In the USA – the Aromatherapy profession is 100% self-regulated (some would say unregulated).
This means there is no one accepted level of education or qualification which is accepted as a professional standard of competence. Anyone can call themselves an Aromatherapist.
Terms like Certified Aromatherapist or Clinical Aromatherapist mean whatever the person self-identifying as such, want them to mean. There are people who take a weekend seminar and leave with a certificate proclaiming “them” an Internationally Certified Aromatherapist!
Our industry is not united about educational requirements either.
For example the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) considers the beginner level of training to be 100 hours: “Foundation Level School (minimum 100 hours of training)”: alliance-aromatherapists.org/education/aromatherapy-schools/
By contrast, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) Foundation Level requirement is only 30 hours: naha.org/education/standards/
So two individuals – each completing a Foundation Level class – may go out into the world and refer to themselves as a Certified Aromatherapist – one with a third the education of the other.
What about a Clinical Aromatherapist?
The NAHA standard for Clinical Aromatherapy Certification has disappeared; the AIA does have a standard; Clinical Level Schools require a minimum 400 hours of training.
So we have decided to recognize use two Titles, defined as follows:
Qualified Aromatherapist, per the AIA – “one who has completed a recognized training in aromatherapy at the minimum level of 200 educational contact hours (such as approved by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy or the Alliance of International Aromatherapists) or has been recognized through a standardized exam, such as provided by the Aromatherapy Registration Council.” alliance-aromatherapists.org/aromatherapy/standards-of-practice/
And Registered Aromatherapist™ (RA™) – those who have passed the Aromatherapy Registration Council exam. aromatherapycouncil.org/
FIND AN AROMATHERAPIST