Careers in Alternative Medicine: The Ultimate Guide

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Are you fed up with meaningless work? Or, are you simply searching for a rewarding job that fits your schedule, needs, and beliefs? If so, you may want to consider looking into careers in alternative medicine. Why? As this article will show you, alternative health careers are both rewarding and well-paid.

Alternative medicine is centuries old. Yet, it is on the rise in popularity in the West, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you decide to pursue a career in natural medicine, you are setting yourself up for success.

In this article, you will read:

First, let us define alternative medicine and the careers one can have in this broad field.

What is Alternative Medicine?

Alternative medicine is an alternative to allopathic, that is, modern, conventional Western medicine. Some practitioners prefer calling it complementary, as it is not in opposition to allopathic medicine.

Even more precisely, we can make a difference between complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary medicine is used alongside allopathic treatment. Alternative medicine is used instead of conventional treatments.

However, everyone’s approach to healing is different, and clients often test numerous strategies. They tend to bounce between allopathic, complementary, and alternative medicine. Therefore, we can speak about an alternative, natural approach to healing and encompass all the above.

Although there are numerous disciplines within this broad field, all of the careers in alternative medicine are characterized by:

  • A holistic approach to the interconnectedness of the mind and the body
  • Preference for natural remedies over pharmaceutical drugs
  • Reliance on lifestyle changes to complement the prescribed remedies

Careers in alternative medicine have been steadily on the rise since the early 2000s. According to a 2009 report, an estimated 38% of American adults utilized some form of alternative medicine.

The trend continued to the day, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health’s 2021 report, Americans spend more than $30 billion a year on complementary and alternative medicine services.

 It seems safe to say that alternative medicine careers are here to stay. The majority of the techniques used are centuries old. Still, alternative medicine is one of the occupations that will still exist in the future. At the same time, technological advancement will obliterate many other jobs.

Careers in alternative medicine have proven their worth in delivering steady, promising jobs to practitioners and healing to clients.

Why Choose an Alternative Health Career?

Why Choose an Alternative Health Career?

Are you considering a career change? All of us wish for a job that does not feel like work — or a downright nuisance. With the right career, so the wisdom says, we will never feel like we were working.

Unfortunately, according to one extensive analysis, many jobs are unlovable. This unfortunate fact has been historically true for many decades, if not longer.

Yet, we need to fight not to allow work to turn into punishment. How to ensure that? By finding a meaningful, significant job, according to research.

Because of the outcomes of doing a job one does not like, the current studies in business and human resources are interested in how to

Findings revealed that the significance of a job is crucial for work-related motivation, commitment, and well-being. What offers such a sense of meaning? Meaningful work is about self-realization and broader purpose.

Careers in alternative medicine offer just that.

Careers in natural medicine are gratifying

Working as a healer is one of the most rewarding jobs one could hope for.

All helping professions come with high levels of responsibility. Nonetheless, at the same time, they deliver amazing rewards. The fulfillment comes from knowing that one’s efforts changed someone’s life for the better.

Being an alternative medicine practitioner means helping the client feel better — physically and psychologically. In many cases, where allopathic medicine or conventional psychotherapy failed, alternative medicine managed to help someone heal.

Hearing the testimonials from such clients is the most gratifying experience. It ensures that your work has a meaning.

Careers in alternative medicine are a fantastic way to achieve work-life balance

As Marisa Peer explains in her video, the perfect work-life balance means three things.

  1. The first is to earn enough money to live the life you want to.
  2. The second is being able to fit your other interests and needs with the job you are doing.
  3. Finally, the job needs to have a meaningful impact on the world.

Research reveals that alternative medicine specialists are more satisfied with their jobs compared to allopathic medicine practitioners. They are happier in terms of finances, schedules, and the outcomes of their work. Alternative medicine practitioners particularly enjoy their ability to help others in many different ways.

The job prospects for careers in alternative medicine are bright

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment in healthcare occupations is expected to grow by 15 percent by 2029. Such growth is much faster than the average for all the other occupations. In effect, that means an additional 2.4 million jobs in the next few years.

Many alternative medicine practitioners will find their employment among those millions of open job slots. In addition, there are a multitude of other positions available to alternative medicine graduates.  

If you are considering opting for a career in alternative medicine, the numbers are not to be disregarded.  Careers in alternative medicine fit the recipe for financial success.

With the right training, you can expect to have a significantly greater choice of jobs than the traditional medicine graduates. Let us see which options lay ahead if you decide to pursue some of the available careers in alternative medicine.

What Are the Different Alternative Medicine Careers?

Alternative medicine is a vast field that includes a variety of careers. As most (if not all) alternative medicine practitioners are holistically oriented, your prospects do not end at caring for someone’s physical health.

On the contrary, alternative medicine is an all-embracing endeavor. The majority of careers in alternative medicine involve working on overall well-being. That means tending to both mental and physical health. Why?

Even allopathic medicine acknowledges the connection between our bodies and our minds. Western psychology does, too. The two branches of caring for people’s health intertwine in the concept of psychosomatic illnesses.

Yet, allopathic medicine focuses on medicine to make your body heal. Psychotherapy works on tackling the issues in your psyche that are preventing you from feeling well. In practice, nonetheless, professionals from both disciplines stay within their realm of expertise.

With careers in alternative medicine, your work will always involve thinking about your client as a whole. We are not merely the body or the soul. Therefore, the treatment for our ailments cannot involve healing one without the other.

Alternative medicine practitioners find their calling in a variety of fields, such as sports, rehabilitation, massage, beauty, and nutrition. You can also train to become a professional in Chinese medicine, naturopathy, chiropractic, or homeopathy.

The list does not end there. In fact, with training in alternative medicine, you are looking at a nearly limitless possibility to help people around the world — and earn a decent paycheck while doing so!

Here are some ideas on the possible careers in alternative medicine that you might find inspiring — and lucrative, at the same time.

  • Yoga instructor
  • Life coach
  • Energy healer
  • Hypnotherapist
  • EFT practitioner

Yoga instructor

What Are the Different Alternative Medicine Careers?

Being a yoga instructor can be incredibly rewarding. Yoga is proven to benefit people’s mental strength and physical health. Even better, you can teach yoga both online and offline, which is very important in COVID-19 times.

Before you become a yoga instructor, you need to choose from several styles out there: Kundalini Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, Power Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and others.

Becoming a yoga instructor involves completing a 200-hour Registered Yoga School (RYS) teacher training course. After several years of practicing as a yoga instructor, you can move ahead in your career. You are eligible to become a senior yoga teacher with a 500-hour Registered Yoga Training (RYT). Learning to teach yoga can cost anywhere from $200 to $7,000, depending on where you complete your training and how advanced it is.

How much can you expect to make? The average yoga instructor salary is $46,141 per year, or $22.18 per hour, in the United States. Depending on where you practice, you will be charging between $11 and $27 per hour. The job growth rate is currently 13%.

Life coach

Tony Robbins defined a life coach as a professional who “helps you identify your goals and develop an actionable plan to achieve them.” Life coaching does not deal with mental illnesses. Instead, life coaches work with mentally healthy people to help them realize their potential.

Life coaching is not a regulated profession. In other words, you can become a life coach without undergoing years of education in psychology and psychotherapy. To become a life coach, you will complete between 16 and 100 hours of training, costing $1,500 to $8,000. Look for a course that the International Coach Federation approved. This guarantees that the course is internationally recognized and also held to certain standards.

What about charging for life coaching? Life coaches earn an average annual salary of $41,664. Those at the low end earn $27,000 and those at the top $65,000. That means an average of $18.32 an hour. By 2028, it is projected that there will be 30,500 new job opportunities for life coaches across the US.

Energy healing

Energy healing is one of the careers in alternative medicine that involves techniques and methods striving to re-balance the vital energy within the body.

They are centuries old but are relatively new to Western mainstream science and practice. Still, modern scientific research confirms that many of the energy healing techniques deliver evident benefits.

Energy healing is not a regulated profession. It is relatively easy to become an energy healer. You do not need a degree; a certificate is usually enough to start practicing.  As an example, Reiki certification has three levels — and you are free to begin practicing as soon as you complete Level 1.

The price you can expect to pay to become an energy healer ranges between $200 and $1000. On the other hand, you can expect to earn between $19,500 and $118,500 a year in this profession.


alternative medicine careers

Hypnotherapy is one of the careers in alternative medicine where hypnosis is used to put a person in a state of heightened concentration and suggestibility. A hypnotherapist guides the client in trance-like states and helps them tap into their subconscious mind. This is where most behavioral patterns and beliefs can be reprogrammed and changed.

How to become a hypnotherapist? First, you do not need a degree to be a hypnotherapist. You simply need to gain a valid hypnotherapy certification in order to practice.

Yet, there are many hypnotherapy training programs.  It is essential to pick a quality one. A hypnotherapy school such as Rapid Transformational Therapy® (RTT®) is a perfect choice. It is led by Marisa Peer, who has over three decades of experience in helping people worldwide heal the problems other therapeutic systems failed to tackle.

A hypnotherapist in the US earns an average of $41 per hour. This means that you will be earning between $55,500 and $136,000 a year, depending on the state you are living in.

EFT practitioner

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. It is an evidence-based technique best known for having phenomenal results when helping people with anxiety, depression, phobias, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. 

Becoming an EFT practitioner requires investments of money and time. It can take about a year to get certified. You can expect to pay upwards of $3000 or more to obtain your full EFT certification. Ideally, seek a course that EFT International accredits, ensuring the quality of training and certification.

The average annual salary for an EFT certified practitioner is $62,427, which means a range of roughly $30,000 to over $120,000 a year.

Take the First Steps Right Now

Starting a career in alternative medicine begins with a desire to change lives around. If you are considering going down that path, you probably have a profound desire to better your clients’ lives.

However, you also probably yearn to make a difference in your own life! You want all-around happiness, fulfillment and prosperity. Holistic medicine careers offer just that — a balance between work, purpose, and life outside of a profession. For many, careers in alternative medicine are more than a vocation. It is a calling, a life philosophy, and a way of approaching the world.

Take the first steps towards your new career and an accomplished life filled with meaning. Do not leave your self-realization to sit on the backburner. Move ahead, and do it now.


Marisa Peer

Marisa Peer

Marisa shares over 30 years of experience as a multi-award-winning therapist to top athletes, celebrities and even royalty. She is the pioneer of RTT®, the cutting-edge method that can deliver incredible transformations
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Marisa Peer has been helping people build exciting careers in hypnotherapy with RTT®. No previous experience is necessary to start training, so download the free prospectus today.