How to become a Complementary Therapist

There are many reasons why people choose to use complementary therapy services, but how do you become a therapist?


There are many reasons why people choose to use complementary therapy services. Some people find that they help them improve their mental and physical wellbeing, whilst others use them to make a positive lifestyle change. 

The variety of complementary therapies are vast, some are practices in medicine and nursing care, whilst others are purely for recreational rehabilitation. Whatever the reason for your client, you can rest assured that you are providing a long-lasting, therapeutic service that is going to improve the wellbeing of others. 

Is this the right career path for me? 

No matter what age, background or experience you come from, studying towards a potential career change, or finding your feet in an entirely new industry can be a daunting process, so you wan’t to decipher whether a career in complementary therapy is right for you. 

If you enjoy caring for others and are looking for a career that enables you to work around your own commitments, then this career pathway is perfect for you. The majority of complementary therapists are mobile based, or work from home in their own dedicated salons. Therapists can support clients in their own homes, in clinics, health centres, hospitals, and salons to name a few.

However, starting your own business can take time and building a reliable, loyal client-base can take even longer. It is not required, but advised that budding therapists should aim to seek additional employment whilst they build their reputation, establish their own brand and all-important client list.

What skills will I need?

As with any occupation, you need to have the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to practise your chosen therapy safely and competently. 

However, as a complementary therapist, you don’t just need to be good with your hands: 

  • You will need to be passionate about the career you’ve chosen
  • You will need to be caring, empathetic, understanding and non-judgmental with your clients
  • You will need to be open and honest about your own skills limitations. Referring clients to seek medical advice or additional therapy for areas that you have no technical expertise in is vital towards a well-rounded service
  • You will need a willingness to learn and adapt your techniques to new breakthroughs and therapy trends
  • And above all, you will need to enjoy what you do – If you enjoy providing a professional service, your clients will love it!

So how do you become a Complementary Therapist?

There are a variety of pathways into the industry, but before making the necessary steps towards gaining your qualifications, it is advised that prospective students experience the service for themselves. 

Not only will get to enjoy a pampering, but you will also get to understand what it involves and experience the potential benefits of complementary therapy services.

It’s vital that you enrol onto a course which provides you with practical, hands-on experience, to prepare you for an industry which relies heavily on the skill, knowledge and understanding of its therapists. 

The Level 3 Complementary Therapies Techniques course at Oaklands College prepares and assesses students on their ability to perform treatments on paying clients. You will gain valuable experience working at the on-site OASIS Hair and Beauty Salon in Welwyn Garden City, enabling you to enhance your portfolio, learn new treatments and understand the different needs and requirements of paying clients. 

Throughout the 1 year course, you will be taught by teachers and assessors who have a minimum of five years industry experience. Your tutors will support your learning and assessment targets, whilst helping you plan for the future. Each of them bring specialist knowledge and experience to the areas that you will be studying. 

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