Naturopathic doctors commonly use nutrition in their practice.
Naturopathic medicine centers around the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself when provided with proper nutrition and lifestyle changes. Naturopathic doctors focus on treating the root cause of diseases. In addition, naturopathic doctors focus on using low-risk compounds like herbal extracts and vitamins to treat patients. Some natruopathic doctors have six figure salaries, but the majority of established NDs earn slightly less.
The income range for naturopathic doctors in the United States is extremely wide. It’s important to understand that most naturopathic doctors are self-employed in private clinics and do not work for institutions like hospitals. Naturopathic residency programs usually pay their residents between $20,000 an $30,000 annually. Established naturopathic doctors are partners in a large, busy practice usually earn between $80,000 and $90,000 each year, according to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. New naturopathic doctors that are just opening their practice after residency usually earn less than this average range, especially when working part time. Some naturopathic doctors have incomes of more than $200,000. The median salary among all primary care physicians in the United States in 2008 was $186,044, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most naturopathic doctors earn less than this average even though they are classified as primary care providers.
One of the major factors that affects the salary of a naturopathic doctor is how many hours per week they work. Naturopathic doctors that work more hours per week see more patients which results in a higher salary. The hourly rate suggested for naturopathic doctors in Canada by the AANMC is $125 to $180 for each hour spent with a patient.
Metropolitan areas have a higher demand for naturopathic doctors than rural areas, which can lead to a higher salary for urban NDs. However, competition among naturopathic doctors in metropolitan areas is fierce and the cost of rental space is usually much higher. For this reason, some naturopathic doctors choose to work in rural areas.
Some natruopathic doctors choose to sell vitamins and other supplements at their clinic to increase their income. Writing books and articles is another way natruopathic doctors can increase their income while growing their client base simultaneously. Naturopathic doctors that start their own clinics have higher start-up costs, but this initial investment usually leads to a higher salary. Many young naturopathic doctors choose to join a practice instead to avoid these startup costs. These NDs are trained as primary care providers and deal with both pediatrics and geriatrics. There are seven naturopathic medical colleges in the United States accredited by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges.