Aromatherapy Jobs & Careers
Become an Aromatherapist
Aromatherapy uses essential oils, from various plants, to heal. The oils are massaged into the skin to promote physical, emotional or psychological healing. The massage relaxes tight muscles and unblocks congested tissue, while triggering endorphins to help with the pain-healing.
An Aromatherapist uses the oils, administered directly or indirectly, to encourage healing by improving mood, relaxing the body, and rejuvenating the spirit. Some common methods of administration include inhalation, application to the skin via spa treatments or cosmetics, and aromatherapy massage.
Example of a typical day
A typical day for an aromatherapist consists of a number of consultations. The initial consultation with a client is different from subsequent consultations because the aromatherapist will use this time to complete a full health questionnaire and examination. The aromatherapist can then determine which are the most important problems to treat, and which oils should be used in the treatment. Every treatment is unique. Initial treatments may last 90 minutes, while subsequent treatments are usually 60 minutes.
Working conditions & environment
As an aromatherapist, you may find work in a clinic, aged care facility, a health service or a spa facility giving basic aromatherapy treatment. Alternatively, graduates find work in manufacturing aromatherapy products or in the retail area of the industry.
Many aromatherapists say that the best part of their job is the opportunity to heal people. Some say that it is the variety, and often the ability to set their own hours, that makes it most rewarding for them.
Self-employed aromatherpists often say that having to do all the tasks associated with running a business, like keeping receipts and records for tax, is their least favourite part.
It is important that aromatherapists have good listening skills and can empathise with clients. You need to be interested in healthcare because you will have to do a lot of research into medical conditions. Business skills can also be important, particularly if you plan on operating on your own.
Excellent people skills and self-care skills are a must for an aromatherapist, and caring for others is the key to success. There can be a high burn-out rate in this occupation, and as some aromatherapists combine massage with their practice, it is important to be physically fit.
How to become an Aromatherapist
There are a number of study options at AIAS for students wishing to undertake aromatherapy studies. Each course builds on your knowledge and develops your skills a little further.
If you are new to aromatherapy the Certificate IV in Aromatherapy is the course for you. This course is ideally suited for anybody who is looking to develop skills needed to be a basic level Aromatherapist.
The Diploma in Aromatherapy provides competence in aromatherapy practice. Graduates from this course may be self-employed as independent practitioners or may work within a larger health service.
Aromatherapy practitioners come from a wide range of career fields, and graduates of an aromatherapy course have numerous career options. Aromatherapy training can be useful to spa workers, such as Massage Therapists, and many complementary health professionals use aromatherapy in conjunction with specialities such as acupuncture. Some graduates of aromatherapy from AIAS have gone on to work directly with the production or sales of essential oils, cosmetics and related products.
In Australia, most aromatherapists are self-employed, and find successful careers through this route. It is strongly advised that aromatherapists have expertise in other areas such as massage, nutrition or naturopathy, and there are also many excellent opportunities to work interstate and overseas as an aromatherapist.