Naturopathic doctors primarily work as primary care physicians and therefore, a naturopathic doctor salary is very much on the same level as that of any general care physician. The information we provide below about naturopathic salary is information obtained from data provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to BLS data, the median naturopathic doctor salary in the United States is much smaller than most physicians.
The median annual salary is reported to be about $72,000 and the mean salary is reported to be about $57,000 per annum. The top 10th percentile reported earnings of about $80,000 or more per year which is about $55 or more per hour. The bottom 10th percentile reported salaries of about $53,000 or less per year or about $26 or less per hour.
Naturopathic doctors who owned their own private practices earned more when compared to those who worked in other physician’s offices. Those with their own practice reported income in the range of between $57,000 and $102,000 per year. Those working in other physician’s offices reported annual salaries between $39,000 and $83,000.
Like most other professions, geographic location can also play a big role in determining the salary of a naturopathic doctor. For example, those with jobs in Oregon reported salaries of between $36,000 and $86,000 per annum. Those employed in Washington earned between $39,000 and $75,000 per year. California reported wages between $28,000 and $101,000 per year. Chicago wages were between $24,000 and $123,000 per year and Arizona reported salaries between $59,000 and $100,000 per year.
Another determining factor of a naturopathic salary is the number of years of experience. Entry level salary was reported to be between $24,000 and $30,000 per year. Those with about 5 years of experience earned between $40,000 and $89,000 per year. Those with about 10 years of experience can earn a salary ranging from $42,000 to $91,000 per annum and those with more than 10 years of experience can expect an annual salary ranging from $63,000 to $110,000 per year.
A reason for the considerable low salaries of doctors of naturopathy is that a lot of them work part-time and wages for entry level is very low.
Job description of a naturopathic doctor
Naturopathic doctors use more non-traditional methods of treatment to treat diseases and illnesses. Patients who are looking for alternative treatments and healthcare look to naturopathic doctors.
Instead of treating symptoms of diseases, they treat illnesses and promote general wellbeing by the use of preventive and natural therapies. Such methods may include herbal medicine, massage therapy and homeopathy. They also use methods such as acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments for the treatment and prevention of illness.
Some of the most common ailments they treat include chronic pain, allergies, obesity, heart diseases, hormonal imbalances, infertility, menopause and respiratory conditions. They generally can offer treatment for all medical problems. NDs can perform some minor surgery such the removal of cysts and stitching of wounds. The approach of an ND is more focus on the prevention of diseases and illnesses by promoting a well-balanced healthy body through the use of natural medicine and therapy.
How to become a naturopathic doctor
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The education requirement involves 4 years of undergraduate studies and 4 years of graduate studies The journey of a would-be naturopathic doctor begins with a bachelor’s degree. It is best to focus on a major or science related fields such as chemistry, biology and physics although no specific major is required for admission into naturopathic medicine. There are pre-requisite subjects that must be taken in college before a student can be admitted into an ND program. These subjects are chemistry, general biology, physics, algebra and psychology. It usually requires a semester or two of these courses. So even if you are graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, you still need to take courses in the above subjects if you want to study an ND program.
The next step is to attend a naturopathic medical school. It is a graduate program that requires a bachelor’s degree to get admitted into. Students can generally apply to this program in their junior year college but must complete their bachelor’s degree program before matriculation. Part of the program will be spent in clinical setting under the supervision of qualified professionals.
All states require naturopathic doctors to be licensed before they can practice. This involves taking and passing some rigorous exams in order to become licensed.
Verdict on naturopathic doctor salary
For various reasons, a naturopathic doctor salary is very low compared to other physicians. One reason may be that this is a new and growing profession. As more and more people become aware of and use their service, it is expected that the salary of a naturopathic doctor will increase. The job outlook for this profession is reported as very bright.