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Naturopathic Education and Duties

Learn about naturopathy education and training requirements.

naturopathic medicine in bowl

Naturopathic medicine takes a holistic approach to wellness, focusing on the body’s innate healing ability. Through naturopathy education, practitioners learn the same basic sciences as medical doctors as well as the key principles of naturopathic medicine.

This includes non-toxic therapies, whole-person treatment strategies and proactive healing practices that help patients achieve greater wellness.

Today’s natural health and alternative medicine marketplace creates opportunity for naturopathic medicine practitioners and businesses. Learn more about this fascinating profession by reading the naturopathy education and career information below.

Career Overview

When they first meet with patients, naturopathic doctors (NDs) will spend significant time gathering information from patients on their health history, current conditions, genetic, environmental, spiritual and social makeup.

Taking all of these health factors into consideration, the ND will devise a customized treatment strategy based on principles of naturopathy training.

Treatment plans might include homeopathic remedies, herbs, nutrition counseling and even psychological counseling to help clients overcome mental health issues preventing them from achieving wellness.

Learn about careers in homeopathy.

Education and Training

What You’ll Study in Naturopathic Medicine School

Naturopathy classes will vary slightly from school to school. In general, though, you can expect coursework at naturopathic schools to include the following:

  • Naturopathic theory and philosophy
  • Anatomy and organ systems
  • Biochemistry
  • Research and statistics
  • Botanical Medicine
  • Therapeutic manipulation
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Homeopathy
  • Clinical practicum

Average Length of Study

Education at naturopathic schools involves four years of graduate-level study and requires that students hold at least a four-year bachelor’s degree to apply. When you complete your naturopathy education, you will earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree (ND) and will be eligible for state licensure.

Average Tuition

Tuition for naturopathy degree programs can vary, with some costing approximately $30,000 per year for full-time enrollment. Accredited naturopathic schools typically offer financial aid, scholarships, and other assistance to help students cover tuition costs.

Naturopathic Medicine Certification

Earning board certification as a naturopathic doctor demonstrates that you meet the highest levels of proficiency and competency in your profession.

You can earn Doctor Licensure through the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE), which requires candidates to graduate from an accredited naturopathic medical school and pass rigorous national board exams.

Approximately one-third of all states currently regulate naturopathic practice, and each year, more states are developing legislation that enables their ND’s to become licensed.

Career Outlook

According to WebMD, Americans are continuing to turn to complementary and alternative medicine. And CNN reports that about a third of us are now using alternative methods to supplement the care we get from our doctors.

That means that careers in naturopathic medicine can anticipate healthy growth. While the demand for alternative medicine includes a broad range of holistic health occupations, naturopathic doctors should enjoy strong career prospects with the public’s interest in alternative medicine.

Our ever-increasing demand for preventive care to reduce the risk of contracting disease or chronic illness is one of the main catalysts for the projected job growth in the alternative medicine profession.

Naturopathic Medicine Salary

Naturopathic physicians made a median annual salary of $106,230 in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, who classify them under Healthcare Diagnosing or Treating Practitioners.

Factors such as experience, location and employer type have the most impact on naturopathic salaries. Self-employed naturopathic doctors typically earn the highest salaries followed by those who work in private practice for a firm. Find salaries by state for these practitioners.

Healthcare Diagnosing or Treating Practitioners, All Other

National data

Median Salary: $106,230

Projected job growth: 2%

10th Percentile: $60,520

25th Percentile: $75,800

75th Percentile: $151,470

90th Percentile: $193,560

Projected job growth: 2%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $98,010 $68,410 $124,040
Alaska $98,280 $64,050 $102,840
Arizona $79,440 $62,000 $119,830
California $105,910 $67,120 $176,280
Connecticut $63,760 $40,790 $128,530
Georgia $116,190 $68,410 $170,730
Idaho $65,210 $44,200 $92,520
Illinois $85,860 $56,930 $148,070
Indiana $69,040 $35,270 $138,780
Iowa $76,600 $60,100 $106,330
Kansas $71,510 $59,110 $107,390
Kentucky $77,230 $66,830 $116,380
Louisiana $75,990 $52,900 N/A
Maine $79,350 $61,540 $141,810
Maryland $146,740 $92,810 $176,280
Massachusetts $86,450 $45,900 $138,940
Michigan $91,970 $64,770 $225,340
Minnesota $103,460 $63,950 $156,450
Mississippi $81,990 $66,480 N/A
Missouri $74,780 $46,860 $135,530
Montana $110,090 $63,910 $208,730
Nebraska $71,500 $55,060 $110,780
Nevada N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico $83,550 $65,210 $114,080
New York $100,650 $61,730 $179,190
North Carolina $91,170 $58,640 $164,110
North Dakota $76,340 $58,160 $103,170
Ohio $80,620 $46,760 $135,410
Oregon $95,220 $29,710 $168,140
Pennsylvania $68,410 $60,110 $126,360
Rhode Island $78,510 $77,150 $209,600
South Carolina $72,820 $58,360 $148,660
South Dakota $70,620 $66,210 $97,880
Tennessee $70,620 $49,560 $116,380
Texas $97,990 $48,410 $212,540
Utah N/A N/A N/A
Vermont $75,030 $42,540 $113,240
Virginia $147,260 $71,680 N/A
Washington $104,730 $50,070 N/A
West Virginia $94,930 $66,210 N/A
Wyoming $86,070 $46,860 $119,520

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 Naturopathic Medicine Career Right for You?

A career in naturopathic medicine requires a significant investment of time and money to complete the advanced naturopathy education and hands-on practice required to enter the profession.

Exceptional analytical skills, a high level of compassion working with patients of all ages and backgrounds, and a long-term interest in contributing to the growth of naturopathic medicine are also essential to the job.

If you are interested in a naturopathic medicine career, take a closer look at naturopathic schools. Then choose the naturopathy program that meets your personal and professional needs.

Sources: www.webmd.com/news/20110201/complementary-and-alternative-medicine-on-the-rise, www.cnn.com/2015/02/11/health/feat-alternative-medicine-study/