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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: $95,620

Projected job growth: 16.9%

10th Percentile: $61,930

25th Percentile: $77,750

75th Percentile: $101,920

90th Percentile: $127,110

Projected job growth: 16.9%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $99,810 $38,960 $128,450
Alabama $95,450 $59,810 $130,000
Arkansas $93,560 $59,640 $126,600
Arizona $95,590 $72,500 $127,740
California $101,180 $50,230 $135,570
Colorado $93,100 $60,960 $125,670
Connecticut $100,070 $76,660 $129,210
District of Columbia $95,870 $75,710 $127,370
Delaware $97,630 $75,710 $129,450
Florida $95,450 $61,750 $120,750
Georgia $95,590 $71,410 $124,450
Hawaii $95,110 $37,190 $127,160
Iowa $78,930 $60,750 $103,170
Idaho $80,340 $61,990 $102,060
Illinois $97,690 $65,380 $122,370
Indiana $95,390 $62,830 $120,500
Kansas $88,570 $61,080 $120,650
Kentucky $81,850 $59,840 $116,790
Louisiana $95,590 $63,630 $129,270
Massachusetts $96,410 $61,200 $123,620
Maryland $94,960 $62,760 $120,260
Maine $79,170 $61,990 $102,060
Michigan $79,870 $56,680 $102,060
Minnesota $80,130 $72,880 $101,510
Missouri $79,050 $59,830 $108,340
Mississippi $95,770 $73,870 $129,270
Montana $78,950 $61,210 $102,060
North Carolina $79,240 $60,900 $106,980
North Dakota $78,270 $61,350 $100,620
Nebraska $80,990 $61,740 $120,500
New Hampshire $83,700 $61,740 $102,370
New Jersey $99,730 $76,980 $128,330
New Mexico $95,590 $75,220 $130,430
Nevada $99,360 $60,800 $152,420
New York $95,620 $62,270 $121,140
Ohio $95,620 $66,460 $124,380
Oklahoma $79,220 $60,720 $126,210
Oregon $95,040 $73,600 $120,750
Pennsylvania $95,890 $68,430 $121,230
Rhode Island $95,930 $61,990 $121,140
South Carolina $79,830 $49,870 $104,390
South Dakota $78,040 $61,570 $100,920
Tennessee $95,370 $61,990 $106,040
Texas $99,040 $62,240 $136,870
Utah $81,190 $55,660 $127,740
Virginia $94,260 $62,000 $121,780
Vermont $78,320 $61,250 $102,060
Washington $99,330 $76,090 $126,940
Wisconsin $95,480 $61,790 $120,260
West Virginia $96,970 $68,930 $121,200
Wyoming $79,630 $75,320 $126,780

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.

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.