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Naturopath

Kaihaumanu Hauora Aro Tini

Naturopaths help restore balance to the body and mind through special diets, herbal remedies, spiritual healing, massage or essential oils.

Pay

Naturopaths usually earn

$32K-$50K per year

Source: MBIE, '2006-2013 Occupation Data', 2015.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a full-time job as a naturopath are poor due to a limited amount of clients.

Pay

Pay for naturopaths varies depending on:

  • the specific therapy they practice
  • qualifications
  • experience
  • the region they work in
  • how many clients they have.

Naturopaths usually earn between $32,000 and $50,000 a year, although some may earn more than this.

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2013 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Naturopaths may do some or all of the following:

  • examine, question and observe patients to work out their health problems
  • advise and treat patients
  • prepare or buy herbal medicines, vitamins or minerals, including homeopathic remedies, for patients
  • study and research the effect natural medicine has on the body and people's health
  • educate the public about natural health methods
  • work as sales representatives or consultants for natural health medicine companies or distributors.

Skills and knowledge

Naturopaths need to have:

  • an understanding of the human body and how it functions
  • knowledge of homeopathic and conventional medicines, and herbs that can be used as medicines
  • knowledge of using vitamins and minerals to treat disease and illness
  • knowledge of nutrition and diet, and how this can affect the body
  • knowledge of relaxation techniques and physical therapies such as massage
  • basic understanding of western medicine
  • knowledge of medical ethics.

Self-employed naturopaths also need small business skills.

Working conditions

Naturopaths:

  • usually work regular hours, but may work weekends and evenings when required or be on call. Many naturopaths work part time.
  • may work in health food shops, natural health clinics, osteopathy clinics, or medical or private practices
  • may travel locally to meet patients.

Entry requirements

To become a naturopath it is recommended that you have a:

  • Diploma in Naturopathy (Level 6) or 
  • Bachelor of Natural Medicine/Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine (Level 7).

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

Secondary education

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include chemistry, biology, English and mathematics.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

Chinese medicine 

To become a Chinese medicine naturopath it is recommended you have a:

  • Diploma of Chinese Herbal Medicine/Diploma of Tuina (Level 7) or
  • Bachelor of Health Science – Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (Level 7). 

Rongoā/Māori medicine

To become a Rongoā/Māori medicine naturopath it is recommended you have a: 

  • Heke Rongoā/Diploma of Māori Holistic Wellbeing (Level 5) or
  • Graduate Diploma in Māori Medicine (Level 7).

Nutrition

To become a naturopath specialising in nutrition it is recommended you have a:

  • Diploma in Naturopathy and Nutritional Science (Level 6) or 
  • Bachelor of Natural Medicine/Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine (Level 7).

Personal requirements

Naturopaths need to:

  • be good written and verbal communicators
  • be well organised
  • be aware and understanding of a range of cultures and backgrounds
  • have good listening skills to help them accurately assess and diagnose patients' health problems.

Useful experience

Useful experience for naturopaths includes work in health areas such as:

  • nursing
  • counselling
  • alternative therapies.

Business management and administrative experience is also useful for those running their own business.

Physical requirements

Naturopaths need to be reasonably fit and healthy. Naturopaths who do massage need to have strong arms.

Registration

Naturopaths with a Diploma in Naturopathy (Level 6) or a higher qualification can register with the NZ Society of Naturopaths.

Find out more about training

NZ Society of Naturopaths
(09) 483 5455 - webms@naturopath.org.nz - www.naturopath.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Chances of getting full-time work as a naturopath are poor as there are limited clients and high competition for them.

Around 70% of naturopaths are self-employed and develop a customer base through advertising in their local community and online.

Demand for naturopaths may increase 

Demand for naturopaths may improve due to increased demand for natural health products such as medicine, cosmetics, vitamins, food and drinks.

Naturopaths may:

  • be hired as consultants for the making of natural health products
  • develop and sell their own products
  • work as consultants in new retail stores.

Small range of employers

Naturopaths who are not self-employed may work for:

  • hospices and nursing homes
  • natural health care clinics
  • retail outlets
  • health supplement and cosmetic companies
  • education institutions as teachers.

Sources

  • James, L, founder of Ideal Health and Naturopath, Careers New Zealand interview, August 2016.
  • Jury, L, registrar, NZ Society of Naturopaths, Careers New Zealand interview, July 2016.
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2013 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2016.
  • Naturopathic College of New Zealand, 'Natural Medicine in New Zealand infographic', accessed August 2016, (www.ncnz.co.nz).
  • Norton, M, 'Natural Health Industry Sets Sights on Exporting Products', March 2015, Pharmacy Today, (www.pharmacytoday.co.nz).
  • Wadey, R, 'Comvita and the Business of Making Honey', June 2016, (www.viva.co.nz).

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Naturopaths can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Chinese medicine naturopath
Chinese medicine naturopaths provide healing through traditional Chinese medicine and physical remedies such as cupping and acupuncture.
Rongoā/Māori medicine naturopath
Rongoā/Māori medicine naturopaths provide healing through Māori herbal medicine, spiritual remedies such as tapu-lifting and physical remedies such as blood-letting. 
Nutrition
Naturopaths specialising in nutrition provide clients with nutritional advice on eating and natural supplements as well as exercise.
A chinese medicine doctor points to acupressure points on a human model

Naturopaths may specialise in Chinese medicine.

Last updated 4 September 2018