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Alternative Medicine & Systems Major

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Alternative Medicine & Systems

165 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
17 Master's Degrees Annually
#69 in Popularity
$85,600 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 137
Bachelor’s Degree 106
Undergraduate Certificate 61
Associate Degree 37
Graduate Certificate 36
Master’s Degree 35

What Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems 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 General Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skills for General Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems Majors

When studying general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities for General Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems Majors

General Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems 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.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

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

People with a general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Orthoptists 13.3% $73,960

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

106 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
86% Percent Women
42% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 86% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 2
Black or African American 19
Hispanic or Latino 20
White 50
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 15

How Much Do Alternative Medicine & Systems Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

General Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems majors often go into careers with median salaries of $85,600. This median refers to 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  85,600
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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 general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems 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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 10.2%
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. 76.1%
Master’s Degree 10.2%

Online Alternative Medicine & Systems Programs

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 12 schools offered some type of general alternative and complementary medicine and medical 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 1 1
Bachelor’s Degree 5 3
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 3 2
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Alternative Medicine & Systems Worth It?

The median salary for a general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems grad is $85,600 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 115% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $914,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to general alternative and complementary medicine and medical systems.

Major Number of Grads
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine 1,742
Holistic/Integrative Health 500
Naturopathic Medicine/Naturopathy 322
Ayurvedic Medicine/Ayurveda 133
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbology 126
Other Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems 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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