Alternative Medicine Practitioner Salary
Your salary will depend on the specific alternative medicine job you choose to work in. Find out your earning potential.
How much can alternative medicine practitioners make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) latest salary updates, health diagnosing and treating practitioners earn a median annual salary of $74,530.
According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), naturopathic doctors (NDs) working in large practices earn between $80,000 and $90,000 per year.
Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. Plus, as you gain more years of experience, you’ll be able to demand a higher salary.
NDs have a strong earning potential since their salaries are often based on the business they generate. If you’re planning to run your own practice, you’ll need to spend time networking and marketing yourself in the community where your practice is located.
NDs just starting out who and building a client base or have an early residency position may earn between $20,000 and $30,000 per year, according to the AANMC.
But the chance to earn more is certainly there. Naturopathic doctors who have worked at building a reputable practice have been known to earn upwards of $200,000 per year.
How do alternative medicine salaries compare?
|Natural Health Career||Median Annual Salary*|
|Dietitians and Nutritionists||$58,920|
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Is there demand for this career?
Alternative medicine careers have skyrocketed in the last decade and continue to remain popular among patients uncomfortable with Western medicine. In fact, American patients have increased their spending on alternative medicine products by 26 percent over the last decade.
If you’re particularly interested in reaching those who need the most treatment, some of the biggest demand exists in in lower-income areas in both cities and rural areas.
Is this a growing field?
Alternative medicine has become a welcome form of treatment for many Americans. Because of this demand, above average job growth is expected for alternative medicine careers like chiropractic and nutrition, according to the BLS.
The surge in holistic healing methods occurred in recent years because more patients were looking for less expensive and non-invasive treatment options. The AANMC says the number of adult visits to ND practitioners rose 46 percent over a five-year period.
As the push for natural treatments and products continue, now has never been a better time to start a career in alternative medicine.
How much competition will I face for a job?
According to the AANMC, the amount of NDs practicing in the U.S. has tripled over the last decade. While there are approximately 3,500 NDs working, there is also a growing interest from patients, therefore competition will depend on factors unique to your situation and location.
If you plan to run a private practice, consider the area where you’ll be located. Are there many alternative medicine practitioners in the community or will you be providing a solution to a demand? Networking and marketing yourself is one of the best ways to get your name out there and build a base of clients.
One way to stand out from the competition is being flexible. Accommodating more patients may mean working irregular hours. If you’re willing to commit to some evening and weekend hours, you may offer something another practitioner doesn’t.
What kinds of institutions hire alternative medicine practitioners?
Whether holistic health, hypnotherapy or homeopathy interests you, alternative medicine practitioners can find careers in natural medicine clinics, hospitals and wellness centers.
Additionally, natural pharmacies, research labs, corporate offices and insurance companies do plenty of hiring. Alternative medicine schools also hire practitioners to work as instructors.
How do I advance in my alternative medicine career?
Advancement in your career will depend on which area of alternative medicine you choose. Often, furthering your education will help garner better jobs and salaries.
For example, if you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in general alternative medicine, consider enrolling in a master’s program and learn a specialty. If you’re interested in becoming an ND, or even an MD, adding a treatment like hypnotherapy to your services can help you further your career.
If you’ve earned the highest degree possible for your area of expertise, stay up to date with continuing education courses. They will teach you the latest skills and practices relevant to your line of work.