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Biofeedback Schools and Careers

Learn About Biofeedback Training Schools and Courses

client receiving biofeedback therapy

Biofeedback therapy helps patients enlist the power of their own minds to encourage physical wellness. Using feedback from electrical sensors connected to the body, individuals learn to make small changes to their own physiological activity such as breathing, heart rate and muscle tension in order to reduce pain.

Increased relaxation and improved health can also be achieved through biofeedback therapy, making the treatments more popular in today’s alternative medicine wellness boom.

Generally, this form of therapy is used in a clinical setting by licensed health professionals. Because it provides an alternative to drugs for the treatment of stress-induced pain, such as migraines or muscle spasms, it works well in a natural medicine setting.

Career Overview

Biofeedback school is becoming increasingly popular in a number of health and medical spheres, including physical therapy, psychology, nursing and respiratory therapy. Biofeedback is used to treat a range of ailments, from high blood pressure to pelvic muscle dysfunction, without the assistance of drugs.

Practitioners of biofeedback therapy often work in hospitals, medical offices or physical therapy clinics.

During a biofeedback session, which typically lasts 30 to 60 minutes, the therapist will use techniques such as temperature biofeedback and heart rate variability biofeedback to help attune patients to the body’s physiological reactions.

Schools and Education

What You’ll Study in Biofeedback School

If you’re planning to practice biofeedback therapy in a clinical setting, the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) recommends that you first earn an accredited degree in a health-related field such as psychology, nursing or medicine.

Your biofeedback course work may take place as part of your degree, or you may choose to seek out education through a separate biofeedback training program. In either case, you’ll study anatomy and physiology, the stress response, the history and theory of biofeedback, and equipment techniques.

Average Length of Biofeedback School Study

If you receive biofeedback training as part of a health care program, the length of study depends on the degree you’re earning—an associate’s degree usually takes 2 to 3 years, while a bachelor’s degree takes 4 years.

Your education must include 48 hours of biofeedback course work and 20 hours of training with a mentor if you plan to seek BCIA certification.

Average Biofeedback Therapy School Tuition

Tuition for biofeedback therapy school varies quite a lot. At a private school such as the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, tuition is $24,200 per year, while state schools and community colleges cost considerably less—fees are $4,000-$6,000 per year at San Francisco State University’s Institute for Holistic Health Studies.

Biofeedback Therapy Certification

Certification is not mandatory for practitioners of biofeedback therapy, but the BCIA strongly recommends professional certification in order to ensure a high standard of care for patients.

In addition, you must hold a state-approved license appropriate to your profession—if you’re a social worker, for example, you should possess the appropriate license to practice in your state.

Biofeedback Salary

As a practitioner of biofeedback therapy, your salary will vary depending on the exact nature of your job. Here are median salaries for physical therapists at a national and state level.

Physical Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $97,720

Projected job growth: 15.1%

10th Percentile: $67,910

25th Percentile: $80,700

75th Percentile: $107,430

90th Percentile: $128,830

Projected job growth: 15.1%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $97,360 $61,160 $135,770
Alaska $102,270 $79,560 $130,660
Arizona $99,200 $76,140 $125,380
Arkansas $98,180 $64,340 $118,720
California $108,230 $80,880 $148,720
Colorado $96,920 $69,840 $126,980
Connecticut $103,290 $76,880 $136,130
Delaware $97,520 $72,030 $125,570
District of Columbia $97,180 $81,370 $123,260
Florida $95,000 $59,300 $125,250
Georgia $98,600 $73,760 $120,310
Hawaii $101,390 $81,750 $146,820
Idaho $85,870 $63,660 $105,970
Illinois $100,310 $61,420 $135,710
Indiana $95,110 $64,940 $114,400
Iowa $84,700 $66,600 $105,670
Kansas $90,850 $67,220 $111,510
Kentucky $85,710 $54,840 $114,380
Louisiana $97,960 $60,800 $128,690
Maine $83,160 $70,280 $103,510
Maryland $97,280 $76,770 $119,240
Massachusetts $99,550 $71,560 $121,050
Michigan $93,600 $61,770 $106,690
Minnesota $91,610 $75,720 $103,010
Mississippi $97,750 $69,300 $126,130
Missouri $88,900 $64,400 $115,520
Montana $82,170 $68,670 $103,380
Nebraska $90,670 $64,900 $112,320
Nevada $101,980 $45,900 $147,630
New Hampshire $93,520 $72,560 $107,430
New Jersey $103,050 $79,820 $136,610
New Mexico $94,260 $53,800 $123,010
New York $97,180 $69,440 $130,500
North Carolina $84,300 $67,190 $116,690
North Dakota $79,860 $66,990 $100,190
Ohio $97,730 $74,280 $121,190
Oklahoma $92,940 $63,660 $118,290
Oregon $98,050 $78,800 $116,500
Pennsylvania $97,510 $73,840 $124,430
Rhode Island $95,640 $67,870 $119,060
South Carolina $86,620 $61,210 $113,980
South Dakota $84,260 $68,860 $103,170
Tennessee $95,380 $66,210 $111,640
Texas $99,970 $69,160 $138,630
Utah $86,280 $61,620 $125,440
Vermont $83,390 $71,080 $108,790
Virginia $97,780 $67,690 $127,920
Washington $100,270 $77,480 $126,380
West Virginia $93,380 $65,100 $122,540
Wisconsin $95,080 $65,780 $118,130
Wyoming $84,820 $63,400 $123,580

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2032. 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.

Is a Biofeedback Career Right for You?

The field of biofeedback promotes the idea that the mind and body are profoundly interconnected, and that overall health can be improved through our mind’s ability to affect functions such as breathing, heart rate. and muscle activity. Health care providers with an interest in alternative, non-drug treatments may be well suited to a career in biofeedback therapy.

Sources: The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Inc., MayoClinic.com, Biofeedback Certification International Alliance, National Health Statistics Reports, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences.