From acupuncture to massage therapy, there are a number of reasons why to choose a career in alternative medicine. Alternative medicine has become more popular over the past few years with clients looking for something unconventional to traditional western medicine and you can be a part of that. Here is what you need to know about a career in this field and why choosing it may be the best career move.

The Need for Alternative Medicine

The need for those who practice alternative medicine is definitely a consideration. When there is more need for a certain career type, that opens up the doors to higher pay, an easier time of finding work, and having more options in where you decide to work.

According to Nurse Journal:

Holistic nurses have the same outlook for jobs within the United States as registered nurses do, showing a predicted increase of 19% by the year 2022. This is a higher than average rate of growth, and while the average RN will see this kind of availability in the future, holistic nurses may see some differences as the medical community becomes more accepting of these alternative methods of medical practice.

The Salary

The salary is always a consideration when choosing a career field but you can rest assured that a career in both acupuncture and massage therapy are competitive salary levels. According to US News and World Reports, massage therapy is ranked as one of the top five healthcare careers and the demand for more therapists is projected to grow nearly 25 percent in the next decade.

According to Indeed:

The average salary for an Acupuncturist is $32.59 per hour in the United States. Salary estimates are based on 556 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Acupuncturist employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.

As far as the salary for a career in massage:

The average salary for a Massage Therapist is $25.95 per hour in the United States. Salary estimates are based on 32,549 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Massage Therapist employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.

The Rewards Are Many

The salary and need for a certain job field is not quite as important if there aren’t benefits, rewards, and enjoyment in the job. When it comes to massage therapy and acupuncture, there are plenty of reasons why this is a career that you will not only enjoy but find rewarding as well.

  • Flexible Schedules. One of the great things about a career in alternative medicine is the ability to create your own schedule. Whether you work with someone else or have your own business – you choose the schedule.
  • Opportunity to Travel. Both acupuncturists and massage therapists have the opportunity to work in a variety of states and settings. For instance, massage therapy is done at spas, resorts, cruise ships, and more. The possibilities are many.
  • A Less Rigid Atmosphere. There is a huge difference in working in a hospital or clinic setting with a traditional job in the medical field as opposed to not only being your own boss but working in a more pleasant, less rigid, and less clinical type of ambiance with a job in alternative medicine.
  • Easier to Be Your Own Boss. Whether you decide to work in a partnership or start your own wellness clinic, it is easy to choose your own path.
  • A Shorter Career Path. A medical doctor career can take a number of years – four in medical school then an additional three to seven years in residency training while the acupuncture program takes just 27 months and the massage therapy program only takes 12 months.

One of the main benefits of alternative medicine is the desire to help others in a non-invasive way. You’re not only helping patients with a variety of symptoms such as pain management or relaxation, but you are also contributing to their overall wellness. Restoring health, balance, and relaxation are just a few of the main components to alternative medicine that are fulfilling to the practitioner.

You get to know your patients well and have the freedom to spend more time addressing their needs in a caring and compassionate manner.

What Does It Take?

In order to start your career in alternative medicine, you will need to do the following:

  • Interview with an admissions representative and take a personal tour
  • Submit proof of a high school diploma or GED
  • Pay for application fee and submit a completed application
  • Complete Physical Health Exam Form
  • Discuss payment options with Financial Aid department
  • Complete enrollment agreement and accompanying paperwork

There are additional requirements for the acupuncturist program such as the necessity of a Bachelor’s Degree, the Hepatitis B vaccine or a refusal on a physical form, and English language competency.

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