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Become A Chiropractor

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Working As A Chiropractor

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Make Decisions

  • $48,651

    Average Salary

What Does A Chiropractor 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 Chiropractor

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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Chiropractor jobs

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Chiropractor Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    49.3%
  • Male

    48.3%
  • Unknown

    2.5%

Ethnicity

  • White

    76.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    11.5%
  • Asian

    9.6%
  • Unknown

    1.8%
  • Black or African American

    0.7%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    48.3%
  • Swedish

    10.3%
  • French

    10.3%
  • Italian

    5.2%
  • Cantonese

    3.4%
  • Mandarin

    3.4%
  • Portuguese

    1.7%
  • Hakka

    1.7%
  • Greek

    1.7%
  • German

    1.7%
  • Romanian

    1.7%
  • Japanese

    1.7%
  • Russian

    1.7%
  • Hindi

    1.7%
  • Korean

    1.7%
  • Thai

    1.7%
  • Hmong

    1.7%
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Real Chiropractor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chiropractor Kelly Murie, PLLC Las Vegas, NV Sep 27, 2016 $120,000
Chiropractor DR. Karen M. Slota, BS D.C. Farmington Hills, MI Sep 03, 2015 $116,872
Chiropractor Silbert Chiropractic Clinic PC Southgate, MI Sep 14, 2016 $116,872
Chiropractor Impact Fitness, LLC Los Altos, CA Apr 30, 2016 $104,350
Chiropractor SCR PS Seattle, WA Oct 16, 2015 $100,000
Chiropractor Wellness Associates, PLLC Mesa, AZ Jan 26, 2016 $96,000
Chiropractor Practice Partners, USA Mount Airy, NC Jan 10, 2016 $93,915 -
$114,785
Chiropractor Life Is Motion LLC Edmonds, WA Apr 24, 2015 $90,979
Chiropractor BMI Dc PS Mill Creek, WA Oct 14, 2015 $90,000
Chiropractor Williams and Okin Chiropractic, PC New York, NY Sep 28, 2015 $85,000
Chiropractor American Operations Inc. McLean, VA Feb 15, 2015 $80,000
Chiropractor Spectra Healthcare Associates Tampa, FL Nov 18, 2015 $80,000
Chiropractor Khalsa Chiropractic Office, P.C. Cambridge, MA Sep 06, 2015 $80,000
Chiropractor Lisa Stein Chiropractic, Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 14, 2015 $80,000 -
$95,000
Chiropractor South Florida Injury Centers, Inc. Port Saint Lucie, FL Apr 08, 2015 $64,000
Chiropractor Portolese Family Chiropractic Lansdale, PA Jan 12, 2015 $64,000
Chiropractor Sacred Mountains, PLLC Ketchum, ID Jun 09, 2016 $63,507
Chiropractor DR. YOM Chiropractic and Alternative Care NY Sep 09, 2016 $62,965
Chiropractor Corona Chiropractic Health Services, P.C. NY Oct 22, 2015 $62,610
Chiropractor Corona Chiropractic Health Services, P.C. NY Aug 17, 2016 $62,610
Chiropractor Andes Chiropractic PC NY Jan 09, 2016 $62,610
Chiropractor Optimal Health & Wellness Corp Monterey Park, CA Oct 01, 2015 $62,610
Chiropractor Chiang Wang Chiropractic Corp. Rowland Heights, CA Sep 11, 2015 $47,166
Chiropractor Western Wellness, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 09, 2016 $47,008
Chiropractor Western Wellness, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 13, 2015 $47,008
Chiropractor Denny T. Chiu, Doctor of Chiropractic, Inc. Temple City, CA Aug 20, 2015 $47,008
Chiropractor Connecticut Ave Health and Wellness Center, Inc. Washington, DC Aug 20, 2015 $46,123
Chiropractor Connecticut Ave Health and Wellness Center, Inc. Washington, DC Sep 22, 2015 $46,123
Chiropractor Arai Chiropractic Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Jul 13, 2015 $45,914 -
$68,871

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Top Skills for A Chiropractor

ChiropracticAdjustmentsPhysicalTherapyPatientCareTechniquesTreatmentPlansChiropracticDiagnosisSpinePersonalInjuryNewPatientsPhysicalExamsActivatorHealthCareMedicalRecordsAcupunctureCustomerServiceFrontDeskMassageTherapyPatientEducationSchedulingAppointmentsSpinalColumn

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Top Chiropractor Skills

  1. Chiropractic Adjustments
  2. Physical Therapy
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed chiropractic adjustments and physical and orthopedic examinations.
  • Diagnose and promote improved quality of life for patients through chiropractic, physical therapy, and the delivery of exceptional care.
  • Coordinate patient care with acupuncturist, physical therapist, massage therapist, and MD.
  • Conducted specialized work such as sports chiropractic, pediatrics, diagnostic imaging and/or various chiropractic techniques.
  • Diagnose patient ailments, develop treatment plans, perform therapies, and a variety of adjustment styles.

Top Chiropractor Employers

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