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Alternative Medicine & Systems Major

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Alternative Medicine & Systems

401 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,505 Master's Degrees Annually
#218 in Popularity
$63,340 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many alternative medicine and systems graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,522
Doctor’s Degree 1,110
Bachelor’s Degree 401
Basic Certificate 243
Undergraduate Certificate 131
Associate’s Degree 87
Graduate Certificate 82

What Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to alternative medicine and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Alternative Medicine Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in alternative medicine should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Skills for Alternative Medicine Majors

alternative medicine majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Alternative Medicine Majors

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

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  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Alternative Medicine & Systems Major?

People with a alternative medicine degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Acupuncturists 13.3% $73,960
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners 13.3% $73,960
Midwives 12.5% $54,620
Naturopathic Physicians 13.3% $73,960
Orthoptists 13.3% $73,960

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Alternative Medicine & Systems?

401 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
82% Percent Women
39% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 401 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in alternative medicine and systems in 2019, making it rank #218 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 82% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Alternative Medicine Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 9
Black or African American 55
Hispanic or Latino 66
White 233
International Students 1
Other Races/Ethnicities 37

Geographic Diversity

Alternative Medicine appeals to people across the globe. About 0.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • South Korea
  • China
  • Taiwan
  • Canada
  • Japan

How Much Do Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that alternative medicine and systems students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $24,900 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $24,100 (25th percentile) and $27,050 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a alternative medicine degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $63,340 to $85,600 (25th to 75th percentile) 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, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Alternative Medicine & Systems Major  ( 63340 to 85600 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with alternative medicine require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 schooling 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.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 3.3%
Some College Courses 4.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 7.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 7.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 26.4%
Master’s Degree 20.8%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 5.0%
Doctoral Degree 25.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.6%

Online Alternative Medicine & Systems Programs

In 2018-2019, 92 schools offered a alternative medicine program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 12 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 10 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 4 0
Associate’s Degree 8 1
Bachelor’s Degree 14 6
Post-Baccalaureate 12 1
Master’s Degree 67 5
Post-Master’s 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 4 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 26 2
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 5 0

Is a Degree in Alternative Medicine & Systems Worth It?

The median salary for a alternative medicine grad is $63,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 59% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $468,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to alternative medicine.

Major Number of Grads
Nursing 305,309
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Public Health 36,569
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,559
Mental & Social Health Services 27,743
Dental Support Services 26,183
Health Sciences & Services 25,948
Communication Sciences 21,606
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,767
Medicine 19,720
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,354
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 11,961
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,279
Other Health Professions 8,168
Osteopathic Medicine 6,700
Dentistry 6,403
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 5,877
Veterinary Medicine 3,297
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,251
Chiropractic 2,608
Optometry 1,747
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,685
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,624
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,044
Medical Science 809
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 782
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 597
Podiatry 579
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 444
Alternative Medical Support Services 191
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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