You can become a qualified aromatherapist with paying clients in 6 months.

In this post I'll explain how you can become a qualified aromatherapist with paying clients in 6 months. Here's what's included:-

  • What aromatherapy is (and what it’s not)
  • What aromatherapists do (you may be surprised at just how varied the work is and how many income options there are)
  • What skills and knowledge and aromatherapists need in order to be successful

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What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is using essential oils to ease and prevent a huge range of physical and mental conditions. But essential oils are not just for illness, one of the beauties is that they can be used on a regular basis to lift the mood, care for the skin and so much more. 

Aromatherapists use essential oils in multiple ways including (but not limited to) massage. I’ll cover some of the options later in this post. 

It’s SO satisfying (and fun!) to choose a blend of essential oils for a client and get the result they want - migraines eased, severe anxiety reduced, period pain eliminated etc.

What aromatherapy is not

Using pre blended oils is not aromatherapy

Using pre blended or off the shelf essential oil blends is not aromatherapy in its true sense. Because aromatherapy, like all holistic therapies, doesn't just treat symptoms, it treats individuals based on their physical, mental and emotional states on the day they come to you.

Plus, super important, the client's preference for the essential oils, and the blend, is really important. You'll often find that a client will love, then intensely dislike, a particular essential oil or essential oil blend at different times.  And this is usually because of their needs on the day. 

I had a client who had the most horrendous PMT I’ve ever come across. She had severe pain for at least 3 days a month, what can only be described as temper tantrums that were threatening her relationship, skin outbreaks along with flaky areas, bloating that made her look pregnant, the lot. She loved Geranium for 2 weeks of her cycle and the rest of the time it made her nauseous! I have a silly picture in my head of little brain people testing the aroma as it reaches the Limbic area of the brain (also known as the primitive, or emotional area) and saying "Nah, he definitely doesn't need Patchouli today" or "He's really uptight today, tell him he loves that aroma!"

A weekend training does not make you a qualified aromatherapist

Some weekend or other short courses are very useful for building your skill set and increasing the range of therapies you can offer your clients. But a short course will not be enough to make you a competent and confident aromatherapist, able to quickly create aromatherapy blends that suit your clients’ individual needs.

An aromatherapist's work is nothing if not versatile! 

There are so many options for Aromatherapists to help clients and earn a decent income.

Aromatherapy Massage

You can treat clients in your therapy room with lovely relaxing (but powerful!) aromatherapy massage. I love chatting to my clients, finding out how they are physically and emotionally, letting them smell a range of suitable oils then making their massage blend. And with those lovely aromas wafting around, giving the massage is almost as relaxing as getting it!  

Aromatherapy Facial

An aromatherapy facial is beautiful as a stand-alone treatment or as a treatment upgrade. One of the beauties (pun intended!) of an aromatherapy facial is that it doesn't just treat the presenting symptoms such as the excess oiliness & pimples of acne or the inflammation, redness and pain of eczema. It also helps the multiple possible underlying causes of skin conditions such as hormonal imbalance, stress, digestive issues etc.

Upgrading Other Therapies

If you’re already a holistic therapist, you can upgrade your existing therapies with aromatherapy sugar scrubs, aromatherapy balms for reflexology, antispasmodic & painkilling blends for sports massage, subtle aromatherapy to enhance Reiki, IET and other energy healing. And much more, which I will talk about in next week’s post. 

And another amazing benefit of upgrading your treatments is that you can offer upgrades instead of discounts when you need to increase your bookings. It will help you to stand out from other therapists and attract clients who value their self care and value an excellent treatment more than they value saving €10 or €15.

Referral/Reward Scheme

Plus you can use these lovely upgrades to make very exciting referral and reward schemes. How many times have clients got amazing results from a treatment, said they’ll book next week, and you never hear from them again? Or that they can’t wait to tell their mother/sister/friend and that they’ll definitely be booking in with you soon, only they don’t? While some, of course, do rebook and tell their friends, lots don’t. Life is busy and time has a way of disappearing! 

Here’s where the reward/referral schemes come in! You could offer clients who come for a certain number of treatments the choice of an upgrade (facial, foot sugar scrub, blend of relaxing essential oils to use at home in a bath or burner etc) after a certain number of treatments. No more free visits with you paying room rent and possibly turning away a paying client! And ironically, clients really seem to appreciate this more than a free treatment.

And for clients who refer a friend, both they and their friend could get a choice of a lovely aromatherapy upgrade on their next visit. Who’s not going to tell Mary about their lovely therapist when they’ll both get a rejuvenating aromatherapy facial or a tension tamer neck and shoulder massage free?? 

The upgrades cost you very little in terms of time and money, clients feel valued and appreciated, and your appointment book fills up, #winwin!

Extra Income Streams

In addition to one-to-one treatments, aromatherapists have several income options including:-

  • Making and selling aromatherapy products,
  • Working on-site in offices, nursing homes etc, 
  • Teaching (online or in person, in private or in adult education colleges),
  •  “Pamper parties”,
  •  Children’s product making parties,
  •  Working with clients online.

I’ll be running a free masterclass on Wednesday, April 12th at 7 pm GMT/2 pm ET/11 am PT about multiple earning options for aromatherapists, you can get the details and register here. And if the time doesn't suit you, there will be a replay.

What Skills Does An Aromatherapist Need?

Knowing Your Oils

You’ll need to understand which oils are best for which conditions/complaints, which of those suit the particular client you’re treating and, what the contraindications are. Studying the oils, and lots of practical case studies with support and guidance is vital for developing a deep understanding.

To help my students and new graduates, I made the Aromatherapy Instant Recipe Finder which lets you pull up essential oils for multiple physical, emotional and skin conditions, along with carrier oils, contraindications and suggested methods of use. 

Become a qualified aromatherapist with paying clients in 6 months

It's downloadable, printable, and it can even be used on a phone during a client consultation. It's not a substitute for proper study, case studies, and support, but it is really useful! The Aromatherapy Instant Recipe Finder is available for anyone who registers for the Aromatherapy Wellness Professional Course by Monday 20th April at 12 noon GMT.

Aromatherapy Facial

I’ve already mentioned the aromatherapy facial as an excellent way of serving your clients and boosting your income. However, a facial massage routine is included only as a small part of most aromatherapy courses. But it’s such a powerful treatment either alone or as an upgrade to a full body massage or other treatment. So knowing which oils suit which skin types and conditions as well as adapting recipes to each client’s aroma preferences and individual needs mean you have a whole new stand-alone treatment or a treatment upgrade to offer your clients. 

Aromapsychology

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Pick up any aromatherapy book, and it will list the essential oils that are uplifting, stimulating, calming and sedating. And this is what you’ll learn on most aromatherapy courses. It’s useful information, but to my mind it’s not all a practising aromatherapist needs. 

Aromatherapists need a deeper understanding of how aroma works on the mind and emotions. And how it affects us all in very individual ways. Scent memory, hormonal issues, client expectation of aroma, age, gender, ethnic background, and past experiences are just some of the things that affect personal preference (and repugnance!) for particular aromas. Since I learned about aromapsychology from the lovely Rhiannon Lewis, the founder of Botanica, my blends for anxiety, and panic attacks have been a lot more effective. 

Aromachemistry

Essential oil chemistry is usually seen by aromatherapy students as something they need to “get through” in order to complete their course and get their diploma. And most graduates heave a sigh of relief that it’s all done and dusted and get on with the real work of aromatherapy, creating blends that help people.

That’s because in most aromatherapy courses students are required to learn off the main chemical in each of the 41 essential oils on the syllabus. It’s a lot of information, but it’s not helpful and it’s not relevant. I mean, how does knowing that Alcohols are the main chemicals in Lavender actually affect how you make up a blend??

I took several aroma chemistry courses with Rhiannon Lewis, and she really opened my mind to how powerful, and how fascinating aromachemistry actually is. A practical working knowledge of aromachemistry deepened my knowledge of how essential oils actually work. As well as choosing essential oils for their therapeutic properties, I also know which chemical I need to eliminate a nasty chest infection, to reduce the skin irritating effect of some oils, to help insomniacs during the day and so much more. 

Essential Oils for Babies and Children of Different Ages

Surprisingly this is not covered in much detail in most aromatherapy courses, but aromatherapists do need to know which oils can be safely used for babies and children of different ages and how much should be used. Even if you never have a client as such under 18, it’s great to be able to give advice to clients who have small children, to include it in classes if you decide to teach, and you’ll know how to make safe, effective products for babies and children. 

Aromatherapy For Pregnancy

Knowing how to use essential oils for pregnant women is not essential for aromatherapists (many opt not to work with pregnant clients) but it is a huge plus.

I became pregnant while I was training to be an aromatherapist. I was so thrilled, but I was also worried I might have to drop out of the course which I really did NOT want to do! Who knew when, or if, I’d have the time or money to start again? So I made it my business to know which essential oils were safe and beneficial, which to avoid, and why. This was back in the day before the “Mandarin is the only safe essential oil to use during pregnancy” rule was introduced to ITEC courses. This is not true, and I get annoyed when I hear it. When you know what you’re doing, essential oils are incredibly helpful during pregnancy, especially as the mother is usually advised against taking drugs and medicines.

A good grounding in Pregnancy Aromatherapy gives you access to a whole new client base (many of whom continue as clients after the baby is born) You’ll probably find you get lots of referrals too, because most aromatherapists don’t have this knowledge so can’t offer Pregnancy Aromatherapy.

I put together a course called Aromatherapy For Pregnancy, Labour and Post Natal Care to help aromatherapists to safely and very effectively treat pregnant and post-partum women. 

Become a qualified aromatherapist with paying clients in 6 months

Business Building Skills

I could go on and on about this. And I do, as you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook and especially if you’re part of my Aromatherapy and Holistic Business Success Facebook Group. All the aromatherapeutic skills and knowledge are so valuable for using at home or for your friends. But if you plan to also build a successful aromatherapy business that supports you and your family, it’s definitely not enough. “Build it, and they will come” is not going to happen. Believe me, I tried it, and no clients magically appeared. 

And unfortunately, aromatherapy courses in general don’t cover business know-how, and if they do, it’s very basic. 

Inside the Aromatherapy Wellness Professional Course I teach my PATH and FOCUS methods to help you to start building a business while you’re still training and while I’m there to help you. For students who want it there are step by step guides, practical assignments and accountability, so you can start working as soon as you get your diploma and your insurance. 

Then, when you finish the course, you get access to a prerecorded workshop called “How to attract your next 10 aromatherapy clients” which will show you how to expand your business even more with practical strategies that have worked for me and for countless other aromatherapists. 

So how do you become a qualified aromatherapist with paying clients in 6 months or less?

Like most aromatherapy students, I did my course, including case studies. Then I practised on my friends to keep my skills up while I was figuring out how on earth to actually get paying clients. Then with lots of trail and error (and time!), I eventually began to build my client base.

But building your client base while you train is doable by anyone, even if you have no idea how to use Facebook and you hate selling. I learned a lot about building a holistic business over the years and, since I’ve been teaching, I’ve been helping students to grow their businesses. A big part of that is showing them how to build a client base while they’re still training and this is something I cover in my Aromatherapy Wellness Professional Course. 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing a series of blog posts and going into lots more detail about attracting clients, extra income options and lots more. If there’s anything in particular aromatherapy business related that you’d like to know please leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you asap,

Jenny x

Would you like 50 + easy tips to increase your bookings in any economy?

  • Effective social media ideas,
  • Get regular bookings with newsletters and texts,
  • Easy treatment upgrades and reward schemes,
  • Get to the top of Google,
  • Options for extra income streams.

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My name is Jenny, and I’ve been a holistic therapist and tutor for over 20 years.


I ran my own holistic college and wellness centre for many years and, since 2017, I have been teaching holistic therapies and holistic therapy marketing online.


In this blog, in my podcast, my book and in social media I share tips about aromatherapy, essential oils, reflexology and marketing tips for therapists.


Jenny Sheridanteacher, therapist, author

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