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Alternative Medicine & Systems Major

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Alternative Medicine & Systems

1,505 Master's Degrees Annually
1,110 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#85 in Popularity (Master's)
$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
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

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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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

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

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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 Master’s Degree in Alternative Medicine & Systems?

1,522 Master's Degrees Annually
73% Percent Women
44% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
The major attracts more women than men. About 73% 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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 419
Black or African American 43
Hispanic or Latino 146
White 653
International Students 131
Other Races/Ethnicities 130

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Alternative Medicine, too. About 8.6% 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?

Master’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 master’s degree made a median starting salary of $23,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $19,900 (25th percentile) and $25,700 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to alternative medicine.

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 you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with alternative medicine require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for alternative medicine careers below.

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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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 92 schools offered some type of alternative medicine and systems program. 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 63,380
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 23,124
Medicine 19,720
Public Health 18,212
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 16,970
Health & Medical Administrative Services 14,633
Mental & Social Health Services 14,322
Allied Health Professions 11,260
Communication Sciences 9,970
Osteopathic Medicine 6,700
Dentistry 6,403
Veterinary Medicine 3,297
Chiropractic 2,608
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 2,301
Optometry 1,747
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,654
Health Sciences & Services 1,526
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,418
Other Health Professions 1,292
Health/Medical Prep Programs 1,117
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 842
Medical Science 809
Podiatry 579
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 553
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 475
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 455
Alternative Medical Support Services 129
Dental Support Services 83
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 79
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 34
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 19
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 3
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 0

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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