How to Become an Ayurveda Practitioner in 5 Steps

Explore the career requirements for Ayurveda practitioners. Learn about education requirements, salary and job outlook information to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Complementary & Integrative Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Ayurveda Practitioner Do?

Ayurveda is an ancient holistic medical treatment style that was founded in India. These practitioners adopt an individualistic approach that combines the uses of herbs and natural medicines with diet and lifestyle recommendations to treat their patients. While licensing is not required for employment, there are several Ayurveda practitioners who are licensed in other health care fields.

The following table will give you an overview about this career:

Education Required Certificate or Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Ayurveda training and certificate program OR Bachelor of Science in Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery (available in India) OR medical degree
Key Responsibilities Incorporate the mind, body and spirit into patient treatment, utilize holistic medicine, unique treatment approach for each patient
Licensure & Certification No established licensure requirements
Job Growth (2014-2024) 17% (health diagnosing and treating practitioners)*
Median Salary (2015) $76,760 (health diagnosing and treating practitioners)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Ayurveda Practitioner?

As an Ayurveda practitioner, you would utilize an ancient Indian form of holistic medicine to heal disease and promote wellness in the mind, body and spirit. You would treat each patient differently, taking into account diet, behavior, lifestyle practices and recent illnesses. Treatment focuses on removing impurities from the body, reducing bothersome symptoms and increasing immunity to disease.

Step 1: Consider Your Educational Options

There are multiple routes to becoming an Ayurveda practitioner. You could carry out your studies in the United States through Ayurveda training and certificate programs. In addition, you might attend medical school and become a doctor; additional training in Ayurvedic medicine can lend to medical work specializing in complementary and alternative medicine. To receive more comprehensive and authentic training, you can go to Ayurveda school in India.

Step 2: Earn a Degree in Ayurvedic Medicine

Because Ayurvedic medicine originated in India, you will find more options for study there. You can pursue undergraduate work by earning a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS). Or, you can earn a graduate degree, such as a Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (DAMS). Training may take five years.

Step 3: Become an Ayurveda Practitioner in the United States

As of January 2015, the U.S. does not have national standards for licensure, certification or training of Ayurvedic practitioners. There are colleges in the U.S. that have state approval to operate and offer training for practitioners. You would study the fundamentals and practical application of Ayurvedic medicine, such as the three doshas, or energies, in the body. The National Ayurvedic Medical Association recognizes, though does not endorse, Ayurveda education programs in the U.S.

Step 4: Get a Job Practicing Ayurvedic Medicine

You may need to start your own independent practice as an Ayurveda practitioner. You could work with both healthy and sick patients who want alternative holistic lifestyle medicine. You might seek a partnership with a yoga studio, acupuncturist or naturopathic doctor.

Step 5: Teach Ayurveda

After gaining some experience and a clientele, you may wish to begin educating others about Ayurvedic medicine. You could teach public education classes on Ayurvedic principles, supervise a pancha karma center, teach at an Ayurvedic college or conduct workshops, seminars and retreats.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you're unsure that becoming an Ayurveda practitioner is right for you, but are still interested in holistic medical treatment, you may want to consider becoming a massage therapist or a naturopathic physician. Massage therapists can usually obtain a position after vocational school training or after receiving an associate's degree. To become a naturopathic physician, you will be required to earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree. Both massage therapists and naturopathic physicians require licensing in order to practice and focus on providing therapeutic and natural remedies for their clients' health.

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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