How To Become a Hypnotherapist in 5 Steps

The American College of Hypnotherapy provides comprehensive, quality, Certification and continuing education programs for Clinical Hypnotherapists. The continuing education program allows for comprehensive theory and practical training and qualifies for meeting the education/training standards to become a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist by the American College of Hypnotherapy.

Most approved hypnotherapy certification programs require a minimum of 40 to 100 hours of hypnotherapy training workshops, plus 20 hours of supervised individual training and 2 to 5 years of practical experience using hypnosis as a part of your practice.
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree. The first step to becoming a licensed or certified hypnotherapist is to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. …
  2. Pursue a master’s degree. …
  3. Gain experience. …
  4. Become licensed or certified. …
  5. Maintain your license.

How to Become a Certified Hypnotherapist

What does a hypnotherapist do?

A hypnotherapist could have the following duties:

What is a hypnotherapist?

A hypnotherapist uses hypnosis as therapy to help with a patients recovery or behavior modification. This can include helping patients sleep better, communicate with others and manage stress. Hypnotherapists might work with or get referrals from dentists, doctors or traditional therapists to assist a patient with developing or altering habits or advise them on other treatment options. Most medical organizations consider hypnotherapy to be alternative medicine, but hypnotherapists must still have licensure to practice in most states.

Skills for a hypnotherapist

Here are some skills that are most useful if youre considering a career as a hypnotherapist:

Therapeutic hypnosis techniques

The most important skill for a hypnotherapist is the ability to perform successful therapeutic hypnosis techniques. These are the methods hypnotherapists use to guide patients into a relaxing hypnosis state and help them identify their issues. Being able to perform these techniques well is vital for a hypnotherapist to help their patients, so consider studying and practicing them under supervision.

Psychology or psychotherapy experience

Many hypnotherapists begin their careers as traditional therapists or psychologists. This is useful experience because the foundation of hypnotherapy are fields of study like psychology and psychotherapy that use conversations and activities to diagnose and treat their patients. College classes and work experience can help you learn more about these fields of study and improve your success as a hypnotherapist.


Patience is another great skill for hypnotherapists to have because it can sometimes take many sessions to see a patient progress or improve. Even if the patient is cooperative, sessions may be long and quiet, and the patient might not articulate their ideas clearly. Practicing patience allows the hypnotherapist to remain calm and to keep their patient focused on the goal they are trying to accomplish.

Active listening

Hypnotherapists can also benefit from being active listeners. Listening is a large part of the job, so actively listening to patients in and out of hypnosis is important. For instance, a patient under hypnosis might say things that seem unrelated to the goal, but the hypnotherapist should still listen closely and note things that seem important to review later.


Because hypnotherapists help patients for a variety of reasons, its important for these therapists to be compassionate. A compassionate hypnotherapist can help make a patient comfortable and calm, which makes the patient more likely to talk openly in sessions and make progress toward their goal. This is especially important for hypnotherapists who work with young or apprehensive patients.

Business management

Business management is an excellent skill to have for hypnotherapists who run their own practices. This can include knowledge of finances, marketing and business law, all of which helps a hypnotherapist create a flourishing practice that reaches patients who would benefit from hypnotherapy. When a hypnotherapist is skilled in business management, they can create safe, stable environments to effectively help people reach their therapy goals.

How to become a hypnotherapist

To become a fully licensed or certified practicing hypnotherapist, follow the steps below:

1. Earn a bachelors degree

The first step to becoming a licensed or certified hypnotherapist is to earn a bachelors degree from an accredited university. This degree can be in a field related to medicine, therapy or psychology. Getting a degree gives you a good understanding about different therapy techniques, how to successfully help patients and the current best practices for treatment providers.

2. Pursue a masters degree

After receiving your bachelors degree, you may pursue your masters degree, which is a requirement for some certifications. The degree should be in a related field and include at least 60 hours of hypnosis coursework to qualify for the National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (NBCCH) exam. The purpose of the masters degree is to give you an environment to practice therapeutic hypnosis under the supervision of professionals.

3. Gain experience

Experience with therapy is necessary for most licenses and certifications. Depending on the license or certificate, you can gain experience in fields related to psychology or medicine, like nursing, if you have enough educational experience with hypnosis. Otherwise, you may need to gain working experience under a hypnotherapist before you can take exams.

4. Become licensed or certified

Each state has its own licensing requirements for hypnotherapists, but there are two main certification exams you can take in addition to state licensure. The NBCCH and the American College of Hypnotherapy (ACH) certifications both require at least a bachelors degree, while the NBCCH also requires a masters with hypnosis coursework. The ACH certificate allows any medical professionals to take the exam as long as they have at least 200 hours of hypnosis education. Once you pass either of these exams, you can use your certification as proof of your skill in hypnotherapy.

5. Maintain your license

To ensure that you are practicing hypnotherapy legally, renew your state licensure as frequently as you need to. State licenses help regulate the therapy industry to protect both you and your patients, so its a good idea to research what kind of license you need in your state and how often to renew it.

Average hypnotherapist salary

Please note that none of the organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


Is hypnotherapy a good career?

Some professionals approach hypnotherapy as an additional income stream, seeing just a few clients a week. While others can make a full-time career out of it making very good money in the process. A certified hypnotherapist in the US can earn $75,000+ annually.

What qualifications do you need to do hypnotherapy?

Although there are no essential qualifications needed to become a hypnotherapist, it will definitely work in your favour to complete a qualification that is accredited via the National Hypnotherapy Society, both from an employment point of view and when it comes to developing your skills and knowledge.

Is there a demand for hypnotherapists?

So far, we’ve seen that Americans are suffering in growing numbers from mental health challenges and they’re looking for quick solutions. And we’ve learned that hypnotherapy can provide the immediate, lasting results clients are looking for. In other words, the demand for hypnotherapy is real.

Can you make money as a hypnotherapist?

Most of the Heart-Centered Hypnotherapists who receive training through the Wellness Institute report being able to charge between $150 and $200 per session. With those rates, you can expect to earn more than $70,000 per year from hypnotherapy alone.

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