How to Earn Herbalist Certificates

Becoming a registered herbalist can prepare you to enter a unique field. Discover how to become a registered herbalist and what they make.

portrait of Nalea Ko
by Nalea Ko

Updated June 2, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
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How to Earn Herbalist Certificates

Do you have a calling to work in natural plant medicine? According to a 2020 study in Bioinformatics and Biology Insights, over $7 million dollars of herbal dietary supplements were sold in the U.S. in 2016.

The public often sees herbal and natural remedies as safer than prescription medications. However, while making and dispensing herbal medicine requires training, the field of herbalism remains unregulated by the government. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Because no licensing board or certifying agency oversees herbalism, practitioners with little education or training can work as herbalists. Herbalists show their commitment to ethical practice by gaining formal training through certificates, diplomas, and degrees.

Herbalists can also validate their expertise by registering with the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), a credential that requires clinical experience and herbal education.

Use this guide to find out about registered herbalist requirements, available herbalist jobs, and herbalist salary information.

What Are the Requirements for an Herbalist Certificate?

What Skills Will I Learn With an Herbalist Certificate?

Is an Herbalist Certificate Worth It?

Herbalists do not need a license or certification to work. Becoming a registered herbalist through the AHG — a nonprofit founded in 1989 representing herbalists — can help these workers gain professional recognition. Registered herbalists have a certain level of expertise in the use of medicinal plants and herbs since they must meet educational and clinical practice hours set by the AHG.

Gaining a professional credential can help herbalists advance in their practices and gain the respect of clients and peers. Becoming a registered herbalist can afford professionals the credibility they need to assess and dispense herbal remedies.

Registered herbalists can also work in teaching, counseling, or other naturopathic medicine positions reserved for more experienced natural medicine practitioners.

What Jobs Can I Get With an Herbalist Certificate?

How Much Money Can I Make With an Herbalist Certificate?

Herbalists have the opportunity for advancement with additional education, credentials, and experience. Pay for herbalists differs by field, position, and location. Herbalists made an average annual salary of $71,930 as of April 2022, according to ZipRecruiter. Like most other professionals, herbalists with more experience tend to make more money.

ZipRecruiter reports that those just entering the field earned about $28,500 a year. Experienced herbalists earned an annual average of $60,000.

Careers for herbalists include herbalists technicians who work in herbal pharmacies, business entrepreneurs, and organic farmers. Herbalists' salaries vary considerably depending on the industry they work in and their specific job.

Frequently Asked Questions About Herbalist Certificates

What qualifications do you need to become an herbalist?

No singular educational pathway leads to a career as an herbalist. Practicing herbal therapy does not require a certification or license. The industry also does not have universal educational or clinical requirements. Medicinal herb practitioners may have a high school education or a bachelor's degree in herbology. Many colleges also offer graduate degrees in integrative health that incorporate alternative medicines.

An educational program in herbalism teaches students about pharmacology, botany, nutrition, business, and biochemistry. Programs also require hands-on clinical experience. Getting registration through the AHG remains voluntary, but it can increase your credibility as an herbalist.

Regardless of an herbalist's educational background, most natural practitioners enjoy working with plants to create natural remedies.

How long does it take to become a certified herbalist?

Because the natural medicine industry remains unregulated, educational programs vary significantly. It could take 12 weeks or two years to become an herbalist. Some online programs may promise an herbalist education in days. The time commitment depends on the educational program.

A certificate in herbalism usually takes about 12 months. An associate degree or diploma could take up to two years to complete. Becoming a registered herbalist requires at least 400 hours of clinical experience and 800 hours of classroom experience.

Can you be a self-taught herbalist?

Yes. Herbalists do not need a certain level of education or credential to practice. Through research and hands-on experimentation, a self-taught herbalist can learn how to cultivate plants for healing purposes.

However, herbal remedies can be toxic if plants are inaccurately identified or prepared. Therefore, self-taught herbalists should thoroughly study their trade.

Self-taught herbalists can use peer-reviewed medical journals, videos, and mentors to learn medicinal remedies. International and national herbalist medicine conferences also offer the opportunity for self-taught herbalists to learn from others and keep up-to-date with industry practices.

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