Professional Hypnotist: Job Info & Requirements

Learn about the different roles a professional hypnotist can perform. See what kind of education and training is usually required, and get the career prospects for professional hypnotists to see if this job is right for you.

Career Definition of a Professional Hypnotist

Professional hypnotists work with clients who want to modify unwanted behaviors, reduce stresses, or eliminate pain or phobias. Hypnosis induces a state of inner concentration, allowing the clients to focus their attention on specific therapeutic goals. Medical uses include management of pain and nausea as well as treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, and hypertension. Conditions treated by hypnosis in psychotherapy include addiction (including smoking), stress, depression, athletic performance, weight control, sexual dysfunction, and sleep disorders. Hypnotists may also work as stage performers for entertainment purposes.

Education Health professionals typically spend 200-300 hours training
Job Skills Medical background for clinical hypnosis, or experience in dramatic arts for entertaining
Median Salary (2017)* $73,830 (for health practitioners including hypnotists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 13% increase (for health practitioners including hypnotists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Training programs in hypnosis vary widely: a hypnotist may receive 'certification' after a weekend seminar, but professional hypnotists typically spend 200-300 hours training, or complete 20-30 semester hours of coursework in accredited programs. Health care professionals who complete hypnosis training as part of 6-9 years of medical coursework can apply the principles of hypnotism to psychotherapy, behavioral medicine, and dentistry. Few U.S. states certify hypnotists, and the agencies that offer certification vary in requirements and reputability.

Skills Needed

Clinical hypnotists need a medical background to diagnose problems and determine appropriate therapies. Stage hypnotists would benefit from training or experience in the dramatic arts.

Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), job prospects for health diagnosing and treating practitioners who aren't listed separately - a category that includes clinical hypnotists - are expected to rise 13% from 2016-2026. These health practitioners as a group earned a median annual salary of $73,830 in May 2017. Stage hypnotists, counted along with other entertainers and performers by BLS, could expect job growth of 8% from 2016-2026, and they earned a median wage of $17.09 per hour in 2017.

Alternate Career Options

Other potential career options in this field include:

Massage Therapist

A massage therapist can provide relief from stress or physical discomfort through hands-on manipulation of muscles. They may work in settings like spas, doctors' offices or gyms, or in private practice. Massage therapists often need to meet state licensing or certification requirements, which vary by state; completion of a postsecondary education program is common, where students learn about anatomy, physiology, and massage techniques. The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) and the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCETMB) are two common exams that massage therapists might be required to take by their state. The BLS reports that massage therapists can expect employment growth of 26% from 2016-2026, and that massage therapists earned a median salary of $39,990 in 2017.

Actor

Those with a flair for the dramatic may also be interested in becoming an actor. As an alternative to a stage hypnotist, an actor is one who takes on the actions and personality of another to tell a story according to a script. Actors can work as characters in a film, stage or television productions, as well as at theme parks or other venues. A postsecondary education isn't required to become an actor, but college degrees in theater or dramatic arts are available; actors may complete a degree program or take classes in acting and related film or theater topics. Previous experience in community or school theater productions can be useful in gaining acting jobs. The BLS reports that actors can expect job growth of 12% from 2016-2026. Actors earned a median hourly wage of $17.49 in 2017, according to the BLS.


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