The job outlook for chiropractors in the US is 7%, between 2018 to 2018, as per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth rate is nearly as fast as the average for all other occupations. The high demand for chiropractors can be associated with the increased emphasis on nonsurgical treatments and lesser use of drugs to improve overall wellness.
The chiropractic ways of treating back, limbs, neck and other joint problems has become more widely accepted in recent times. As a result of this, chiropractors are now becoming increasingly involved with other healthcare workers, such as physicians and physical therapists.
The aging baby-boom population will also add to the demand for chiropractic treatment plans because older people are more likely to develop neuromusculoskeletal and joint issues.
If you think you can become a part of this growing profession, then the following guide on the steps to become a chiropractor will be of great use to you. Find out all you need to know about the education, experience and licensing requirements for chiropractors.
What does a Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors take care of patients who have health issues related to the neuromusculoskeletal system. This include the bones, nerves, ligaments, muscles and tendons. These medical personnel use spinal adjustment and manipulation techniques to manage back and neck pain in their patients.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed list of duties performed by Chiropractors. Chiropractors typically perform the following:
Assessing a patient’s medical history to determine current health
Analyzing the posture, reflexes and spine
Carrying out tests such as x rays
Providing neuromusculoskeletal therapy, which typically includes adjusting a patient’s spinal column
Referring patients to other doctors as needed
Giving advice on additional treatments needed
Steps to Become a Chiropractor
In order to become a chiropractor, you will have to meet certain educational, experience and licensure requirements. The following list of the steps to become a chiropractor will shed some light on the process.
Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree
In order to get into a Chiropractic program, students have to complete at least around 90 credits of undergraduate coursework. Getting a bachelor’s degree is not a requirement by all states, so you are advised to check with the college you wish to apply to. In either case, students should choose a major that covers topics such as chemistry, physics and biology.
Step 2: Complete a Chiropractic College
Aspiring chiropractors need to complete a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from an accredited chiropractic college. This degree is offered by only a few colleges in the US. Typical coursework includes courses in anatomy, chemistry and chiropractic philosophy and diagnosis. Lab courses and practical work is also included in the curriculum.
Step 3: Obtain a License
All states in the US require chiropractors to be licensed to practice. Even though specific requirements differ by state, nearly all states require the completion of an accredited Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree program, along with passing the four parts of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiner (NBCE) exam. In addition to that, many states require applicants to pass a background check and state-specific jurisprudence exams.
Step 4: Choose a Chiropractic Specialty
Many chiropractors choose to specialize in a particular area of the field. This could be sports injuries, pediatrics or geriatrics, among others.
Step 5: Maintain Licensure
Nearly all states require candidates to complete continuing education hours to maintain licensure. You ought to check with your state’s board of chiropractic examiners or the health department for further information.
How much does a Chiropractor Earn?
According to 2019 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Chiropractors made an annual median income of $70,340, which roughly translates to $33.82 per hour.
The income for chiropractors varied according to location and industry. The top paying state for this occupation was Connecticut, with an annual mean wage of $127,180. This was followed by Washington, with an annual mean wage of $122,730, New Jersey, which paid $121,060, Ohio, which paid $111,960 and Hawaii, which paid $109,050.
The highest paying industry for chiropractors was the Offices of Physicians, with an annual mean wage of $105,800, followed by Employment Services ($100,810), Outpatient Care Centers ($96,100), General Medical and Surgical Hospitals ($96,080) and Other Ambulatory Health Care Services ($95,020).