5 Reasons to Get a Natural Health Degree

Get Insight into Alternative Medicine’s Wellness Boom

towels oils stones candles in natural health spa

Body, mind and spirit—alternative medicine professionals view all three aspects as vital to our health. When individuals achieve balance in the three, they can reach a higher level of wellness for life.

With a natural health degree, you could join a profession that guides individuals toward dramatic health improvement and health awareness. The industry offers an extensive list of fields, including:

If you aspire to a career where you exercise the skills and expertise to change people’s lives for the better, a natural health degree may be right for you. Ahead are just a few reasons to consider this field.

1. You’ll Help People Feel Good

Holistic health providers teach patients the habits and healthy practices to sustain optimal health and prevent illness. There are also many practitioners who educate communities about the symbiotic relationship between a person’s health and well-being—the idea that a lifelong commitment of health awareness and positive choices directly affects quality of life.

Offering long-term, individualized care, alternative medicine specialists not only treat chronic pain and other conditions, but also support patients in maintaining healthiness through natural methods. These methods might include homeopathic remedies, dietary programs, exercise routines or touch therapy.

2. You’ll Join a Thriving Natural Health Industry

Individuals with natural health degrees can anticipate exceptional job prospects over the next several years. In their 2017 market research reports, statistics and analysis presentation, Reportlinker.com states that the global alternative medicine industry is expected to reach close to $196.87 billion by 2025.

With more Americans pursuing alternative healing methods or an integrated medicine approach, holistic health providers will remain in high demand and in excellent positions to grow thriving practices.

3. You’ll Get Workplace Flexibility

Combine the skills you gain through a degree in alternative medicine with some business savvy, and you possess the tools to build your own private practice. In this arena, you can choose to work out of your home or in an office setting where you set the policies, make the hiring decisions and determine the schedule.

Alternatively, you can pursue the many job opportunities at clinics, wellness centers, physicians’ offices and other health care facilities. Working in a clinical environment can help you gain the experience, confidence and clients to start your own practice later—if you desire.

4. You’ll Never Stop Learning

Earning a natural health degree positions you for a long-term career filled with continuous learning opportunities. Some fields, including chiropractic medicine, massage therapy and nutrition, require a specific number of hours of continuing education each year to maintain licensure or professional registration.

In fields such as naturopathic medicine, where few states offer licensure, a national association ensures educational standards and qualifications among professionals. With the support of such associations, you can receive the ongoing training and credentials to remain a highly qualified practitioner in your field.

5. You Could Make a Good Living

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current guide salaries and job growth for many of the alternative health fields looks promising. For example, you can explore acupuncturist salaries and job growth by state here:

Acupuncturists

National data

Median Salary: $60,570

Projected job growth: 3.9%

10th Percentile: $29,580

25th Percentile: $38,000

75th Percentile: $98,440

90th Percentile: $126,440

Projected job growth: 3.9%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Arizona $28,880 $25,270 $98,930
California $59,590 $29,500 $161,290
Colorado $47,580 $34,380 $66,500
Florida $37,850 $18,250 $79,590
Georgia $57,260 $22,360 $98,970
Hawaii $62,060 $47,150 $100,870
Idaho $37,100 $17,890 $77,830
Maryland $77,740 $55,730 $160,890
Massachusetts $47,570 $29,580 $120,040
Minnesota $47,150 $47,150 $120,240
New Jersey $98,990 $24,960 $125,930
New York $77,750 $47,470 $125,930
North Carolina $89,290 $29,380 $125,930
Oregon $58,640 $37,750 $95,360
Pennsylvania $60,570 $55,340 $94,410
Tennessee $79,080 $59,420 N/A
Texas $59,280 $48,350 $78,670
Virginia $73,780 $37,850 $99,830
Washington $48,260 $37,320 $77,750
Wisconsin $55,810 $35,810 $61,970

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

While self-employed holistic health providers cover the costs to operate their business and provide their own health insurance and retirement, they typically earn more than salaried workers in their field annually.

There is also an earning potential in the rewarding nature of the profession—as much as qualifications and experience, the character and compassion natural health professionals demonstrate can influence their personal earning potential.