative health care practitioners from 2014-2024. Typical earnings for natural healing practitioners will vary by their specialty: according to the BLS, naturopathic physicians and acupuncturists earned a median salary of $74,710 in 2015, chiropractors earned $64,440, and massage therapists earned $38,040.

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