Natural Health Practitioner Certification and Certificate Information
A natural health practitioner certification demonstrates a student's commitment to pre-defined standards set forth by natural health certification associations. Certification, on the other hand allows students to gain initial or advanced natural health education in preparation for a wide range of careers.
Natural Health Practitioner Certificate
Certificate programs are geared towards students who are interested in beginning a career in natural health or becoming an expert in a specific technique or practice of natural health. Basic natural health areas are covered through practical skill application sessions in areas such as ailment diagnosis, reflexology and nutrition principles.
Some programs can take anywhere from six weeks to three years to complete and offer distance learning options. Graduates can receive a certificate in natural health areas such as holistic health or alternative medicine. Most programs do not have prerequisite requirements and generally only require the student submit an application.
Students engage in a blend of hands-on sessions and classroom lectures designed to teach an awareness of the human body and recommended treatments. Courses often cover:
- Principles of bodywork
- Introduction to herbs
- Human physiology
- Relaxation techniques
Popular Career Options
Natural health practitioners work in a number of areas, including social services, nursing, research, teaching and special interest organizations. Career options in this field include:
- Life coach
- Nutrition adviser
- Natural health instructor
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has no statistics specific to natural health practitioners, the BLS does predict that jobs for nutritionists and dietitians in general will continue to become available at a faster-than-average growth rate of 20% from 2010-2020. The median yearly salary for nutritionists as of May 2012 was $55,240. The BLS projected 26% job growth from 2010-2020 for health diagnosing and treating practitioners in general. As of May 2012, the BLS reported, health diagnosing and treating practitioners earned a median annual salary of $72,710 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Certification
Some certificate programs allow students to enroll in additional classes to pursue an associate degree or pursue advanced courses in areas such as massage, reflexology and hypnosis. Students may also consider professional certification in a natural health area, which is offered through organizations such as the National Association of Certified Natural Health Professionals or American Holistic Medical Association.
Applicants can demonstrate a current knowledge of developments in the natural health field by participating in coursework or passing a competency exam. Some organizations do not require prerequisites, while others require a degree in medicine or demonstration of an advanced knowledge of natural health principles.
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