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Hypnotherapy Training and Careers

Learn About Hypnotherapy Schools and Hypnotherapy Certification

client receiving hypnotherapy

Hypnotism: that’s when a mysterious gentleman puts you in a trance by dangling a watch on a chain and then makes you bark like a dog, right? Not exactly.

That might describe the stereotypical shtick of a stage hypnotist, but the healing discipline of hypnotherapy is better described as a state of focused relaxation in which a person is more responsive to suggestion.

Medical and mental health practitioners with hypnotherapy training help patients enter this relaxed state in order to assist with psychotherapy, promote stress or pain relief, change unhealthy habits, and reduce recovery time for illnesses and injuries.

Career Overview

A wide variety of clinical professionals seek out training in hypnotherapy, from doctors, nurses and dentists to psychotherapists, social workers, and counselors. During a hypnotherapy session, practitioners go over a patient’s medical history, the issue they’d like to address, and, if the patient is new to the procedure, how hypnosis works.

Generally, sessions last about an hour, and begin with a series of relaxation techniques. After the patient is relaxed and focused, the practitioner introduces guided imagery and suggestion designed to provide symptom relief and even behavioral changes.

Some practitioners have their own private practices, while others use hypnotherapy in their already existing acupuncturemassage therapy, psychotherapy or holistic nursing careers.

Training and Education

What You’ll Study in Hypnotherapy School

Usually, hypnotherapy training programs include study of the theory and history of hypnosis; the uses of hypnosis in a clinical setting; selecting the right techniques for an individual patient; working with specific issues such as addiction; and ethical concerns.

Average Length of Study

Most approved hypnotherapy certification programs require a minimum of 40 to 100 hours of hypnotherapy training workshops, plus 20 hours of supervised individual training and 2 to 5 years of practical experience using hypnosis as a part of your practice.

Hypnotherapy Certification

Most practitioners who undergo hypnotherapy training are licensed medical, mental health, or health care professionals with a master’s or doctoral degree.

Their education qualifies them to seek hypnotherapy certification from a professional group such as the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (AAPH), the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ACSH) and the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH).

Specialty certifications are also available through the American Board of Medical Hypnosis, the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, the American Board of Hypnosis in Dentistry, and the American Hypnosis Board for Clinical Social Work.

Career Outlook

As awareness of alternative medical treatments continues to rise, hypnotherapy training will be in higher demand. In particular, people looking for non-invasive, drug-free ways of losing weight, breaking habits such as smoking, and managing stress may turn to hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy Salary

Salaries for graduates of hypnotherapy school vary widely depending on the occupation. You can research salary and job growth information for some of the most common fields hypnotherapists enter, as provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here:

Recreational Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $47,940

Projected job growth: 3.6%

10th Percentile: $31,710

25th Percentile: $37,850

75th Percentile: $61,470

90th Percentile: $80,610

Projected job growth: 3.6%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $46,660 $33,870 $71,120
Arizona $48,380 $37,020 $73,790
Arkansas $47,000 $36,570 $77,560
California $78,610 $38,180 $95,370
Colorado $46,660 $29,430 $73,240
Connecticut $59,770 $37,110 $86,630
Delaware $36,990 $35,460 $59,080
District of Columbia $76,230 $38,000 $99,070
Florida $46,660 $29,010 $77,290
Georgia $46,640 $29,580 $59,770
Idaho $47,670 $36,750 $61,250
Illinois $57,970 $37,990 $85,920
Indiana $37,840 $23,700 $60,780
Iowa $46,730 $36,070 $71,180
Kansas $29,680 $23,440 $46,640
Kentucky $47,570 $36,780 $71,120
Louisiana $46,640 $36,710 $59,380
Maine $48,350 $36,930 $66,560
Maryland $47,610 $26,490 $75,170
Massachusetts $47,850 $37,310 $76,340
Michigan $47,610 $37,020 $61,860
Minnesota $47,940 $35,010 $74,250
Mississippi $29,730 $23,180 $59,180
Missouri $46,690 $36,570 $67,660
Nebraska $50,000 $36,930 $67,020
Nevada $47,010 $36,630 $75,130
New Hampshire $54,040 $47,320 $68,710
New Jersey $61,160 $46,950 $96,520
New Mexico $37,240 $29,320 $51,060
New York $59,770 $38,000 $78,460
North Carolina $46,870 $36,930 $61,970
Ohio $47,360 $37,110 $61,250
Oklahoma $37,020 $25,420 $60,420
Oregon $60,190 $47,340 $78,460
Pennsylvania $48,660 $33,820 $74,070
South Carolina $46,690 $36,800 $61,300
Tennessee $38,840 $30,110 $66,790
Texas $54,410 $33,090 $85,170
Utah $37,850 $29,430 $64,900
Virginia $46,910 $36,000 $73,610
Washington $59,080 $46,910 $77,830
West Virginia $36,710 $29,130 $73,790
Wisconsin $47,000 $35,750 $64,850
Wyoming $48,170 $43,680 $73,260

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 Hypnotherapy Career Right for You?

Hypnotherapy training can greatly enhance the careers of practitioners with an interest in holistic health care, whether you choose to focus on medical uses such as easing headaches or asthma, or on counseling applications like breaking addictions or treating eating disorders.

Even massage therapists and acupuncturists can use hypnotherapy to help relax clients and improve healing. Ultimately, though, the hypnotherapist is helping patients to help themselves by harnessing their own minds’ healing abilities.

Sources: American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists, American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis