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Alternative Medicine & Systems Major

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Alternative Medicine & Systems

400 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,548 Master's Degrees Annually
#16 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 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,555
Doctor’s Degree 896
Bachelor’s Degree 400
Basic Certificate 264
Undergraduate Certificate 178
Associate’s Degree 107
Graduate Certificate 81

What Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to alternative medicine were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Alternative Medicine Majors

Alternative Medicine majors often go into careers in which the following 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

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to alternative medicine:

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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

As a alternative medicine major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with alternative medicine:

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?

400 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
85% Percent Women
36% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen healthcare majors. It is the 16th most popular in the country with 400 students graduating with a bachelor’s in alternative medicine in 2018. The major attracts more women than men. About 85% 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 11
Black or African American 56
Hispanic or Latino 63
White 239
International Students 2
Other Races/Ethnicities 29

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Alternative Medicine, too. About 0.5% 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

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in alternative medicine and systems 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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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to alternative medicine so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Alternative Medicine majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $63,340 to $85,600 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 degrees associated with alternative medicine may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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 2017-2018, 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) 11 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 11 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 3 0
Associate’s Degree 8 2
Bachelor’s Degree 13 7
Post-Baccalaureate 11 1
Master’s Degree 73 9
Post-Master’s 8 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 3 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 25 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 293,633
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 104,465
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 90,916
Health & Medical Administrative Services 87,058
Allied Health Professions 86,125
Public Health 34,089
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,068
Dental Support Services 27,155
Mental & Social Health Services 26,783
Health Sciences & Services 24,436
Communication Sciences 21,520
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,962
Medicine 19,418
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,295
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 15,451
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,807
Other Health Professions 8,426
Dentistry 6,518
Osteopathic Medicine 6,392
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 6,056
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,875
Veterinary Medicine 3,175
Chiropractic 2,503
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,714
Optometry 1,674
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,608
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,089
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 804
Medical Science 738
Podiatry 543
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 535
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 373
Alternative Medical Support Services 244
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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