How to become a Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Chinese medicine practitioners treat disorders and illnesses through the application of traditional Chinese medicine practices such as Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and tui na (remedial massage).

Personal requirements of a Chinese Medicine Practitioner

  • Good communication skills
  • Good analytical skills
  • Patient, tactful and compassionate
  • Interest in health and well-being

Education & Training for a Chinese Medicine Practitioner

To become a Chinese medicine practitioner you usually have to complete a degree in health science with a major in Chinese medicine. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, biology, chemistry, and earth and environmental science are normally required. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Additional Information

Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate and immunisations, and undergo a Working with Children Check. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. To work as a Chinese medicine practitioner, you must be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. In order to gain registration, you must fulfil a variety of registration standards. Contact the board for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Chinese medicine practitioners:

  • diagnose health problems through discussions with the patient, checking the patient's pulse and tongue, and observing abnormalities in sleep, appetite, perspiration and body temperature
  • formulate traditional Chinese medicine treatment plans based on the patient's diagnosis
  • prescribe medicinal substances derived from roots, flowers, seeds and leaves in the form of teas, capsules, tinctures or powders
  • advise on dietary and lifestyle choices
  • apply other therapies such as acupuncture, cupping (applying a heated cup to the skin to create suction), tui na, and exercise and breathing therapy.

Employment Opportunities for a Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Most Chinese medicine practitioners work in private practice, but some join other healthcare professionals in multidisciplinary centres. Some may also work in research or operate as consultants. Employment opportunities depend on the level of community awareness and acceptance of alternative healthcare practices.



An acupuncturist treats disorders and illnesses by inserting fine, sterile needles into specific points on the skin to stimulate the body's defence mechanisms.

Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 3.5%

NSW NSW 24.9%

NT NT 1.3%

QLD QLD 23.9%

SA SA 11.8%

TAS TAS 1.5%

VIC VIC 28.8%

WA WA 4.4%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 26.8%

Female 73.2%

Education level:

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 28.3%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 71.7%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 1.7%

25-34 - 17.2%

35-44 - 26.9%

45-54 - 22.2%

55-59 - 16%

60-64 - 6.1%

65 and Over - 9.9%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

Related careers