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Become A Chiropractic Physician

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Working As A Chiropractic Physician

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $171,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Chiropractic Physician Do

Chiropractors care for patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They use spinal adjustments and manipulation, and other techniques to manage patients’ health concerns, such as back and neck pain.

Duties

Chiropractors typically do the following:

  • Assess a patient’s medical condition by reviewing their medical history, listening to the patient’s concerns, and performing a physical examination
  • Analyze the patient’s posture, spine, and reflexes
  • Conduct tests, including evaluating a patient’s posture and taking x rays
  • Provide neuromusculoskeletal therapy, which involves adjusting a patient’s spinal column and other joints by hand
  • Give additional treatments, such as applying heat or cold to a patient’s injured areas
  • Advise patients on health and lifestyle issues, such as exercise, nutrition, and sleep habits
  • Refer patients to other healthcare professionals, if needed

Chiropractors focus on patients’ overall health. Chiropractors believe that misalignments of the spinal joints interfere with a person’s neuromuscular system and can result in lower resistance to disease, as well as other conditions of poor health.

Some chiropractors use procedures such as massage therapy, rehabilitative exercise, and ultrasound in addition to spinal adjustments and manipulation. They also may apply supports, such as braces or shoe inserts, to treat patients and relieve pain.

In addition to operating a general chiropractic practice, some chiropractors concentrate in areas such as sports, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, or nutrition, among others. Chiropractors in private practice are responsible for marketing their businesses, hiring staff, and keeping records.

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How To Become A Chiropractic Physician

Chiropractors must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and a state license. Doctor of Chiropractic programs typically take 4 years to complete and require at least 3 years of undergraduate college education for admission.

Education

Prospective chiropractors are required to have a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree—a postgraduate professional degree that typically takes 4 years to complete. In 2014, there were 15 Doctor of Chiropractic programs on 18 campuses accredited by The Council on Chiropractic Education.

Admission to D.C. programs requires at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate education, with courses in the liberal arts and sciences, such as physics, chemistry, and biology. However, many students earn a bachelor’s degree before applying to a chiropractic program.

Chiropractic education consists of classroom work in anatomy, physiology, biology, and similar subjects. Chiropractic students also get supervised clinical experience, in which they train in spinal assessment, spinal adjustment techniques, and diagnosis. D.C. programs also may include classroom work in business management and billing and finance.

Some chiropractors complete postgraduate programs offered by associations leading to diplomate credentials. These programs provide additional training in specialty areas, such as orthopedics and pediatrics, and classes are taken at chiropractic colleges. Others may choose to earn a master’s degree in a related topic, such as nutrition or sports rehabilitation. Some D.C. programs offer a dual-degree option, in which students may earn a master’s degree in a second topic while completing their D.C.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states and the District of Columbia require chiropractors to be licensed. Although specific requirements vary by state, all jurisdictions require the completion of an accredited Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program. Some states require chiropractors to have a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, all jurisdictions require passing the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam, which includes basic and clinical sciences, clinical case studies, and a practical exam. Many jurisdictions also require applicants to pass state-specific law exams, called jurisprudence exams. All states require continuing education to maintain a chiropractic license. Check with your state’s board of chiropractic examiners or health department for more specific information on licensure.  

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Chiropractors must determine the best course of action when treating a patient. They must also decide when to refer patients to other healthcare professionals.

Detail oriented. Chiropractors must be observant and pay attention to details so that they can make proper diagnoses and avoid mistakes that could harm patients.

Dexterity. Because they use their hands to perform manual adjustments to the spine and other joints, chiropractors should have good coordination to perform therapy effectively.

Empathy. Chiropractors often care for people who are in pain. They must be understanding and sympathetic to their patients’ problems and needs.  

Interpersonal skills. Chiropractors must be personable in order to keep clients coming to their practice. Also, because chiropractors frequently touch patients in performing therapy, they should be able to put their patients at ease.

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Chiropractic Physician Demographics

Gender

Male

62.5%

Female

27.8%

Unknown

9.8%
Ethnicity

White

62.7%

Hispanic or Latino

12.6%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

10.1%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.8%

Italian

11.8%

Swedish

5.9%

Chinese

2.9%

Zulu

2.9%

Albanian

2.9%

Dutch

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

French

2.9%

Greek

2.9%

Afrikaans

2.9%
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Chiropractic Physician Education

Schools

Palmer College of Chiropractic

23.8%

National University of Health Sciences

18.0%

Life University

14.5%

New York Chiropractic College

8.3%

University of Western States

5.8%

Logan University

5.3%

Sherman College of Chiropractic

3.8%

Southern California University of Health Sciences

3.5%

Northwestern Health Sciences University

3.5%

Parker University

2.8%

University of Bridgeport

2.8%

Texas Chiropractic College

2.3%

Excelsior College

1.3%

National University

0.8%

California Southern University

0.8%

Cleveland University-Kansas City

0.8%

Life Chiropractic College-West

0.8%

University of the Sciences

0.5%

Arizona State University

0.5%

State University of New York Albany

0.5%
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Majors

Chiropractic

60.7%

Medicine

10.2%

Biology

3.8%

Nursing

3.1%

Human Biology

3.0%

Kinesiology

2.6%

Food And Nutrition

2.1%

Clinical Psychology

2.1%

Education

1.6%

Health Care Administration

1.3%

Physical Therapy

1.3%

Business

1.1%

Psychology

1.0%

Alternative And Complementary Medicine And Medical Systems

1.0%

Physiology And Anatomy

1.0%

Dietetics

1.0%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

0.8%

Rehabilitation Science

0.8%

Liberal Arts

0.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.7%
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Degrees

Doctorate

65.7%

Other

13.9%

Bachelors

8.9%

Masters

7.0%

Associate

2.2%

Certificate

1.9%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$171,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$90,000
Min 10%
$171,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Median 50%
$326,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Atrius Health
Highest Paying City
Minneapolis, MN
Highest Paying State
Wyoming
Avg Experience Level
6.8 years
How much does a Chiropractic Physician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Chiropractic Physician in the United States is $171,797 per year or $83 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $90,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $326,000.

Real Chiropractic Physician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chiropractic Physician Philadelphia Accident and Injury Center Philadelphia, PA Oct 01, 2012 $143,000
Chiropractic Physician Maplegate Rehab Inc. Springfield, MA Aug 29, 2011 $125,220
Chiropractic Physician Maplegate Rehab Inc. Springfield, MA Aug 29, 2014 $125,220 -
$156,525
Chiropractic Physician Maplegate Rehab Inc. Springfield, MA Sep 07, 2011 $125,220
Chiropractic Physician and Associate Chief Atrius Health, Inc. Cambridge, MA Jun 15, 2015 $107,557
Chiropractic Physician Mind Body Healthcare LLC Chicago, IL Mar 10, 2010 $90,000
Chiropractor/Chiropractic Physician Variety Care Oklahoma City, OK Aug 14, 2014 $78,263
Chiropractic Physician Gordin Medical Center, Sc Wheeling, IL Sep 17, 2010 $77,219
Chiropractic Physician Gordin Medical Center, Sc Wheeling, IL Mar 19, 2010 $77,219
Chiropractic Physician Gordin Medical Center, Sc Wheeling, IL Sep 18, 2010 $77,219
Chiropractor/Chiropractic Physician Essential Integrative Health PLLC Oklahoma City, OK Jul 01, 2015 $76,500
Chiropractic Physician Eisman Clinic, P.C. Detroit, MI Apr 11, 2014 $72,000
Chiropractic Physician Euclid Chiropractic & Therapy Center Inc. Euclid, OH Oct 23, 2009 $67,870
Chiropractic Physician 27Th Avenue Health Care, P.C. Phoenix, AZ Jun 05, 2010 $65,000
Chiropractic Physician Physicians Plus North, Ltd. Chicago, IL Oct 20, 2014 $64,730 -
$80,000
Chiropractic Physician West Hartford Medical Center West Hartford, CT Jun 17, 2010 $62,610
Chiropractic Physician West Hartford Medical Center West Hartford, CT Jun 09, 2010 $62,610
Chiropractic Physician We Care Clinic, LLC Phoenix, AZ Jun 05, 2013 $62,610 -
$83,480
Chiropractic Physician Access Chiropractic Clinic Minneapolis, MN Oct 01, 2011 $45,500
Chiropractic Physician Life Clinic, Pa Eagan, MN Dec 05, 2011 $45,392
Chiropractic Physician Life Clinic, Pa Eagan, MN Dec 05, 2011 $45,267
Associate Chiropractic Physician Cg1 Chiropractic Clinc, Inc. Lutz, FL Nov 29, 2007 $45,000
Chiropractic Physician Peak Performance Health Care East Chicago, IN Oct 03, 2011 $45,000
Chiropractic Physician Peak Performance Health Care Chicago, IL Oct 03, 2011 $45,000
Chiropractic Physician Access Chiropractic Clinic Minneapolis, MN Oct 01, 2009 $43,000

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Top Skills for A Chiropractic Physician

  1. Massage Therapy
  2. Physical Therapy
  3. Diagnosis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Treated patients using varying techniques including chiropractic, massage therapy, and physical therapy.
  • Determined treatment, counseled patients, administered physical therapy and spinal manipulation in large volume practice.
  • Perform initial and re-evaluation examinations to make diagnosis and develop an individual treatment plan for each patient.
  • Helped patients fully understand their Chiropractic and health issues, and developed individualized patient exercise plans.
  • Coordinated patient care with other medical doctors and/or physical therapists.

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Top 10 Best States for Chiropractic Physicians

  1. Alaska
  2. Maine
  3. Indiana
  4. New Jersey
  5. Florida
  6. Mississippi
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Nevada
  9. Tennessee
  10. Minnesota
  • (27 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (228 jobs)
  • (160 jobs)
  • (400 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (81 jobs)
  • (142 jobs)
  • (122 jobs)

Top Chiropractic Physician Employers

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