Alternative therapies

Career outlook for naturopath

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


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What's it like?

You would offer people health advice and remedies based on the idea of naturopathy.

Naturopathy is a complementary or alternative medicine. It is based on the idea that health problems are caused by a lack of balance in the body. Naturopaths believe they can restore balance to help cure these problems.

People with a range of different health problems might come to see you.

You would:

  • Discuss their symptoms and lifestyle
  • Carry out a physical examination and tests such as taking blood
  • Choose a suitable naturopathic remedy
  • Offer treatment at your practice, or explain how remedies can be used at home
  • Give advice on diet and lifestyle if necessary
  • Keep notes on progress
  • Plan follow-up appointments.

It would be helpful to have some knowledge of conventional medicine.

You’d probably be running your own business, so you’d need to handle tasks like administration, finance, and advertising your practice.

Working conditions


Most naturopaths are self-employed and run their own practice. This means that you could choose your own working hours, although you may have to offer evening and weekend appointments.


You would normally work from consulting and treatment rooms that may be at your home or an alternative therapy or natural health clinic. You may also visit people in their own homes.


Some naturopaths visit people in their own homes.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Supporting
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Observation
  • Researching
  • Social conscience
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Understanding

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You would need qualifications recognised by the General Council and Register of Naturopaths (GCRN).

To register with the General Council of Naturopaths (GCRN) you must have completed full-time training in Naturopathy (Osteopathic Medicine) to degree (SCQF level 9/10) or postgraduate level (SCQF level 11).

There are currently no Naturopath/Osteopathic courses in Scotland, but to enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in osteopathic medicine elsewhere in the UK requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers (SCQF level 6). Some courses may require Advanced Higher (SCQF level 7) or equivalent  for entry.

If you are already a medical practitioner, osteopath or physiotherapist you can take a shorter course through the College of Osteopaths.

Useful subjects

Many course require

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects

You will also need

Once qualified, you may need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland for some jobs.