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Aromatherapists use essential oils to help improve emotional well-being and relieve symptoms of ill health.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

Courses which meet the NOS standards will give you the qualification you need to become a member of a professional body. These courses take at least 9 months. You can take shorter courses, but they’re for personal interest only. It can help your application if you have previous experience of healthcare, massage, beauty therapy or counselling. 

These awarding bodies have details of the courses you could take:

You can also study at foundation degree and degree level. These courses usually include aromatherapy alongside other complementary therapies.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to empathise with clients
  • the ability to gain clients' confidence and trust
  • an ability to remember and understand the properties and chemistry of a large number of essential oils
  • accurate record-keeping skills
  • the ability to recognise when to refer clients to a qualified medical doctor
  • business skills, if self-employed

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • explaining the treatment to the client
  • taking details of the client's medical history, diet and lifestyle
  • selecting the oils you feel are appropriate for treating the client
  • blending the oils to be used
  • applying oils by full or partial body massage
  • keeping records of treatments and the blends of oils used
  • supplying blended oils and instructions for clients to use at home

4. Salary

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 have built a solid reputation and client base. You may need to work some evenings and weekends to accommodate your clients.

You could work in a variety of settings. 

6. Career path and progression

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.

You could work at a health spa or private clinic.

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Last updated: 07 December 2016