Herbalist Salary:
Career Opportunities & Possible Earnings for Herbalists

Now, more than ever, herbalists have bountiful career opportunities.


Take a peek at some of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine’s graduates’ careers, and you’ll see the sky’s the limit! What’s important is that you find your happy place in a field that matches your skill set and an herbalist salary that meets your aspirations and needs. Clinical herbalists work directly with people in a healing capacity; others feel drawn to work primarily with the plants themselves. Your earnings as a professional herbalist will be influenced by many factors, including your choice of career, your skill set, your education, how often you work, your business acumen, and where you live. So, you can see there are plentiful career opportunities that determine the possible earnings for each herbalist.

My own path has been full of herbal experimentation; I’ve run an herbal products business, seen clients as a clinical herbalist, opened the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, started a medicinal plants nursery, and most recently branched out into online education, herbal writing, and botanical photography. Recently, I published my first book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating and Handcrafting Herbal Remedies. Each career choice has built upon my knowledge of herbal medicine and enriched my love of plants. My earnings as an herbalist have evolved over the years, but I’ve been continuously blessed along the way to have meaningful work I enjoy. And if you’re just starting your herbalism career, take heart: my earnings have increased the longer I’ve been a professional herbalist.

We’ll begin by exploring the average herbalist salary and then move on to career opportunities.

Herbalist Salaries

An average herbalist’s salary ranges from $20,000 to $120,000, depending on their specialization and experience.

  • The American Herbalists Guild notes a broad spectrum of possible herbalist salaries: anywhere between $20,000 and $120,000 per year, depending on their area of practice and their individual successes.
  • The hourly rate for clinical herbalists ranges from roughly $50 to $100 (or more) per hour.
  • An herbal educator can earn from $30 to $120 per hour, depending on the venue and audience (this rate can significantly increase if you become well-known within the herbal community).
  • As a grower of medicinal herbs in a farm or herb nursery, you might earn $15 to $30 per hour, depending on your knowledge and skill.
  • If you own an herbal products-based business, you could make $20-$50 an hour, based on your marketing savvy and niche.
A person looks at a planner while considering an herbalist's salary and career opportunities.

How much do herbalists make? Your career choice, skill set, and location influence your earnings.

Do herbalists make good money? Your herbalist salary will depend on your education, strengths, passion, skills, and business training.

Before you decide what you want to do as an herbalist, you’ll need to train in the field of herbal medicine. We’ve compiled the most comprehensive guide on becoming an herbalist, How to Start Your Herbal Career: The Ultimate Guide for Budding Herbalists. You’ll also want to check out the American Herbalists Guild’s Herbal Education FAQs and Legal and Regulatory FAQs.

Do herbalists get paid more with certification? Do I need to become certified in herbalism?

One of the most common questions about a career in herbalism is how to become a certified herbalist. We don’t have a certifying board or licensing agency in the United States, so herbalists have no universal certification or licensed status. Herbalism schools can award certificates of completion, but that is not the same as achieving a set of agreed-upon standards leading to universal accreditation or licensing in herbalism.

Juliet Blankespoor's apothecary is full of herbal medicine.

There’s never been a better time to embark on an herbal career!

Do herbalists get paid well? Finding your niche as an herbalist helps you succeed in your career.

It may seem counterintuitive, but finding a niche or specialty can help you succeed more in your herbal career and therefore earn a higher herbalist’s salary. At first glance, you might imagine that serving more people or offering a greater variety of products will expand your opportunities as an herbalist, but this isn’t usually true.

Think about creating a product or service that is truly unique and needed. For example, say several enterprises are already making herbal tinctures in your area. Perhaps you could specialize in herbal products made without alcohol, tailored to pregnant people, children, or those who avoid alcohol. Maybe you’ll specialize in bioregional blends, cornering the farm-to-apothecary market by growing the herbs for your products, or you could make herbal syrups and infused honeys instead of tinctures.

Here’s another example: if you want to offer your services as a clinical herbalist, you may find you have an affinity with a specific population (kids, elders, pregnant people, adults with disabilities, etc.), or you may discover that you’ve developed expertise with a particular condition or stage in life (infertility, menopause, ADHD, teenage health, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.). You can network with support groups and other healthcare providers to get the word out about your specialty.

If you’re interested in studying herbalism or becoming an herbalist, we’ve created the most comprehensive *FREE* guide (100+ pages) on all things herbal!

Chestnut School's budding herbalist guide explores herbalist's salary and career opportunities.

How to Start Your Herbal Career: The Ultimate Guide for Budding Herbalists covers:

• How to Get the Best Herbal Education for You
• Herbalist Career Opportunities
• Herbalist Legalities in the United States
• Recommended Herbs to Start Your Home Apothecary
• Our Herbal Book Recommendations
• And so much more…

Herbalist Careers

What exactly can you do as an herbalist, and will you be able to make a good herbalist’s salary? Peruse our list of herbal careers to match your expertise and inspiration to your professional and financial goals.


You’ll notice many of the herbalist careers listed below involve entrepreneurship. If you’re self-motivated, a problem-solver, comfortable making decisions, and willing to learn new skills such as marketing and copywriting, owning your own herbal business may be a good fit. The downsides of starting your own herbal business are long hours, significant responsibilities, and sometimes personal debt.

If you’re an extrovert starting your business as a solopreneur, you might miss the camaraderie of working with a team. You’ll also need the capital to create your own herbal business, but if you begin modestly and reinvest your profits into your business, you can get started without a great deal of debt.

Because the interest in herbal medicine is growing, more consumers are buying herbal books and products, and more people are seeking clinical herbalists and enrolling in herbal programs. With this burgeoning market, more employers are seeking skilled herbalists. If you enjoy closely collaborating with colleagues and having less responsibility, choosing an herbal career as an employee may be the way to go. You’re less at the economy’s whims than an herbal entrepreneur, and your salary will be more consistent.

We’ll explore the pros and cons of herbalist career opportunities and how your specific field within herbalism may affect your earning potential and herbalist salary.

Juliet Blankespoor is standing in a garden with cameras and filming equipment in front of her.

There is a wide range of career opportunities for herbalists nowadays.

Herbal Careers: Clinical Herbalist

Clinical herbalism is a superb opportunity for those who enjoy working with people. Becoming a clinical herbalist is a good fit if you are naturally helpful, detail-oriented, a problem solver, love to research, and possess high emotional intelligence. This herbal career choice requires more training than other careers: you’ll need to be versed in human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, pathophysiology (disease process), constitutions, materia medica (deep dives into an herb’s usage), formulation, drug-herb interactions, and herbal safety.

Clinical herbalism is also an excellent option for those already working in healthcare who wish to expand their repertoire into botanical medicine. If your profession/degree confers you the right to diagnose disease and prescribe medications, you’ll have far more leeway in your herbal practice than the average clinical herbalist. Because clinical herbalists are highly trained, they often earn the highest herbalist salaries compared to other herbal professionals.

Career Opportunities for Clinical Herbalists:

  • Clinical herbalist in a private practice or integrated clinic
  • Acupuncturist, chiropractor, nurse practitioner, physician, midwife, massage therapist, physical therapist, or other health care practitioner who uses herbal medicine in practice
  • Accessible or affordable community health clinic or mobile free clinic
An herbalist pours oil into a glass jar filled with yellow dandelion flowers.

Unlike the practice of clinical herbalism, the herbal products industry is regulated.

Herbal Careers: Making Herbal Products

If you delight in creativity and experimentation and are talented in the kitchen, preparing herbal medicines may be your cup of tea. Regulations on making herbal products vary by country, state, municipality, and type of product you’re preparing. You may need to use a certified kitchen if you’re making medicines, beverages, or foods that will be consumed. In the United States, most herbal products must be prepared under the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs)  Regulations. To learn more, visit our article Legalities of Herbal Products Businesses In the United States and Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs).

The more business savvy you develop, the higher your herbalist salary as an herbal manufacturer. Invest in your branding, labeling, marketing, and product descriptions, and you’ll be repaid for your time tenfold.

Career Opportunities & Possible Products for Herbal Medicine Makers or Owners of an Herbal Apothecary:

  • Herbal tinctures
  • Herbal tea blends
  • Bulk fresh or dried herbs
  • Medicinal honeys
  • Medicinal syrups
  • Herbal elixirs
  • Herbal bitters
  • Infused syrups or herbal shrubs for mixed drinks and natural sodas
  • Herbal preparations for animals
  • Herbal-infused oils and vinegars
  • Wild foods/herbal prepared foods
  • Natural body care products: herbal soaps, lotions, salves, body butters, bath salts, body scrubs, infused oils, etc.
  • Herbal confections (such as herbal chocolates or ghee)
  • Employment in an herbal products business: sales, product development, manufacturing, good manufacturing practices (GMP) compliance, buyer, quality control, customer support, farm management, marketing, labeling, etc.
An herbalist with six jars of salve on a table strewn with calendula flowers.

The US Food and Drug Administration has a series of legalities for herbal products businesses in place that are designed to ensure that food, drug, and cosmetic products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards.

Herbalist Sonia Vasquez wears a white turtleneck sweater, silver hoop earrings, and an orange headband.

I launched a whole line of personal care products inspired by everything I learned from the Chestnut School, working with the most abundant wild plants in my area and sustainable ingredients. This training increased my knowledge and consciousness about the environment and the intention in my products and teachings. During the pandemic, this training became my main companion and guidance to enjoy the outdoors while learning something new daily. My herbal knowledge helps me formulate, teach, and guide others confidently and safely.

~ Sonia Vasquez, Clinical Herbalist, Herbal Medicine Maker & Teacher, Latinanatural.org

A group of four herbalists sitting at a table laughing.

A career in herbal marketing and sales is an excellent fit for driven extroverts who enjoy meeting new people.

Herbal Careers: Retail, Marketing, and Sales

Are you a people person? Do you enjoy design and the creative aspects of design? If you have a background in sales and marketing, you can easily apply your know-how to the field of herbal medicine. This niche is the most likely to offer employment opportunities to herbalists. The herbalist salary range will vary depending on your experience and particular role.

If you are driven and highly personable, you’ll have a high earning potential as a proprietor or a sales representative for an established herbal business. And if you work for a larger herbal company that has profit-sharing incentives or room to grow with the business, you’ll also be able to earn a higher salary.

Career Opportunities for Herbalists in Retail, Marketing, and Sales:

  • Proprietor of a brick-and-mortar herbal store
  • Proprietor or employee in an online store, selling herbal products, books, and supplies
  • Retail position in the health and beauty care (HBC) department of a health food store or an herbal store
  • Cooperative online store for local herb growers
  • Brick-and-mortar nursery specializing in herbs and useful plants
  • Sales representative for an herbal products business
  • Proprietor of a botanical-themed store with books, tools, and merchandise for botanists, herbalists, and wildflower enthusiasts
  • Marketing for herbal businesses and conferences (social media, search engine optimization, writing copy, graphics, press releases, etc.)
Joe Hollis teaches a bunch of budding herbalism students at Mountain Gardens in North Carolina.

There are a wide range of herbal educational program offerings, from introductory to advanced, general to specialized, and in person to online.

Herbal Careers: Education

If you have a passion for the outdoors and plant medicine and enjoy teaching, working in herbal education is an excellent career choice. As you can see by the list below, you can work with plenty of populations, from children to elders, to future herbalists, to community projects. I offered wildflower and tree identification classes through my local naturalist programs when I started teaching. Most of my students were active elders with an infectious curiosity and a love of the outdoors. In college, I volunteered with our local nature center to teach children about our regional flora and fauna.

Teaching is an herbal career with immediate results: wonder and joy in your student’s eyes as they learn about the beauty of plants and nature. With online learning, more and more people have access to herbal knowledge. If you have a chronic health condition or a disability, teaching online may be a perfect fit, considering you can work from home. The herbalist salary for herbal educators varies widely, depending on where you work and your level of education and expertise. However, it is one of the career choices resulting in a higher income than other herbal fields.

Career Opportunities for Herbalist Educators:

  • Proprietor, administrator, or instructor at an herbal school
  • Instructor at a community college or university (ethnobotany, botany, medical herbalism, etc.)
  • Educating nurses or physicians in natural therapies
  • Community classes at free schools, community centers, co-ops, etc.
  • Presenting at herbal conferences
  • Teaching at botanical gardens, arboretums, community gardens
  • Running camps for children
  • Primitive skills gatherings, herbal first aid, plant walks
  • Hosting plant-related adventure travel
  • Online herbal education
  • Horticulture therapy for incarcerated people or those with mental illness

Herbalist Heather Housekeeper stands in the woods, smiling and looking up.

The Chestnut School provided me with a path into the plant world, which is the foundation for all that I now share with others through herbal seminars, workshops, and plant walks. I have for over a decade guided others into the plant world with the knowledge and insight that I received through the Chestnut School and am now launching a full-fledged herbal medicine school.

~ Heather Housekeeper, Founder of The School of Plant and Place Connection

Herbal Careers: Writing

Are you smitten with words? Do you dip into the zone when writing? Do others compliment your writing? If so, this may be your dream career choice as an herbalist. You can make a decent herbalist salary as a freelance herb writer, especially if you are an efficient writer and know how to meet deadlines. It is tough these days to make money as a blogger unless you have a broader readership. For most authors, writing books is only sustainable financially if you have a large following or your books support your work in another herbal field. For instance, the royalties from my book, The Healing Garden, don’t make a huge portion of my salary, but my book introduces readers to me as an herbalist and to my school, increasing enrollment.

Career Opportunities for Herbalist Writers:

  • Herbal-related books: medicinal herb gardening, medicine making, tea blends, wild foods, therapeutics, etc.
  • Articles for blogs, newsletters, newsprint, magazines, etc. (this can be a great way to get your name out there and interest people in your teaching, services, or products)
  • Your own herbal blog (monetized through advertisers and sponsored posts)

An herbalist harvests winter field peas. Herb farming is an option when researching herbalists salary and career opportunities.

Many herbalists chose a career working with the land: growing or gathering medicinal plants.

Herbal Careers: Herb Farming + Wildcrafting

If you love working outdoors and putting your hands in the earth, there are plenty of herbalist careers in this niche. Growing and selling herbs on a large scale requires some serious farming skills, specialized drying equipment, and access to land. There are government grants for specialty crops and other types of agricultural developments.

It is one of the more challenging ways to make a decent living as an herbalist. Still, you can make a higher herbalist salary if you couple farming with value-added products, education, or agricultural tourism. We need more organic herbal farmers in North America because most of our medicinal herbs are being grown or gathered overseas. You can learn more about the challenge of botanical medicine sustainability from the Sustainable Herbs Program.

Career Opportunities for Land-Based Herbalists (Farmers, Wildcrafters, and Farm-to-Apothecary Businesses):

  • Herbal farm for dried herbs and/or fresh herbs (for manufacturers); wholesale or retail
  • Herbal plant nursery
  • Medicinal herb farm-to-apothecary products (tinctures, teas, salves, body care, etc.)
  • Medicinal herb farm for education, tours, retail purposes, etc. (agricultural tourism)
  • Medicinal seed company
  • Herbal CSA specializing in fresh herbs, wild foods, and homegrown or locally wildcrafted medicinal products (internal and external preparations)
  • Herbal CSA with a focus on homegrown body care products, including homegrown herbs used to make hydrosols, infused oils, etc.
  • Wildcrafter (wholesale, to brokers, or for an herbal products business)

I chose the Chestnut School Herbal Immersion Program because of the focus on growing and harvesting medicinal plants. As long-time organic farmers, we understand that growing healthy soil is the most important aspect of farming. It was wonderful to see that the Chestnut School teaches the full life cycle of medicinal plants from the soil up! The knowledge gained with the Chestnut School made me confident to start selling our fresh/dried medicinal herbs locally. Once word got out, we were contacted by folks all over the country asking us to ship our herbs. Then, I created and started The Farm Apothecary online, which enables us to ship our herbs nationwide. As so many of our herbs continue to be imported from other countries, the demand for locally grown herbs only grows. My hope for the near future is that more people begin to grow their own herbs!

~ Jeni Jarrard-Donck, Crystal Organic Farm

Herbalist Jeni Jarrard-Donck holds a burdock plant with large roots.

Herbal Careers: Research & Science

This is the perfect herbalist career for a chemist, botanist, researcher, or pharmacologist passionate about plant medicine. More than the other fields mentioned above, employment opportunities exist with government agencies, universities, or sizeable herbal manufacturing companies. Your level of education and particular expertise will determine your herbalist salary. To earn a decent living, you’ll likely need to have achieved a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Career Opportunities for Herbalist Researchers:

  • University or government-funded research on medicinal herbs, constituent testing, clinical trials, population studies, etc.
  • Ethnobotanical research on traditional uses of herbs
  • GMP testing in a product-based business
  • Quality control in a product-based business
Herbalist Juliet Blankespoor works on a computer. Juliet is an expert regarding herbalist salaries and career opportunities.

Herbalist salaries vary according to their chosen career, which can include herbal writing or research.

Miscellaneous Herbal Opportunities

Here are the herbalist niches that just couldn’t be contained in other categories!

  • Hosting an herbal gathering or conference
  • Promoting teachers in your area, organizing classes, etc.
  • Computer assistance for herbal businesses: graphics, website development and maintenance, programs, spreadsheets, etc.
  • Herbal photography and art, botanical-based products (clothing, bags, notebooks, calendars, notecards, etc.)
  • Hosting an herbal radio or TV show
Juliet Blankespoor stands next to a houseplant.

JULIET BLANKESPOOR is the founder, primary instructor, and Creative Director of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, an online school serving thousands of students from around the globe. She’s a professional plant-human matchmaker and bonafide plant geek, with a degree in botany and over 30 years of experience teaching and writing about herbalism, medicine making, and organic herb cultivation. Juliet’s lifelong captivation with medicinal weeds and herb gardening has birthed many botanical enterprises over the decades, including an herbal nursery and a farm-to-apothecary herbal products business.

These days, she channels her botanical obsession through her writing and photography in her online programs, on her personal blog Castanea, and in her new book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating and Handcrafting Herbal Remedies. Juliet and her family reside in a home overrun with houseplants and books in Asheville, North Carolina.

Not quite sure which of our online courses is the best fit for you?

Take a peek at our Course Comparison Chart to get started on your herbal journey!