Aromatherapy Certification and Certificate Programs

Learn about certificate programs in aromatherapy. Discover essential program information and learn about program coursework, career prospects and potential certification options.

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Essential Information

Promoting health and well-being through olfactory stimulation is a centuries-old technique. Certificate programs in this field, also called aromatherapy, are available through community colleges and holistic training centers. Students enrolled in these programs learn to apply essential oils and plant extracts to pressure points throughout the body. They also develop abilities for enhancing or stimulating a customer's mood and physical well-being. Aromatherapy students may concurrently study holistic health, homeopathy and acupuncture. They are usually no educational prerequisites for enrolling in an aromatherapy certificate program. While professional aromatherapy certifications are not available, professionals can become registered aromatherapists by enlisting with the Aromatherapy Registration Council.

Program Coursework

Students enrolled in an aromatherapy certificate program learn how skin absorbs scents and how smell is processed by the brain. They also learn to test for allergic reactions. Advanced studies center on the nervous and lymphatic systems. Other key topics of study include:

  • Foundations in aromatherapy
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pressure points within the body
  • Emotional and physical effects of scent therapy
  • Safety procedures in aromatherapy
  • Perfumes and oils
  • Essential oil blending techniques
  • Reflexology, massage and hot rock therapy

Career Prospects and Salary Info

Earning a certificate in aromatherapy may bolster a career in homeopathic medicine, massage therapy, psychology or nursing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were roughly 154,000 employed massage therapists in 2010; that number was projected to grow 20% in the 2010-2020 decade. As of 2012, massage therapists earned a median of $35,970 per year. Students who have completed a certificate program in aromatherapy may also work as:

  • Perfume developers
  • Clinical aromatherapists
  • Aromatherapy instructors
  • Day spa or holistic retreat workers
  • Essential oil vendors

Professional Certification Information

While students cannot become certified aromatherapists, they can professionally register through the Aromatherapy Registration Council (www.aromatherapycouncil.org). To qualify for the designation, applicants must have completed at least 200 hours of aromatherapy training at a National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy-accredited school. Upon meeting preliminary requirements, applicants must pass an organization-sponsored qualifying exam. Educational resources are also available through the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (www.alliance-aromatherapists.org).

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