How to Become a Chiropractor

Updated on February 2, 2024

Have you considered entering the rapidly growing field of treating back pain and injuries through drug-free spinal adjustments and manipulation? Skilled chiropractors have never been more vital or in demand as demand for alternative medicine rises. This definitive guide covers all the key steps to launch a stable career as a licensed chiropractor.

What is a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors focus on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal system disorders without relying on medication or surgery. Key duties include:

– Performing chiropractic adjustments to relieve spinal/extremity joint pain
– Designing treatment regimens combining spinal manipulation therapy, therapeutic exercises or lifestyle counseling
– Analyzing X-ray MRI results to determine suitable adjustment approaches
– Collaborating with primary doctors on integrative care plans

The non-invasive holistic care chiropractors offer appeals to today’s pain sufferers anxious to avoid addictive opioids or unnecessary operations.

Educational Requirements to Become a Chiropractor

The journey begins by earning:

1. Bachelor’s Degree

A 4-year bachelor’s program establishes solid science foundations across subjects like:

Pre-med, health science and biology degrees best prepare future chiropractors, given the considerable overlaps in anatomy and physiology courses.

2. Doctorate in Chiropractic

Then aspiring chiropractors must complete intensive 4-year Doctor of Chiropractic programs granting the credentials to adjust patients. Curriculums thoroughly encompass:

– Spinal anatomy
– Impairment diagnosis
– X-ray interpretation
– Manual manipulation procedures
– Musculoskeletal system disorders
– Practice management/ethics

3. Specialized Residency

Newly minted chiropractors may pursue 1-2 year clinical residencies focusing on certain techniques like sports injury rehabilitation or pediatric adjustments. These specializations are still optional currently in most states.

Obtaining Chiropractic Licensure

All states mandate licensure to practice chiropractic care. Key steps include:

Jurisprudence exams on ethics and state-specific regulations are also required in certain areas.

Launching Your Chiropractic Career

Newly licensed chiropractors have a few paths to gain essential professional experience before potentially opening a private practice.

Join an Established Chiropractor’s Office

Work alongside seasoned chiropractors for 1-2 years, learning niche techniques and building referral networks by:

Open Your Own Chiropractic Clinic

Ambitious chiropractors ready to independently treat patients can launch clinic business covering:

Key Chiropractor Responsibilities

Whether working solo or within health systems, chiropractors have core daily functions:

Income and Job Outlook for Chiropractors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for chiropractors is $83,830. Those with private practices tend to earn more, with experienced practitioners billing over $100,000 after building their patient bases.

The BLS expects chiropractor jobs to increase 8 percent through 2026 – faster than other fields. Demand rises as insurance policies and referrals expand, covering alternative spinal/extremity treatments beyond prescription pain pills alone.

Years ExperienceAverage Salary Range
0-2 years$44,000 – $68,000
3-5 years$68,000 – $88,000
6-10 years$88,000 – $120,000
10-15 years$100,000 – $130,000
15+ years$130,000+

Pros of a Chiropractic Career

Rewarding aspects attracting professionals include:

Cons of a Chiropractic Profession

Common downsides to weigh include:

Overall, chiropractic medicine presents a meaningful career blending science, alternative care, and business skills through a holistic approach to strengthening community vitality.

Ready to pursue this hands-on healing vocation? Reach out to accredited chiropractic university admissions teams to map prerequisites, take campus tours of state-of-the-art manipulation labs, and train under expert clinicians preparing you to transition patients from pain toward active lifestyles safely.