Certificate programs in natural health may be overviews that are geared towards those starting a career in the field. Other certifications are for practitioners who want to become versed in a specific natural health practice, such as massage, reflexology or herbology. Distance learning options are also available. Programs, including distance options, can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 years to complete. Most programs do not have prerequisites and generally only require the student to submit an application.
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Certificate in Natural Health
Students enrolled in a natural health practitioner certification program will engage in a blend of hands-on sessions and classroom lectures designed to teach an awareness of the human body and recommended treatments. Courses often cover:
- Principles of bodywork
- Introduction to herbs
- Human physiology
- Relaxation techniques
Popular Career Options
Natural health practitioners work in a number of areas, including social services, nursing, research, teaching and special interest organizations. Career options in this field include life coach, herbalist, nutrition adviser, and natural health instructor.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has no statistics specific to natural health practitioners, the BLS does predict that jobs for nutritionists and dietitians, in general, will continue to become available at a faster-than-average growth rate of 16% from 2014-2024. The median yearly salary for nutritionists as of May 2015 was $57,910. The BLS projected a 17% job growth from 2014-2024 for health diagnosing and treating practitioners in general. As of May 2015, the BLS reported that health diagnosing and treating practitioners earned a median annual salary of $74,710 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Certification
Some certificate programs allow students to enroll in additional classes to pursue an associate degree or pursue advanced courses in areas such as massage, reflexology, and hypnosis. Students may also consider professional certification in a natural health area, which is offered through organizations such as the National Association of Certified Natural Health Professionals or American Holistic Medical Association.
Applicants can demonstrate a current knowledge of developments in the natural health field by participating in coursework or passing a competency exam. Some organizations do not require prerequisites, while others require a degree in medicine or demonstration of an advanced knowledge of natural health principles.
Students who are just entering into the field of natural healthcare may enroll in certificate programs that will teach them about bodywork, herbology, and other naturopathic topics. Recipients of certificates in natural healthcare or current natural practitioners may also consider obtaining professional certification.