Aromatherapy Certification and Courses

Aromatherapists produce and apply oils that are used to treat various medical conditions. Read on to learn about the courses and certification you need to become an aromatherapist. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Aromatherapy practitioners use essential oils derived from the seeds, roots, leaves or blossoms of plants to treat a variety of health concerns, including inflammation, infection, pain and stress. Becoming an aromatherapist involves taking several courses through any accredited school or online program in order to receive certification to practice. Upon receiving certification, one can pursue a career in aromatherapy or use aromatherapy in other practices to increase pay and clientele.

Courses Needed Introductory and higher-level aromatherapy classes, anatomy, stress and emotional management, and physiology
Certification Accreditation through the Aromatherapy Registration Council
Career Outlook Aromatherapy is currently used as a supplementary skill set and is rarely practiced by itself. Most people who become certified in aromatherapy typically go into creating and selling their own products or offering aromatherapy within their current practices, such as massage therapy or yoga and meditation.

Sources: American College of Healthcare Sciences, National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

What Do Aromatherapists Do?

During an aromatherapy session, the practitioner evaluates a client's medical history and symptoms before selecting the appropriate scents and oils for them. The oils are then applied through massage, direct inhalation from a cloth or from a vaporizer or spray. Aromatherapists also teach clients how to use aromatherapy techniques in their own homes.

How Do I Become Certified?

There are currently no licensure laws or certification regulations for aromatherapists. However, many schools that are accredited by professional organizations, such as the Alliance for International Aromatherapists (AIA), offer certification programs. To meet the standards of a qualified aromatherapist, the AIA requires that you complete at least 200 educational contact hours or pass a standardized exam administered by the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC) ( You can also become a Registered Aromatherapist by completing an educational program in aromatherapy and passing the ARC exam (

Which Courses Will I Take in an Aromatherapy Program?

While completing your Certificate in Aromatherapy program, you will become familiar with the scope of practice of aromatherapists, which includes the science behind the practice. You can expect to take courses such as:

  • Introduction to aromatherapy
  • Methods of extraction
  • Basic aroma chemistry
  • Quality of oils
  • Blending techniques
  • Holistic health counseling
  • Administration methods and techniques
  • Basic concepts of aromatherapy
  • History of aromatherapy
  • Safety in the use of essential oils

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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