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Millions of people believe that chiropractors can perform miracles without medication or surgery. They use their professional skills in hands-on spinal manipulation and many other alternative methods of treatment to align the patient’s musculoskeletal structure, thus helping their body to heal itself without the assistance of drugs or invasive procedures. 

However, the art of chiropractic is also commonly used in conjunction with other medical treatments to alleviate muscle, joint, bone, and connective tissue pain. If you are looking for comprehensive information on chiropractor jobs, you’ve come to the right place. This article covers everything you need to know about this highly rewarding profession. 


About Chiropractic Jobs


What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Up until this day, many remain puzzled about the role of chiropractors. In the simplest terms possible, chiropractors are doctors who care for the patient’s joint, muscle, and bone pain in a way alternative to traditional medicine. It is important to keep in mind that chiropractors do not prescribe medication, and mainly focus on the prevention of health issues.

Duties 

According to the facts on chiropractic jobs, these professionals typically do the following:

  • Administer tests and evaluate the client’s posture 
  • Take X-rays 
  • Assess the medical condition of patients by reviewing their medical history 
  • Give out professional advice on lifestyle and health issues, as well as on improving the quality of sleep and nutrition 
  • Advise patients on how to exercise properly 
  • Use massage therapy, ultrasound, and rehabilitative exercises 
  • Hire staff, keep records, and market their business 
  • Adjust the patient’s joints and provide other types of neuromuscular therapy (one of the most important chiropractor job duties) 
  • Refer the patient to other medical professionals 

Types

Musculoskeletal Chiropractors

The first type mainly focuses on alleviating the symptoms of pain, typically in the back and the neck. Generally, the frequency and length of a care plan devised by this type of chiropractor are dictated by patients’ symptoms and their insurance. In most cases, insurance only covers the treatment for symptom relief and nothing else. Unfortunately, facts on the musculoskeletal chiropractor career show that the results may be only temporary because the spine will continue to degenerate if it remains structurally misaligned.

Wellness Chiropractors

The second type of chiropractor focuses on correcting subluxations, which helps the patient’s body to fully heal itself. By correcting subluxations, wellness chiropractors make sure that the body is free to regenerate every gland, tissue, and cell, as it was originally meant to do. Wellness chiropractors are different from musculoskeletal chiropractors in the sense that their primary goal is to eliminate nerve interference by making precise adjustments to align the spine. 

Work Environment

So what does the chiropractor work environment look like? Surely, the working conditions for these healthcare professionals are superb because they work in very comfortable and clean offices. Some professionals in the field are employed in hospital settings and health centers for the military. Furthermore, many professionals choose to work in educational settings, whereas others prefer running private businesses. The majority of chiropractors work in a group practice or on their own.

Injuries and Illnesses

The chiropractic job is not a career choice that puts healthcare professionals at risk of injuries or illness. Nevertheless, this career is physically and mentally challenging, as employees are frequently on their feet throughout the day, caring for their patients.

Work Schedules

Even though the majority of healthcare professionals in the field work full time, some choose to work part-time.To accommodate patients who work, the schedules of chiropractic jobs usually include the evenings and weekends. However, self-employed chiropractors can set their working hours and spend more time with their families. On average, chiropractors work around 40 hours a week.


How to Become a Chiropractor?


Generally, applicants interested in becoming chiropractors one day need to attain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Interestingly, there were 15 accredited programs on 18 campuses in 2017. When it comes to working as a doctor of chiropractic, the jobs require a valid state license to work under the regulations of the state. The university programs usually take four years to finish, and they need a minimum of three years of undergraduate college education for acceptance.

Important Qualities

Successful chiropractors must possess some or all of the following qualities:

  • Detail orientation — the ability to observe the tiniest details to make the most accurate diagnoses 
  • Decision-making — Taking the fastest and best course of action when treating someone is in every chiropractor job description 
  • Dexterity — Being physically able to treat patients 
  • Empathy — Understanding their patients
  • Reliability — Being honest and available to their patients 

Education 

As already mentioned, chiropractors who want to work in the best possible conditions must have a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, which usually takes four years to attain. 

Individuals interested in embarking on the chiropractor career path need to keep in mind that admission to these doctoral programs requires a minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate education, including courses in physics, biology, chemistry, liberal arts, and other sciences. Nevertheless, the majority of students attain a bachelor’s degree before admission. 

The education these future healthcare professionals need to attain typically consists of classroom work in physiology, biology, anatomy, and other related subjects. Furthermore, students receive supervised clinical experience during the program, in which they train in spinal adjustment techniques, diagnosis, and spinal assessment. 

After graduation and before looking for chiropractor job openings, some graduates complete different postgraduate programs, which lead to diploma credentials and certification. These various postgraduate programs provide extra training in specific areas in the field, such as pediatrics and orthopedics. Furthermore, many graduate students decide to continue their education by obtaining a master’s degree in a similar discipline, such as sports rehabilitation or nutrition.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Furthermore, the chiropractor job requirements also involve valid licensure, as dictated by the District of Columbia and every other state in America. Even though the exact requirements vary from state to state, chiropractors must complete an accredited Doctor of Chiropractic program. In some states, chiropractors require a bachelor’s degree.

Furthermore, future chiropractors who wish to work in the field are required to pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam, which covers clinical case studies, a practical exam, and basic and clinical sciences. Also, a lot of jurisdictions require candidates to pass a law exam specific to the state. 

And to keep the license, all states demand continuing education. If you are looking for chiropractic jobs overseas, make sure to check the requirements for the specific country you are planning to apply for, as these may vary from country to country.

Advancement 

A surefire way to advance in this specific healthcare field is by completing a postgraduate program where chiropractors become equipped with additional training needed to specialize in different areas of the practice. These various areas may include orthopedics, pediatrics, or geriatrics. Another excellent way to advance in the chiropractic profession is by establishing a private practice.

Pay 

Are you looking for chiropractor jobs with an impressive salary?  Naturally, employees just starting their careers need to be aware that beginner chiropractors earn a lot less than the more experienced ones. Of course, with time, patience, and hard work, chiropractors can climb up the ladder of success and earn more. 

The average annual wage for professionals in this field was $71,410 in the spring of 2018, meaning that the lowest 10% of chiropractors earned less than $34,990, while the highest 10% earned $149,170 or more. American states that offer a high chiropractor job salary are New Jersey, Delaware, Alaska, Tennessee, and Rhode Island.

Not only does the salary vary based on the professional’s experience, but also based on the number of hours worked and the geographic region of practice. According to Dr. Michael Gampolo — a chiropractor in Florida — an ambitious chiropractor with three to five years of experience or more can earn a million dollars every year.


Job Outlook


The job outlook for chiropractors is proving to be excellent, as modern hospitals, private clinics, and even the government are looking for the help of these skilled healthcare professionals. Chiropractic government jobs are especially in high demand, as there is always a need for more professionals in the field that can maintain the confidentiality of a patient’s information. 

The employment rate of skilled chiropractors will grow by 7% between 2018–2028, which is much faster than the average for all jobs. Furthermore, an increasing number of people of all ages are becoming interested in complementary or integrative healthcare as an effective way to improve patients’ wellness.

Chiropractic career opportunities will open up due to the aging generation of Baby Boomers.  Older adults are much more likely to reach out to chiropractors for treating different joint and neuromusculoskeletal issues. Also, Baby Boomers will continue to seek therapy from chiropractors to ensure a more active and longer life.

Furthermore, we expect to see an increasing number of chiropractic job postings in the field of pediatric care. Chiropractors who specialize in pediatric care will be needed because spinal treatment is hugely beneficial for children.

Job Prospects 

Fortunately, the job prospects for beginner chiropractors are anticipated to be excellent, especially for those professionals who decide to enter a multi-disciplined practice made up of, for instance, a medical doctor, a physical therapist, and a chiropractor. Multi-disciplined jobs for chiropractors are cost-effective, allowing patients to be treated from the comfort of their homes. 

If a patient is advised to refer to another medical professional, he or she may opt to reach out to an in-house professional. Usually, chiropractors remain in the profession until they reach retirement, and some transfer to other professions, which means that there is always a need for replacements. 


Frequently Asked Questions


Do hospitals hire chiropractors?

Even though it is highly unlikely to come across a chiropractor employed in a hospital, it is still possible. The main reason for this is that these healthcare professionals do not treat patients with the help of medicine, nor do they perform surgical procedures. Furthermore, chiropractors do not receive training in internal medicine, obstetrics, anesthesia, or infectious diseases. However, some hospitals embrace alternative therapies such as acupuncture.

Can you work during chiropractic school?

Yes, you can, but you will have to be organized enough to ensure that you keep the balance between school and work. It is a good idea to find out what course work is mandatory for entry into the accredited chiropractic program at the chosen school. Complete as many courses as you can and start working part-time for as many hours you can possibly fit into your schedule.

How do you get a job as a chiropractor?

As already mentioned in this article, applicants interested in this specific profession need to make sure that they have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree (which usually takes four years to attain). However, keep in mind that some D.C. programs demand a bachelor’s degree for entry. Generally, the majority of students already have a bachelor’s degree before considering an accredited chiropractic program. Also, chiropractors who plan to work must have a valid license and certification.

What is expected from a chiropractor appointment?

Chiropractor jobs are generally pleasant and highly rewarding. Therefore, these healthcare professionals work in clean and comfortable offices, and their working hours are usually flexible. When a patient enters the office, he or she is expected to be asked about the pain levels and history of past injuries. However, what makes a trip to the chiropractor different is that they ask questions about depression, digestion, and anxiety. The professional will also inspect the patient’s overall health and start developing a care plan. 

Is chiropractic treatment safe?

Yes, most chiropractor jobs are non-invasive, drug-free, and recognized as the safest form of therapy for neuromusculoskeletal treatment. Of course, there are some slight potential risks, which include mild soreness, aching, or stiffness in various areas of the body. However, the newest research has shown that these minor signs of discomfort following manipulation of the spine usually go away within a day.

Can pregnant women go to a chiropractor?

Most chiropractic jobs include treating patients who are currently pregnant. Around 50% of women experience back pain and hip pain during pregnancy. Therefore, visiting a chiropractor may be essential for pain relief before delivery. However, pregnant women planning to visit a chiropractor must first get their doctor’s approval before making an appointment, as there may be slight complications. Moreover, some chiropractors are specialized in prenatal care.


Final Thoughts

Chiropractors treat a wide array of disorders, including neck pain, joint pain, back pain, and even headaches without the use of surgical procedures or medication. Chiropractor jobs are gratifying, not only because of the high salary and ideal working conditions but also because these healthcare professionals help patients turn their lives around for the better. Hopefully, the information in this article helps you find out more about this superb profession.