Homeopathic Practitioner: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a homeopathic practitioner. Learn about education requirements, licensure, salary and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Homeopathic Practitioner?

Homeopathic practitioners use the body's natural healing ability to cure itself. In many cases, the term 'homeopathic practitioner' can refer to licensed osteopathic physicians or naturopathic doctors, who may both rely on homeopathy to treat certain patients. Homeopathic remedies are derived from ingredients found in nature that help the body initiate its own innate healing process, and these remedies are nontoxic to humans. Practitioners may use homeopathic techniques alongside other naturopathic approaches to address a range of issues from depression to allergies and hyperactivity. Clients are usually counseled on a holistic level, with emotional, physical and spiritual health taken into account when creating the appropriate treatment.

The following chart describes career expectations for this profession.

Degree Required Doctorate for physicians (M.D., D.O. or N.D.)
Education Field of Study Traditional medicine, osteopathic medicine, naturopathy, holistic methods and practices, integrative medicine
Training Required Conventional medical training, including residency with focus on integrative medicine and/or naturopathy
Licensure Required for practicing physicians
Certification National medical certification, American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) board certification available for those with master's degree or less
Median Salary (January 2017) $150,046 (for osteopathic physicians); $50,868 (for certified naturopaths)*

Source: *PayScale.com

What Would I Do As a Homeopathic Practitioner?

These professionals treat patients through natural remedies and therapies. As a homeopathic practitioner, you're trained to recognize and treat imbalances in clients using a holistic approach and small doses of remedies made from nature. You'll examine the full scope of a client's problem, evaluate remedies and administer the most appropriate one.

Homeopathy is based on a law of similarities - small amounts of substances that cause symptoms of a disease in healthy people are used to treat that disease. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, current science does not recognize the main principles of homeopathy. However, a National Health Interview Survey reported that in 2012, 5 million adults and 1 million children used homeopathy to treat allergies, headaches, arthritis and other chronic long-term health issues.

What Education Do I Need?

A limited number of accredited schools offer Doctor of Naturopathy (N.D.) programs, which may include courses in homeopathy. According to the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, accredited N.D. programs will prepare you to take the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners' licensing exam. You can become licensed to practice as an N.D. in 15 states.

You can also practice in homeopathy as a licensed traditional (M.D.) or osteopathic (D.O.) physician. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to become a physician, you'll be required to complete at least three years of undergraduate schooling, plus four years of medical school and 3-8 years of residencies and internships. M.D.s must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam, and D.O.s must pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam.

What Certification Could I Pursue?

If you're a licensed physician, you can earn an advanced specialty diploma in homeopathy through the American Board of Homeotherapeutics. The Board also offers a primary care certification exam for physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses.

The American Council of Holistic Medicine offers a few different levels of certification to individuals who have completed a postsecondary diploma or degree program. The American Naturopathic Certification Board offers two professional credentials: Certified in Nutritional Wellness (CNW) and Certified Traditional Naturopath (CTN). While there is no minimum required education level for either of these credentials, the CNW exam is designed for professionals who have master's-level training in nutrition. The preferred level of education for individuals taking the CTN exam is a master's degree with significant coursework in naturopathy.

What Salary Can I Expect?

There is little national data specifically available for homeopathic medical practitioners, and earnings tend to vary widely. In its most recent survey from 2012, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) reported that its surveyed members earn on average $140,000 annually working in administration, while those in academia and research earn $120,000 on average. Those who work in direct patient care earn $90,000. However, PayScale.com reported that naturopaths in general earned a median salary of $50,868.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a lot of related fields in medicine, including dentistry, optometry, or podiatry. Podiatrists are doctors of the feet, ankles and generally, below the knees. Optometrists are vision doctors looking into eye disease. Finally, dentists take care of the mouth, the teeth, the gums and all related jaw structures.These alternative careers also require a medical degree, along with specialized training in the chosen discipline after graduation. You might also prefer a different path, like that of chiropractors, which involves treating patients through adjustments to the spine. This career also requires a professional doctoral degree. However, if you're not sure you want to complete such extensive education, working as a physician assistant may be worth considering, which only requires a master's degree. Although these professionals cannot prescribe medications, they can diagnose and treat patients.

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