An aromatherapist treats a variety of physical conditions, illnesses and psychological disorders holistically with essential aromatic oils that are extracted or distilled from flowers, trees, spices, fruit or herbs.

Aromatherapy involves therapeutic treatment that uses essential oils to promote physical and emotional well-being. It is a growing alternative in the medical field, providing an alternative to synthetic drugs and increasingly viewed as complementary with other ongoing medical treatments.

Most aromatherapists are self-employed, working either from home or travelling to their clients’ homes. A number work as part of a team of alternative health practitioners for private practices such as specialist and complementary health care clinics and health farms in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Work activities

  • Undertaking patient consultations to gain information about lifestyle, symptoms, current and previous physical/medical history.
  • Identifying appropriate essential oils for treatment.
  • Blending oils together.
  • Applying oils (often via therapeutic massage) and creating blends of oils that can be used for bathing and/or inhaling.
  • Advising clients about the use of remedies.
  • Liaising with GPs and making referrals to specialists.
  • Providing advice about diet, exercise and lifestyle.
  • Keeping accurate confidential patient records.
  • Keeping up-to-date with research and new developments in the profession.
  • Managing stock levels; teaching/supporting trainees.
  • Marketing and promoting the business/practice.

Work conditions

Travel: necessary when visiting patients.
Work hours: can be flexible, particularly for aromatherapists who are self-employed.
Location: some opportunities are available across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with health care clinics, the HSE and NHS Northern Ireland. Self-employed aromatherapists can work from home.

Typical employers

  • The HSE
  • NHS Northern Ireland
  • Health care clinics
  • Health farms

Entry requirements