Career opportunity and salary are important factors when considering your future profession. Herbal Medicine was once a primary healthcare modality before the development of pharmaceuticals. Now, largely due to the prevalence of illnesses that are drug-resistant and the side effects of drugs themselves, there is a resurgence in the practice of herbal medicine and complementary medicine in general. With this resurgence, there comes an increase in job opportunities for herbalists.
Below is information to help provide prospective herbalists some insight into the job opportunities that exist and the potential income they can earn.
Career Path and Average Salary of a Herbalist
The salary that you could earn as a herbalist can vary and is dependent on a number of factors. The most important factor is likely the career path that you choose to follow upon obtaining your qualification. Herbalists can work in a variety of fields upon finishing their training. Herbalists are finding satisfying career paths in research, production, business, education and clinical practice.
According to payscale.com, as of November 2014 the average herbalist was making a healthy income of just under $44,000 a year – and there is potential to earn much more than that. Additional figures from the American Herbalists Guild claim that herbalists can earn anywhere between $20,000 and $120,000, depending on their area of practice and their individual successes.
Included below is more salary and job information specific to each prospective career path as a herbalist.
Completion of the Diploma of Phytotherapy program at Pacific Rim College gives you ample education and experience to be a clinical practitioner. This career path allows you to establish your own herbal medicine practice, or join an existing health clinic to work in collaboration with other health professionals. As a practitioner you can assist clients with their health concerns and in regaining or maintaining their health goals. You can work independently as a herbalist or work as a complementary medicine practitioner alongside western medical professionals. The hourly rate for professional herbalists working in this field ranges from $50-100 per hour. This correlates with your skillset and specialization.
There are many opportunities to work in clinical research as a herbalist. Whether it is working for the government, a university or the private sector, many contracted and permanent positions exist. You may have the opportunity to work in collaboration with clinical practitioners or researchers from other institutions, or to work closely with local or indigenous cultures. The salary range for a position of this nature would be anywhere from $40,000+ per year.
As there is a growing demand for healthcare products, you may be interested in formulating and manufacturing herbal merchandise. This can be done in several ways. You may wish to start your own small business as a local manufacturer of patent herbal formulations or create customized herbal products for individual clinical practitioners. You can also work for larger companies and assist with their research and development teams in creating new products for the marketplace. Depending on your skills and experience, you can expect to earn anywhere from $40-10,000 per year as a herbalist in this field.
Customer Service/Professional Support
There are many companies and organizations that require customer support services for natural healthcare products. This can be in the retail sector, manufacturing or research. Your role would be to assist customers with any questions or concerns that they have about herbal health products ranging from supplements and body creams to herbal remedies for animals. You could work in a retail setting, one on one with the customers, or in a call or email centre. The salary range for positions of this nature ranges from approximately $25-50,000 per year.
There is already a great demand for educators in herbal medicine and this demand is only growing as more people look to herbal medicine for healthcare solutions. Opportunities exist in both the private and public educational sector. An educator in this field can earn from $40-$120 per hour, depending on the targeted audience. This rate can increase dramatically as you become more renowned within the health and holistic healing community.
Herbalists and supplement companies are always going to need the raw materials for their medicines, so growing medicinal plants is a burgeoning career path for herbal graduates. This career can take numerous routes, which includes working on or managing a farm, or potentially owning and operating your own. You could also be hired at a farm for your expertise in growing herbs and plants and command a salary of $20-$45 per hour depending on knowledge and skill.
Business training is essential for any entrepreneur to become successful. At Pacific Rim College, our professional development courses in writing, research and business development offer students the skills that translate into business success post-graduation. Many of our graduates have business plans, websites and marketing materials prepared to launch their business before graduation.
With the increase in popularity of complementary and integrative medicines, opportunities to find meaningful employment and a satisfying career in field of Western Herbal Medicine are endless.
Visit our School of Western Herbal Medicine for more information regarding the programs offered.