Careers in Herbology: Employment Options and Job Outlook

Herbology is the study of plants, their health benefits and their medicinal qualities. Herbalists use natural resources to treat illness, alleviate medical conditions and provide therapeutic remedies. Aspiring herbalists often apprentice with a master herbalist before entering the job market. Individuals study traditional herbal wisdom and contemporary scientific knowledge to prepare for careers in herbology.

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Careers in Herbology

Career opportunities in the field of herbology vary based on candidate training and clinical experience. An individual who has completed a certificate program or a 2-year degree program in herbology is qualified to work as an herbalist. Herbalists may specialize in indigenous, Ayurvedic, Chinese or Western herbology. Job duties may include treating patients, managing a holistic health clinic, selling herbal products, wellness consulting and herb cultivating.

Master herbalists have completed advanced training and may have a degree in herbal medicine, holistic medicine, naturopathy or herbal sciences. Increased education and experience prepares master herbalists for leadership roles as researchers, consultants, administrators and educators.

Employment Options

Herbalists frequently pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, such as opening an herbal wholesale business or holistic clinic. Self-employed herbalists develop their careers by building and expanding a client base from within their local holistic health community. Others may seek employment as vitamin-supplement representatives, herbal consultants, herbal industry representatives or homeopathic clinic managers.

Advanced herbology training increases employment opportunities. Individuals may consider taking courses in physiology and holistic health, herb cultivation, herbal science, botanical medicine, herbal manufacturing, aromatherapy, basic botany, herbal nutrition and integrative herbal therapeutics. Apprenticing is another way individuals find employment in the field of herbology. Master herbalists instruct apprentices in developing health plans and supplying traditional herbal remedies to treat patients.

Job Outlook

The American Herbalists Guild (AHG) reports that the demand for herbology specialists varies depending on the amount of people seeking alternative healing methods. The job outlook in the field of herbology varies based on an herbalist's level of experience, location and employment aspirations. While there isn't an official certification process to work as an herbalist, job opportunities are better for those who have completed some form of herbology training, which may also increase an individual's earnings potential.

Herbalists working at a health store may earn minimum wage, while self-employed herbalists may set their hourly wage as they see fit. Self-employed herbalists maintain job stability by expanding their client base and marketing adequately. Some herbalists may need to supplement their income with other work, such as teaching or consulting. According to the AHG, herbalists may earn between $20,000 and $120,000 annually.

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