How to Become an Herbal Therapist

Herbal Therapist Key Stats
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 7%

Herbal Therapists are medical practitioners that treat their patients using a variety of natural methods.

These practitioners carry out their patients’ treatment by finding and implementing a plant based or non pharmaceutical form of medicine.

Herbal Therapists are able to provide treatment for a variety of illnesses or conditions and their practices are considered to be a form of alternative medicine to the Western world.

These professionals are also considered Phytotherapists or Herbalists and are required to have a medical background in order to provide treatment to any patient.

Herbal Therapists can come from a variety of medical backgrounds with some professionals gaining their experience as Acupuncturists, Medical Doctors (M.D.s) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.s).

Herbal Therapists are experienced health professionals whose treatments borrow from a variety of ancient and non Western forms of medicines.

These health professionals can practice herbal techniques learned from European, Chinese, Ayurvedic or other traditions not normally practiced in the Western world.

Although considered a form of alternative medicine, Herbal Therapists follow the same codes and ethics as other health professionals.

Their use of medicine goes beyond traditional methods and puts into practice a holistic approach to health and treatment.

Candidates looking to become an Herbal Therapist should show an interest in medicine, treating people and illnesses and most importantly, have the belief that the use of natural remedies for most illnesses or disorders can promote health.

Education Requirements to Become an Herbal Therapist

Herbal Therapists are required to have an extensive educational background in order to learn about the human body and disease.

Although there isn’t a specific path in order to become an Herbal Therapist, most of these professionals begin their career as Acupuncturists, Medical Doctors or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine.

Herbal Therapists must also seek licensure in order to provide treatment to any patient.

Candidates choosing the Acupuncturist route will need to complete an allopathic or osteopathic program at an accredited medical school in the United States or Canada.

Candidates who completed a program in a different country are required to seek certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

For more information regarding the specific educational requirements to become an Acupuncturist, visit the American Board of Medical Acupuncture’s website: ABMA.

Another option that a candidate can take in order to become an Herbal Therapist is by securing a license as a Medical Doctor or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

Applicants interested in either of these routes must complete a Bachelor’s degree in order to get accepted into a medical school.

Completing a medical school program takes an additional four to six years to complete.

After completing a medical school program, candidates must then complete a residency at an approved health facility for an additional two to six years.

The final step to become an M.D.

or D.O.

is by taking and passing a licensing exam.

Applicants seeking an M.D.

licensure should take the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

Visit their website at USMLE to find specific information regarding this license.

Candidates for D.O.

licensure are required to pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam.

Visit their website at for specific information regarding licensure and examination requirements.

Herbal Therapist Job Description

Herbal Therapists use a holistic approach to treating their patients.

They can treat patients who are healthy and seeking preventative advice as well as patients who are overcoming a diagnosis.

They use a combination of techniques such as traditional medicine and the use of herbal and natural remedies to treat diseases and disorders.

Some common procedures to Western medicine include performing evaluations of a patient’s health and determining a treatment plan for any ailments.

Herbal Therapists suggest natural remedies such as a plant based treatment to help patients heal and prevent the onset of disease.

They can make suggestions to help improve a patient’s health and can recommend treatments that focus on a holistic approach.

Herbal Therapist Salary and Career Path

Because Herbal Therapists come from a variety of educational backgrounds, their wages and salaries can vary.

The median wage for those with a background in acupuncture is approximately $45,000 per year.

M.D.s and D.O.s typically earn more because of their extensive educational background.

The salary range for these professionals is approximately $186,000 to $339,000 per year.

Job growth for the health sector is expected to be high through the year 2018.

There are plenty of opportunities for candidates going into this field.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do herbal therapists do?

Herbal therapists use plants and plant derivatives to prevent and treat illnesses.

They sometimes collaborate with medical doctors and other traditional medicine professionals in order to help their patients.

Herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years; in the U.S. herbal therapists are considered practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine.

In the United States products derived from plants are classified as dietary supplements.

As a herbal therapist, you will need scientific knowledge but also compassion and great people skills.

Herbal therapists usually work in private practices and they also need business and leadership skills.

How much does a herbal therapist make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for health diagnosing and treating practitioners was $73,830 as of May 2018.

Salaries vary widely, depending on the region, the therapist’s experience and the employer.

How much does it cost to become a herbal therapist?

In order to be able to diagnose and provide treatment for other people, herbal therapists must have medical training as acupuncturists, doctors of osteopathic medicine, or medical doctors.

Therefore if you want to practice as a herbal therapist, you need to graduate from medical school or to attend a graduate program in acupuncture and oriental medicine.

Regardless of the path you want to pursue, you will first need a bachelor’s degree.

Annual tuition for bachelor’s degree programs can cost you anywhere between less than $10,000 and more than $20,000, depending on the school you choose.

A public medical school will cost you, on average, between $34,000 and $60,000 a year; costs vary widely depending on the school and the program you choose.

Most states require acupuncturists to be certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

What is the demand for herbal therapists?

Herbal therapy is one of the most popular types of alternative medicine.

The demand for herbal therapists depends on the region and the therapist’s expertise.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for physicians and surgeons, in general, is expected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Prospects are expected to be good for physicians who choose to practice in rural areas.

How long does it take to become a herbal therapist?

In order to be able to practice as a herbal therapist and to diagnose and prescribe treatments to patients, you will need training as an acupuncturist, osteopath or as a medical doctor.

These career paths require a bachelor’s degree and a post-graduate degree.

A bachelor’s degree program can be completed in around 4 years, while a post-graduate degree usually lasts between 2 and 6 years, depending on the school and program itself.

If you decide to become an acupuncturist, osteopath or a medical doctor you will also need a state license.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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