Naturopathic medicine takes a holistic approach to wellness, focusing on the body's innate healing ability. Through naturopathy training, practitioners learn the same basic sciences as medical doctors as well as the key principles of naturopathic medicine, including non-toxic therapies, whole-person treatment strategies and proactive healing practices that help patients achieve greater wellness.
Today's natural health and alternative medicine marketplace creates opportunity for naturopathic medicine practitioners and businesses. Learn more about this fascinating profession by reading the naturopathy training and career information below.
When they first meet with patients, naturopathic doctors (NDs) will spend significant time gathering information from patients on their health history, current conditions, genetic, environmental, spiritual and social makeup. Taking all of these health factors into consideration, the ND will devise a customized treatment strategy based on principles of naturopathy training.
Treatment plans might include homeopathic remedies, herbs, nutrition counseling and even psychological counseling to help clients overcome mental health issues preventing them from achieving wellness.
Learn about careers in homeopathy.
Training and Education
What You'll Study in Naturopathic Medicine School
Naturopathy training classes will vary slightly from school to school. In general, though, you can expect course work at naturopathic schools to include the following:
- Naturopathic theory and philosophy
- Anatomy and organ systems
- Research and statistics
- Botanical Medicine
- Therapeutic manipulation
- Clinical nutrition
- Clinical practicum
Average Length of Study
Training at naturopathic schools involves four years of graduate-level study and requires that students hold at least a four-year bachelor's degree to apply. When you complete your naturopathy training, you will earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree (ND) and will be eligible for state licensure.
Tuition for naturopathy training is approximately $25,000 per year for full-time enrollment. Naturopathic schools typically offer financial aid, scholarships and other assistance to help students cover tuition costs.
Naturopathic Medicine Certification
Earning board certification as a naturopathic doctor demonstrates that you meet the highest levels of proficiency and competency in your profession. You can earn Doctor Licensure through the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE), which requires candidates to graduate from an accredited naturopathic medical school and pass rigorous national board exams.
Approximately one-third of all states currently regulate naturopathic practice, and each year, more states are developing legislation that enables their ND's to become licensed.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, alternative medicine careers, including naturopathic medicine, can anticipate nearly a 42 percent increase in employment through 2022. The public's ever-increasing demand for preventive care that reduces the risks of contracting diseases or chronic illnesses is one of the main catalysts for the projected job growth in the alternative medicine profession.
Naturopathic Medicine Salary
Naturopathic doctors can earn between $80,000 and $90,000 a year, according to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. Factors such as experience, location and employer type have the most impact on naturopathic salaries. Self-employed naturopathic doctors typically earn the highest salaries followed by those who work in private practice for a firm.
Is a Naturopathic Medicine Career Right for You?
A career in naturopathic medicine requires a significant investment of time and money to complete the advanced naturopathy training and hands-on practice required to enter the profession. Exceptional analytical skills, a high level of compassion working with patients of all ages and backgrounds, and a long-term interest in contributing to the growth of naturopathic medicine are also essential to the job.
If you are interested in a naturopathic medicine career, take a closer look at naturopathic schools. Then choose the naturopathy training program that meets your personal and professional needs.