Aromatherapists use essential oils to help improve emotional well-being and relieve everyday stresses.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll usually need to:
- complete a course meeting aromatherapy National Occupational Standards (NOS)
- join an accredited register managed by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) or the Federation of Holistic Therapists
- have insurance
Courses which meet the NOS standards will usually take around 9 months. To get onto a course you'll usually need to:
- be 18 years old
- have previous experience of healthcare, massage, beauty therapy or counselling
The Aromatherapy Council has more information on how to choose a training course.
You can also study at foundation degree and degree level. These courses usually include other complementary therapies as well as aromatherapy.
2. Skills required
- excellent communication and listening skills
- the ability to gain clients' confidence and trust
- to understand and remember the properties and chemistry of a large number of essential oils
- accurate record-keeping skills
- business skills, if self-employed
3. What you'll do
Aromatherapy is a complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). As an aromatherapist you'll use essential oils to help improve your clients' emotional wellbeing.
You could work at a health spa or private clinic, or you might offer therapy at a hospital or hospice.
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- explaining the therapy to the client
- taking details of the client's medical history, diet and lifestyle
- selecting the oils you feel are appropriate for helping the client
- blending the oils to be used
- applying oils by full or partial body massage
- keeping records of the blends of oils used
- supplying blended oils and instructions for clients to use at home
You won't diagnose individual conditions or advise clients on symptoms or treatments. You'll refer clients to a qualified medical doctor when necessary.
Self-employed aromatherapists usually charge from £25 to £70 an hour.
You’ll need to pay business costs like rent and materials out of these fees.
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
Your working hours will depend on how many clients you have, particularly if you're self-employed.
You may start by working part-time until you've built a solid reputation and client base. You may need to work some evenings and weekends to accommodate your clients.
6. Career path and progression
With experience as a self-employed practitioner, you could set up clinics at home or at other premises, or visit clients in their homes.
With further training, you could offer additional therapies, like reflexology or massage, to increase your income.
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Last updated: 27 September 2017