How Much Does It Cost To Go To Acupuncture School?

The cost of tuition and fees is always a primary consideration for anyone wishing to obtain postsecondary education. The same goes for those who want to go to acupuncture school. As one of the most sought-after forms of complementary and alternative therapy in the United States in recent years because of its high efficacy rates and less risk of side effects, many who are interested in pursuing a healthcare career are now seriously considering going to acupuncture school. Acupuncturists stand to earn about $52,000 on the average, based on estimates from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. This figure has been steadily rising with reports of more experienced acupuncturists earning six-figure incomes.

Before aspiring acupuncturists can start earning, they still have to go through the rigorous training in acupuncture school and pay the tuition and related costs. On the average, the total tuition, fees and books of an acupuncture program can range anywhere from a little over $30,000 to more than $40,000. There are also acupuncture schools that charge more expensive tuition fees. Acupuncture-only programs are also cheaper than those which combine it with oriental medicine programs.

Aside from tuition, students also need to take into consideration the cost of living in the area where they will be attending acupuncture school. There are areas that have a lower cost of living and those where rent, food and other expenses are on the high end. Although students should strive to make their own inquiries about the cost of living in the city or town of their acupuncture school, a rough estimate would be about $15,000 a year for a single student observing a very frugal lifestyle.

If the student finishes his acupuncture program in three years then the cost of living alone will run to $45,000 which brings the total cost of tuition, fees, books and living expenses for a three-year stay in acupuncture school to $75,000 to $85,000 on the average.

It’s also important to remember that these costs are only for the acupuncture program. Before students can be admitted to acupuncture school, they must have already obtained at least two years of college level education (some schools even require a bachelor’s degree). Obviously, aspiring acupuncture students must also prepare the funds for this first before they can proceed with acupuncture school.

Students can also explore financial aid opportunities in the acupuncture school they plan to enroll in to help them get their acupuncture degree. There might be scholarships or student loans that they can apply for. They might also need to look for a part-time job to help finance their other needs while they work towards obtaining their acupuncture degree. The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine also recommended that students check out organizations like the Mayway Scholarship Program, Trudy McAlister Foundation, Standard Process, Evergreen Herbs and Nuherbs for possible scholarships.

Acupuncture graduates must also have to prepare at least $2,500 for the licensure exam fees and related costs. Licensure is required in most states before acupuncturists can practice their profession so this expense must be factored in as well.

Career Spotlight: Acupuncturist

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