How To Become A Chiropractor
Career Video: Chiropractor
Chiropractors treat patients who suffer from back, neck, and other physical ailments. They are professionals who work with the neuromusculoskeletal system, which is comprised of nerves, muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons. To treat patients, they perform spinal adjustments, manipulations, and other methods to help alleviate and manage pain.
Why Become A Chiropractor
People who enjoy helping others and serving their communities often find a career in chiropractics to be fulfilling. This career choice may also provide steady and reliable employment for personal wellbeing. Currently, there is a high demand for chiropractors among underserved populations. Regardless of where a chiropractor chooses to practice, his or her services offer relief from pain and a path toward wellness.
Chiropractor Work Environment
Chiropractors can work in a variety of settings, either self-employed or for an establishment. Employment settings include private practice (either group or solo), wellness centers, multidisciplinary health centers, pain centers, athletic clubs and programs, hospitals, health insurance companies, and more. Chiropractors can also choose to work with a particular population, like athletes, war veterans, and those seeking workers’ compensation. Becoming a clinical researcher of chiropractic medicine is another route for these professionals.
The median pay for a chiropractor in 2012 was $61,160, annually, or about $31.80 per hour. However, chiropractic salaries vary widely, depending on geographic location, experience, clientele, and place of employment. Salaries range from $31,030 to $142,950 or more, annually.
Chiropractor Career Outlook
From 2012 to 2022, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that chiropractic jobs will grow 15% faster than all other professions in the country. The allure of chiropractic services is growing mostly because of their non-surgical and non-medicinal approaches
Strict requirements exist for aspiring chiropractors, as their services must be completed with the utmost care and caution. Chiropractors must obtain a doctorate degree and licensure to practice.
Step 1: Complete a bachelor’s degree program. To enroll in a doctoral program, one must first complete four years of training, typically acquiring a pre-medial undergraduate education. Students should take courses, such as biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology, and related lab work.
Step 2: Obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. Professional training may take four to five years and mostly consists of clinical training. Chiropractors must perform intricate manipulation and adjusting techniques, so their hands-on skills must be carefully crafted. Their academic training includes many similar to medical doctors. Students can expect to take courses in the healing sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition, and public health. Overall, the curriculum consists of 4,200 hours of classroom education, laboratory, and clinical experience. Chiropractic students will expect to spend at least one year in clinical training with patients.
Step 3: Examinations and licensure. Chiropractors must take and pass a series of national board examinations. There are four parts total. These exams assess a person’s knowledge in general science studies, clinical subjects, physical examinations and techniques, and diagnoses, respectively. Two elective examinations exist, including physiotherapy (PT) and acupuncture.
After passing these exams, the intended chiropractor must apply for licensure for each U.S. state in which they wish to work. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners also offers tests for employment within Canada, France, United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand.
Continued professional development and post-licensure examinations are a requirement throughout a chiropractor’s practicing. In particular, chiropractors must take the Special Purposes Examination for Chiropractic and NBCE Ethics and Boundaries Examination.