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The role

Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that involves the use of aromatic oils that are extracted from flowers, herbs, spices, fruit and trees. These oils are used to improve a client’s wellbeing and health. It can be used to treat stress and anxiety, headaches, muscular pain and digestive issues.  An Aromatherapist is someone who practices this form of therapy.

The typical tasks of an Aromatherapist may involve discussing a client’s medical history and lifestyle, and then deciding which oils would be best used for treatment. These oil blends can then be used in a number of ways with the client, including inhaling them, or using them in massage. An Aromatherapist will track a client’s progress with this treatment, and will provide advice for use of these oils at home.

An Aromatherapist may work in a medical environment, a natural health clinic, a beauty salon, or they could visit client’s homes.

How to become an Aromatherapist

While aromatherapy is unregulated, it is beneficial for a practitioner to join a professional body, as well as the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), who registers safe practitioners in complementary therapy. The Aromatherapy Council (AC) has details of professional bodies that Aromatherapists can join.

The best way to train to become an Aromatherapist is to take a course in the subject that includes the AC’s core curriculum, and covers requirements set by Skills for Health. These courses should last a minimum of 12 months in order to cover all the competencies needed.

The AC can provide details of courses with awarding bodies such as City & Guilds and ITEC that meets their standards of training.

There’s also an alternative register for complementary therapies to the CNHC that practitioners can join, known as the General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapists.

Skills and knowledge required

  • Good people and communication skills
  • Sensitivity and empathy
  • Good record keeping
  • The ability to make decisions regarding a client’s treatment
  • Good organisation and commercial skills for running their own business


Income varies due to the fact that Aromatherapists are self-employed. Hourly rates are often between £20 and £45 for an hour’s appointment.

The hours

Most Aromatherapists are self-employed, and so would set their own hours of work. They may find their times dictated by clients, who could find it easier to attend appointments in evenings and weekends.

Useful websites - Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) - Aromatherapy Council (AC) – Skills for Health - General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapists

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