Naturopathic medicine is the practice of using natural substances in order to heal medical ailments. A naturopathy professional hopes to promote a healthy lifestyle through the use of these natural treatments. In order to become a naturopathy professional, one must earn a doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine and earn a license depending on what state they are employed in.
A naturopathy professional, also known as a naturopath, is a healthcare professional who specializes in using natural treatments and methods to promote healthy living and a healthy body. According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), the philosophies of naturopathy include a belief in the body's ability 'to heal itself' as well as a medical approach that minimizes the use of invasive and toxic treatments (www.aanmc.org). Education requirements and career options vary according to state healthcare licensing laws, but those who plan on working as naturopathic physicians often need a doctoral degree and state licensure.
|Required Education||Doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine|
|Other Requirements||Licensure required in some states|
|Average Salary (2019)||$72,009*|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||11% for health diagnosing and treating practitioners**|
Source: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Education Overview for Naturopathy Professionals
Naturopathy School Prerequisites
According to the AANMC, students who plan to attend a naturopathic college to earn a doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine should complete a curriculum that includes coursework in biology and organic chemistry. Other recommended courses include physiology, psychology and botany.
The AANMC accredits five schools of naturopathic medicine in the U.S. The Doctor of Naturopathy or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) programs at these schools require students to complete coursework in anatomy and physiology. Students must also complete supervised clinical rotations. Alternative healing modalities that may be studied in a naturopathy curriculum include:
By studying these subjects, students are able to gain more information that can help them improve their understanding of this alternative medical field. These students are also able to learn techniques that they can use to help their patients who prefer holistic medical strategies.
Licensing of Naturopathy Professionals
State laws regarding the licensing of naturopathy professionals vary widely. In some states, such as Tennessee and South Carolina, the practice of naturopathy is outlawed. In other states, individuals must be licensed to practice naturopathy, with various restrictions on the scope of practice of a naturopathic physician. Licensing requires the completion of a state-approved educational program and a passing score on the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
While job growth info is extremely difficult to find for these professionals, PayScale.com reported in September 2019 that naturopathic doctors' average salary was $72,009. Most of these professionals earned between $39,000 and $127,000.
Naturopathic doctor's need to go through extensive schooling, as well as experiential learning opportunities via on-the-job training before they are ready to practice on their own. In addition to the formal prerequisites, naturopathy professionals must be sympathetic, problem solvers with an encyclopedic knowledge when it comes to home remedies.