With a rapidly expanding market, an education in alternative medicine in Australia can offer a graduate a range of job opportunities.
Sometimes referred to as complementary medicine, alternative medicine covers a broad range of different natural health services. These can include natural therapies, naturopathy, herbal medicines and holistic medicine among others. You have the choice in picking the area of alternative medicine that appeals to you when picking a course of study at an Australian online university.
Why should I study alternative medicine?
Seek Learning estimates the average minimum salary for jobs in the Natural Medicine field to be $53,846 AUD. This is a quickly growing industry in Australia, offering you the chance to provide natural medical assistance to patients in need, and as a form of preventive medical care. Studying various types of alternative medical services and earning a Bachelor’s degree can prepare you to open your own practice treating patients.
It is estimated that over half of all Australians are seeking herbal medicines as a part of their daily health care. Alternative medicine is a rapidly growing industry, and that is not only in Australia.
Around the world the industry is growing at a rate of roughly 30% each year. With a degree in this expanding field, you should have no problem finding a stimulating job that offers health benefits to a large group of individuals.
Western herbal medicine is one of the more popular alternative medicine studies in Australia, and has been an important part of medicinal practices for decades. The national body for practising herbalists, the National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA) was founded in 1920 to oversee the study and practice of alternative medicine practitioners. It is they, along with other governing bodies, who are responsible for setting the standards of a practising alternative medicine provider and will only give their official recognition to courses that meet their minimum requirements.
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What are the courses available for alternative medicine?
When looking into courses designed for the various studies of alternative medicine, you will find that they start at the certificate level, such as Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice. These are basic courses that provide you with some practical and theoretical knowledge of that particular field.
- Advanced Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine
- Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy
- Diploma of Health Science
- Diploma of Remedial Massage
- Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine
- Diploma of Remedial Massage
To further advance a career in alternative medicine you will want courses where you will receive a Bachelor’s Degree such as:
- Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)
- Bachelor of Health Science (Western Herbal Medicine)
- Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine)
- Bachelor of Health Science (Chinese Medicine)
- Bachelor of Health Science (Clinical Myotherapy)
A Bachelor’s Degree in an alternative medicine is very specific to an area of practice that you choose. As not all schools offer courses in all the different areas of alternative medicine, you will need to ensure that the online school you are looking into has the specific program you are interested in.Back to top
What are the tuition fees and other expenses to study alternative medicine?
Fees will vary based on the level of study you choose, the particular course and of course the school itself. A Certificate IV course will be around $3,500 AUD, while diploma and Bachelor’s Degree courses are dependent on the specific field of study and the number of classes, or units, required. Units are priced individually, with some costing more than others. How much your online course in alternative medicine will cost will be determined once you have chosen the specific units you wish to study.Back to top
What are the best institutions in Australia to study alternative medicine?
The Australasian College of Natural Therapies has a total of nine courses available towards the study of various types of alternative medicine, including Advanced Diploma in Western Herbal Medicine and Diploma of Health Science. Some are conducted completely online, while others may require that you spend some time in a clinical environment in addition to your online studies.
The Australian Institute of Holistic Medicine (AIHM) has online courses available for many diploma based courses, such as Advanced Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine. Unlike other types of online courses where the student sets the pace, the online courses at AIHM are in real time, where you are an active member of a classroom through your internet connection.Back to top
What are the career opportunities for alternative medicine?
The types of careers associated with a degree or diploma in alternative medicine will depend heavily on the area of alternative medicine you have chosen. For example, a Bachelor of Health Science with a focus on Naturopathy could begin a career with your own practice as a Naturopathic doctor, where you examine, diagnose and treat patients using Oriental medicine and homeopathy.
A Bachelor of Western Herbal Medicine could begin a career as an herbalist, herbal medicine or botanical medicine practitioner, or a phytotherapist. You could also open your own practice as a doctor of Western Herbal Medicine.
There are also career opportunities available outside of private practice such as in hospitals, health clinics and wellness centers. Alternative medicine focuses heavily on the prevention of illness and disease, leaving you many options to consider in both the private and public health care sector.
When choosing a university to study alternative medicine, it is important that you ensure the courses provided are recognised by the NHAA as well as the Australian Natural Therapists Association. These institutions are responsible for setting the education standards necessary for offering diplomas and degrees in alternative medicine courses, and having their approval for the course that you received will weigh heavily on your employment opportunities.