How to Become a Chiropractor

Alternative medicine, including chiropractic treatment, is becoming an extremely popular industry. If you’re interested in helping people while maintaining your own practice and being responsible for your own success, you may be interested in a chiropractic career.

What Is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor practices a specific type of medicine that involves the alignment of a patient’s spine.

How to Become a Chiropractor

Chiropractors will usually begin by identifying the issues that a patient is suffering and by looking at their spinal alignment.

Chiropractors believe that the spine is the central core to the body and that many ailments can be caused by spinal issues. Most of the body’s nerve endings are located in the spinal column, and a slipped or shifted disk could potentially cause pain, numbness or even paralysis in completely different parts of the body.

Those that specialize in chiropractic medicine will adjust a patient’s spine to compensate for these issues. Spinal adjustments can be handled in a variety of ways but need to be done in a very precise fashion. Damage to a patient’s spine can have extremely significant effects, which is why chiropractors require intensive training and licensing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chiropractic medicine has a faster than average job outlook.

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractors will usually begin by identifying the issues that a patient is suffering and by looking at their spinal alignment. Often they will first ask the patient to lie down on a special board and will compare the locations of the patient’s feet. If the patient has uneven feet, it’s a very good indication that the patient has an improperly aligned spine. The patient will lie on a special board while the chiropractor adjusts the patient’s spine until they feel that it is straight. The chiropractor may also manually adjust the patient’s neck without the use of the board.

Chiropractic treatment usually needs to be repeated and many patients may keep regular appointments. Patients also often seek treatment after episodes of spinal trauma, such as a car accident. Chiropractors will usually work either alone or in teams at a center for chiropractic health. Occasionally a chiropractor will work with or will become a doctor of naturopathic medicine to provide more comprehensive services to their patients.

How Do You Become a Chiropractor?

Becoming a chiropractor requires significant medical training as well as licensure. Chiropractors need to begin with at least an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. Once this degree has been obtained, the aspiring chiropractor will need to attend a certified chiropractor school. While a chiropractor will usually need to spend many years in school, the educational plans are not as rigorous as most medical degrees and are usually significantly less expensive.

Licensing usually includes passing an exam,

$67,200
Doctoral/Professional
None
None
52,600
28%
14,900
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
most of which are administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. A practical evaluation is included. Continuing education is usually also required so that chiropractic doctors remain knowledgeable about the most current developments in chiropractic medicine.

How Do You Advance as a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors are extremely advanced medical professionals. Most chiropractors will work in their own clinics, which puts them in direct control of their finances and the amount of money they make. Advancement can include growing a clinic or partnering with other professionals to provide more services to their clients. Chiropractors seeking advancements can also specialize in other areas of alternative medicine or can expand their business to other states.

Some chiropractors will work within clinics, and in this situation advancing as a chiropractor could include heading a department within the clinic or becoming a senior member of the clinic. Chiropractors can also work with government health facilities and other care institutions.

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