Everything you need to know about becoming a chiropractor

In this article you will learn:

  • What skills and education you need to become a chiropractor
  • The typical career path of a chiropractor
  • The average salary of a chiropractor
  • Chiropractor jobs that are available now

A chiropractor is a healthcare professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. There also involves an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustments and manipulation of the spine. The field of chiropractic is generally categorized as alternative medicine or complementary medicine.

What does a chiropractor do?

The goal of most chiropractors seeks to reduce pain and improve the functionality of patients. Chiropractors also like to educate their patients on improving their health with exercise, ergonomics, and other therapies to trace the source of their pain. 

Chiropractors have a fundamental belief that there is an intimate relationship between the nervous system and the spine. The idea is followed by the belief that the spine can affect the nervous system. For many of the conditions, chiropractic treatment can restore the spine’s structural integrity. By reducing pressure on the sensitive neurological tissue and consequently improve the health of the individual.

The concept of chiropractic treatment is to re-establish normal spinal mobility, which then can alleviate the irritation to the spinal nerve and reestablish altered reflexes.

How do you become a chiropractor?

A practicing chiropractor in the US must have a Doctor of Chiropractic or D.C. degree and needs a license to practice in the particular state they choose. A Doctor of Chiropractic program lasts four years.

To qualify for admissions, students must complete at least three years of an undergraduate program with at least 90 semester hours and, in some cases, a Bachelors’s degree, depending on the schools they apply to.

According to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges website, prospective students need to complete a minimum of 24 semester hours of life and physical science coursework. Also, at least half of their science classes must have included a substantive lab. Aspiring chiropractors should also take humanities and social science courses and have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Most of the time, individuals who complete chiropractic school continue their education by becoming residents at a hospital or doing a fellowship. Individuals seek a variety of chiropractic specialties and subspecialties certificates and may pursue advanced training in a variety of chiropractic specialties, such as radiology or rehabilitation to neurology and nutrition. 

What skills do you need to become a chiropractor?

There are many skills that make a good chiropractor. One is critical thinking because chiropractic medicine tends to be outside traditional medicine, so they need to think carefully about a patient’s symptoms and recommend the best course of action. Also, when a patient comes in, their descriptions of symptoms maybe ones they don’t fully understand, so it is up to the practitioner to what they say and makes a proper diagnosis. 

Another skill that is important to be a chiropractor is having dexterity. A critical area of chiropractic training is the ability to feel when something is inflamed or misaligned. As a chiropractor, you can spend hours adjusting spines and joints back into their correct position. 

Other skills may involve oral communications and organization. 

What is the average salary for a chiropractor?

While chiropractors make an above-average wage, they are not typically paid as highly as traditional doctors. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. 

Median Annual Salary: $153,047

Top 10% Annual Salary: $263,734

Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $109,111

What is the typical career path for a chiropractor?

After finishing their studies, individuals with a chiropractic degree have many options of working for medical groups and hospitals, but also can take the leap in opening their own practice. Chiropractors treat more than 45 million people in the U.S every year.

Chiropractors also enjoy one of the best work-life balances of any healthcare profession and even devote their time to a life of helping others–one of the many benefits. 

If interested in applying for a job in the area of chiropractic, check out these job listing on Ladders Jobs: