How do I get an Aromatherapy Certification?

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  • Written By: M. L. Millmore
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2019
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In aromatherapy, the fragrance of various essential oils and herbs is used to promote healing and health. An aromatherapy certification can be earned online or in the classroom through a school that specializes in aromatherapy and other healing sciences, such as massage therapy. Certification courses also are offered by holistic training centers.

If you plan to practice aromatherapy in the United States, in order to avoid legal problems, you should make sure that the coursework you are completing for your aromatherapy certification meets the standards set by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). The NAHA’s website includes a list of approved schools that issue certifications in aromatherapy. The NAHA also lists international schools that meet its standards. Along with this list, the NAHA also sets out specific guidelines for exactly what every certified aromatherapist is expected to study in their coursework.

It also is a good idea to find out the criteria to practice aromatherapy in the jurisdiction where you plan to work. Sometimes the requirements are different than the NAHA’s standard, and it is important not only to be certified in aromatherapy according to the NAHA but to also be certified to practice on clients according to the local laws. These laws apply to anyone who touches clients, including aromatherapists and massage therapists, and each state has its own criteria.


A high school diploma is required to enroll in any aromatherapy certification course. The NAHA does not set a required number of hours to be completed in order to earn a certificate. Programs usually require between 200 and 500 hours of study and training, depending on the intensity of the program.

An approved aromatherapy curriculum consists of two levels. The first level includes a study of essential oils and the history of aromatherapy, as well as physiology and the techniques for blending oils. The second level includes basic botany, methods of oil extraction from plants, organic chemistry, business development and familiarization of the a code of ethics. You also must complete a research paper, complete at least 10 case histories and pass the school’s examination process.

Financial aid is available from most schools offering certifications. If financial aid is not an option, however, online courses often are much cheaper, and the certification is the same. An online certification can be as cheap as $1,000 US Dollars (USD) to $2,000 USD. Learning in the classroom usually is a bit more expensive.

Aromatherapists work in many different settings. Aromatherapy work often leads to other careers based on aromatherapy knowledge, such as nursing, perfume development, massage therapy or psychology. However, if an aromatherapy certification is as much schooling as you desire to complete, you could work as a clinical aromatherapist in settings such as a clinic, spa or health retreat.


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