Natural Health Practitioner Certification and Certificate Information
Learn about the courses and requirements for earning a certificate in natural health practices. Find out about employment outlook, salary potential, continuing education for a natural health degree and professional certification as a natural health practitioner.
Certifications and certificates are different. A natural health practitioner certification is a credential that demonstrates a professional commitment to standards set by natural health certification organizations. A certificate program, on the other hand, provides training in initial or advanced natural health practices in preparation for a wide range of careers.
Certificate programs in natural health may be overviews that are geared towards those starting a career. Others are for practitioners who want to become versed in a specific natural health practice, such as massage, reflexology or herbology. Programs, including distance options, can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 years to complete. Most programs do not have prerequisites and generally only require the student to 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 21% from 2012-2022. The median yearly salary for nutritionists as of May 2013 was $55,920. The BLS projected 20% job growth from 2012-2022 for health diagnosing and treating practitioners in general. As of May 2013, the BLS reported, health diagnosing and treating practitioners earned a median annual salary of $72,870 (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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