If you’re considering a career in chiropractic medicine, there has never been a better time to get started! The job outlook for chiropractors is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
What is the reason for this growth? Americans of all ages are becoming increasingly interested in alternative medicine and complementary health care methods. Chiropractic treatment appeals to many of these patients because Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) rely on nonsurgical methods of care and do not prescribe medications. As the demand for less invasive, more natural care increases, more aspiring health care professionals are choosing to study chiropractic medicine.
What Kinds of Chiropractic Jobs Are out There?
There are also an increasing number of chiropractic jobs in hospitals. Today, many hospitals have chiropractic physicians with admitting privileges, even if they do not have full-time chiropractors on staff. However, many military treatment facilities and VA hospitals do have in-house chiropractors. They will typically work alongside neurologists, physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons, with care covered by the Chiropractic Health Care Program.
The career options are expanding for chiropractic physicians, including:
- Practicing as primary-care doctors in most states
- Starting their own practice
- Becoming an associate in an existing practice
- Working in veteran, multi-disciplinary and integrative clinics
- Specializing in fields such as sports medicine, acupuncture, pediatrics, women’s health, neurology, etc.
Average Salaries for Chiropractic Jobs
Fortunately, the increased demand for chiropractic medicine also means strong salaries for licensed DCs. According to the 2019 salary and expense survey conducted by Chiropractic Economics, total compensation of DCs ranged from averages of $89,300 to $182,000, depending on the practice setting and geographic location (with interdisciplinary practice earnings trending higher). The average total compensation reported for DCs in this year’s survey was $123,400.
(Note: Total compensation for unincorporated DCs is defined as earnings after tax-deductible expenses, but before income tax. For DCs in a professional corporation, it is the sum of salary, bonuses and retirement/profit-sharing contributions made on their behalf.)
Reported Regional DC Compensation
- Midwest ̶ $134,200
- West ̶ $123,900
- South ̶ $123,000
- East ̶ $122,500
Next Steps to Becoming a Chiropractor
Now that you know what the career outlook is for chiropractors, the next step to a successful career as a Doctor of Chiropractic is the proper education and training.
After obtaining a bachelor's degree, it’s important to attend an accredited university. Once you graduate, you must then pass the national board examinations conducted by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) to practice in the U.S. Finally, you would apply for licensure in the state in which you plan to practice.
Are you ready to begin your journey towards a fulfilling career as a chiropractor? For more information, check out our Career Guide to Becoming a Chiropractic Doctor. Or, request more information about NUHS’ unique program and our application process today!