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Alternative Medicine & Systems

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Alternative Medicine & Systems Major

2,958 yearly degrees
#167 in popularity
$63,000 median salary

Alternative medicine and systems is a major that typically falls into the Health Professions category.

There are 8 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in alternative medicine, 8 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 73 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 33 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an Alternative Medicine Degree?

Alternative medicine and systems is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #200 in popularity. About 500 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major is dominated by women with about 84.8% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of alternative medicine majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 2.8%
  • Black or African American: 14%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 15.8%
  • White: 59.8%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 0.5%
  • Other Races: 7.2%

Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in alternative medicine. About 0.5% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending alternative medicine majors to the U.S. are South Korea, China and Taiwan.

What Will You Learn as an Alternative Medicine & Systems Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to alternative medicine to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Alternative Medicine Majors

Alternative medicine majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors

Skills for Alternative Medicine Majors

A major in alternative medicine prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors

Abilities for Alternative Medicine Majors

Alternative medicine majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for alternative medicine Majors

What Can You Do With an Alternative Medicine Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with alternative medicine:

Careers Related to Alternative Medicine & Systems
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners 13.3% $73,960
Midwives 12.5% $54,620
Acupuncturists 13.3% $73,960
Naturopathic Physicians 13.3% $73,960
Orthoptists 13.3% $73,960

Alternative Medicine & Systems Major Salary

Average salaries range from $63,000 to $86,000 for careers related to alternative medicine. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an Alternative Medicine Major  ( 63000 to 86000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Alternative Medicine & Systems Major Jobs

Some careers associated with alternative medicine may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to alternative medicine have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Alternative Medicine & Systems
Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Less Than a High School Diploma 0%
High School Diploma or Equivalent 0%
Post-Secondary Certificate 3.3%
Some College Courses 4.9%
Associate's Degree or Equivalent 7.1%
Bachelor's Degree 7.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 26.4%
Master's Degree 20.8%
Post-Master's Certificate 0%
First Professional Degree 5%
Doctoral Degree 25.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.6%

Online Alternative Medicine & Systems Programs

There are 8 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in alternative medicine and systems, with 3 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is an Alternative Medicine & Systems Major Worth It?

The median salary for an alternative medicine grad is $63,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 63% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!

alternative medicine and systems salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Aphiwat chuangchoem via License

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