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Biofeedback Schools and Careers

client receiving biofeedback therapy
client receiving biofeedback therapy

Learn About Biofeedback Training Schools and Courses

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: $91,010

Bottom 10%: $63,530

Top 10%: $126,780

Projected job growth: 20.5%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $92,200 $64,630 $129,480
Alaska $98,770 $65,680 $145,700
Arizona $90,240 $67,660 $124,030
Arkansas $84,950 $51,390 $123,870
California $105,910 $68,060 $142,480
Colorado $85,440 $61,540 $119,500
Connecticut $97,250 $72,490 $132,630
Delaware $96,060 $68,810 $128,960
District of Columbia $93,000 $69,940 $128,190
Florida $87,800 $48,460 $119,430
Georgia $86,950 $59,210 $124,640
Hawaii $89,600 $66,940 $129,390
Idaho $82,850 $50,590 $110,770
Illinois $95,470 $66,980 $134,480
Indiana $88,210 $61,340 $113,480
Iowa $81,580 $60,720 $110,060
Kansas $92,140 $65,300 $123,980
Kentucky $86,020 $61,560 $113,700
Louisiana $89,220 $60,280 $131,730
Maine $81,560 $63,070 $104,960
Maryland $91,510 $49,900 $124,770
Massachusetts $88,820 $61,500 $116,290
Michigan $86,780 $65,740 $110,670
Minnesota $86,280 $68,850 $105,170
Mississippi $91,540 $68,940 $122,020
Missouri $85,460 $59,190 $108,310
Montana $81,440 $63,080 $110,690
Nebraska $85,280 $66,010 $110,350
Nevada $99,670 $72,220 $175,010
New Hampshire $85,170 $66,280 $104,790
New Jersey $100,390 $72,010 $131,920
New Mexico $93,310 $66,190 $151,620
New York $91,770 $66,630 $125,910
North Carolina $86,450 $63,270 $113,230
North Dakota $83,830 $67,530 $105,690
Ohio $89,680 $64,160 $121,300
Oklahoma $93,010 $59,900 $129,680
Oregon $90,200 $68,950 $116,580
Pennsylvania $89,140 $62,720 $127,130
Rhode Island $85,930 $58,860 $116,480
South Carolina $88,270 $51,280 $112,140
South Dakota $78,980 $58,040 $101,520
Tennessee $88,880 $52,730 $118,100
Texas $90,630 $52,710 $129,990
Utah $83,010 $58,260 $118,480
Vermont $77,800 $55,610 $103,250
Virginia $94,230 $69,710 $125,600
Washington $92,660 $66,850 $116,120
West Virginia $85,950 $62,460 $132,110
Wisconsin $88,460 $66,540 $113,780
Wyoming $88,240 $68,390 $119,100

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2020 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. 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.