How You Can Get a Degree in Alternative Medicine


Any form of healing technique, school of thought or method that is used to create the positive effects of medicine that is not supported on evidence concluded through hard scientific evidence falls under the realm of alternative medicine. Some of the many different categories or areas of specialization that full under the umbrella of alternative medicine include acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, osteopathy, Ayurveda, naprapathy, naturopathic medicine and so on.

Alternative medicine can also be termed as complementary medicine which is used to supplement and provide support to traditional medicine. This field of medicine and healing is used in conjunction with traditional approaches to medicine. If you are a believer of one of the many fields of alternative medicine and feel that you can make a fruitful career out of it, then the first step is to work towards getting a degree in alternative medicine.

Related Reading: How to Become a Homeopathic Doctor

Importance of Education

All other things held constant, without a quality educational track record, you cannot hope to make it big in this day and age. Competition is stiff and so is the labor market. With plenty of applicants and candidates competing for the same posts, it becomes increasingly difficult for head hunters, employers and recruiters to filter through the right candidate for the right job.

What makes it simpler for employers and recruiters to make the decision is the candidate’s educational qualification. Relevant and recent academic accomplishments and certifications attest to a candidate’s efforts, abilities and intellect. This is why it is important for you to study hard and level-up academically. This holds especially true for the field of alternative medicine and other sciences.

Degree Options and Requirements

There are a number of degree options available to those interested in alternative medicine. You can opt for a degree after you have chosen your area of specialization such as acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, and so on.

Each field offers various degree options – some include diplomas, certifications, bachelors, masters, and doctorates. It is worthwhile if you pursue the degree from an accredited educational program or institute as these programs provide students with a well-rounded and comprehensive academic experience.

It is preferred that you opt for those schools that provide education in alternative medicine that are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. This is because students and future employers would prefer that the educational program is recognized for its curriculum and market worth.

It is advised that students possess some background education in the general or health sciences for advanced degrees. This is advised if you want to opt for a bachelor’s degree in one of the alternative medicine fields. For example, it is required to have a 4 year graduate degree from a recognized medical school if you wish to enter the field of naturopathy.

Certification is the next step for you. Some states require that candidates of alternative medicine be adequately certified if they wish to practice. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) provides certification to aspiring acupuncturists and those interested in the other fields of oriental medicine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (, chiropractors need to be licensed in all 50 states if they wish to practice.

Career Potential

Alternative medicine is a field that is gradually gaining recognition in the mainstream market for healthcare and medicine. Some people are believers of traditional Chinese medicine as they feel it is more natural and closer to nature. As some alternative medicine fields are noninvasive and rely on the use of naturally occurring ingredients and methods, they have gained popularity among those who feel modern medicine is too invasive. Since alternative medicine is gradually being recognized, the chances for career growth and expansion are plenty.

Salary Prospects

Listed below are some salary figures to give you an idea of how fruitful the fields of alternative medicine are. Since it has a number of different fields and categories within it, the information below should help you chose your area of expertise.

The average annual salary for an acupuncturist is $76,000. The mean yearly earnings for a chiropractor is $55,000. The average annual salary for an osteopath is $38,000. The average annual salary for a homeopath is $95,000. The average annual salary for a Naturopath is $94,000. (

Keep in mind that the aforementioned figures are just averages and are influenced by various factors such as experience, clientele, level of education, industry dynamics and so on.

Related Reading

Further Reading

The references below can be used to your advantage to get an understanding of the industry, labor market, requirements, scope, and market dynamics.

Copyright © 2022 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.