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Career Opportunities

One of the Fastest Growing Healthcare Professions

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) is one of the most requested forms of treatment in the fast-growing field of complementary and alternative medicine and holds promise as one of the key modalities to be used in current and future integrative medical settings. The success of AOM today is attributable to its treatment efficacy, remarkable safety record, cost-effectiveness, and significant public demand. The Council's 53 member schools offer graduate training in AOM at the Master's degree level, which is the entry-level degree for the profession. Post-graduate clinical training through the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and Doctorate of Acupuncture degrees is also available. With AOM practitioners licensed to practice in 44 states and the District of Columbia, the availability of so many AOM programs in the U.S., burgeoning public interest in safe and effective alternative means of heath care, and substantial flexibility in practice opportunities, AOM offers an outstanding career option.

Specific Career Benefits and Options

AOM practitioners can create financially supportive careers with flexible work schedules that are rewarding on many levels. An AOM career offers the opportunity for a more balanced lifestyle for both the AOM practitioner and his/her patient. Patients are viewed from a holistic perspective, taking into account their physical, mental, and emotional health. Practitioners are able to spend time developing a collaborative relationship with patients, assisting them in maintaining their health and promoting a consciousness of wellness. The settings in which AOM practitioners work vary from a multi-disciplinary clinic with other health care professionals, to a hospital, to a private practice. Other career options include teaching, translating, publishing, research, or working with an herb or acupuncture supply company.

Getting Started

Prospective AOM students should contact AOM schools for further information. Generally, a Bachelorís or Associateís degree (or equivalent with 60 semester units from an accredited college or university) is required for admission into an AOM program. The length of training at most AOM schools is about 3 years for acupuncture and 4 years for Oriental medicine programs—the latter include the study of Chinese herbal medicine. To find a school in your area, see the View a Map link on the homepage or list of schools on this website. See also the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).