If you’ve been thinking about pursuing a career as a chiropractor, you’re well on your way to a fulfilling career path. The chiropractic industry is expanding, pays well, and has flexible hours if you choose to open your own practice. The best part is that it’s a profession that makes a real difference in patients’ lives. Most likely, you already know that this is the right career path for you, but you might be wondering what it takes to become a chiropractor. Here’s what you need to know about a career in the chiropractic business.
1. Understand the Chiropractic Profession
Chiropractic is a branch of medicine that focuses on nervous and musculoskeletal system disorders. Chiropractic school graduates treat patients using a drug-free approach. Chiropractors offer many treatment options. They can recommend changes to posture, rehabilitative or therapeutic exercises, or lifestyle and nutritional changes to improve their patient’s overall health. The chiropractor’s main aim is to improve the patient’s long-term health and wellness.
2. Complete Undergraduate Studies
This is the first step to a successful chiropractic career. You must have completed three to four years of undergraduate coursework to be considered by a chiropractic college. Maintaining good grades throughout your studies is also important and worthwhile. A 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale is required to become a chiropractor. You should also familiarize yourself with the admissions requirements of each chiropractic school you’re interested in. Coursework in natural sciences like physics, biology, and chemistry is typically required. Keep in mind that if you choose a private institution to complete your schooling, class sizes with a 12:1 student-teacher ratio are very common. You’ll be able to get a more personalized education.
3. Enroll In A Chiropractic College
After completing your undergraduate education, you’ll have laid the groundwork for the following stage, which is attending a chiropractic college to obtain your Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. This degree program typically lasts for three-plus years. It may seem like a lot of studying, but your efforts will be rewarded.
Chiropractic salaries start at around $85,000, but they can be considerably higher depending on the state you choose to practice in. You can also earn a lapel pin, which is a tiny pin that’s worn on clothing to signify affiliation with a cause or an organization. There’s more good news. The demand for chiropractors will increase by 12% by 2026, which is faster than the average for all other occupations.
4. Choose A Specialty
There are several areas you can specialize in as a chiropractor. Some of the specialties on the rise are geriatrics, sports, human performance, and pediatrics. Choose a specialty you’re passionate about to prevent career burnout. It’s also better for you and your patients. When you’re passionate about your area of practice, you’ll deliver better care for your patients. Patients who are happy with your service are far more likely to return and recommend you to others.
5. Obtain A Chiropractic License
In addition to a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, you’ll also need a license to legally practice as a chiropractor. You must pass a certification exam to be granted this license. This test, which consists of four parts, is known as the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). The good news is you don’t have to take the exam all at once. You’ll take each section at different times while working on your degree.
Pursuing a career in chiropractic care is worthwhile. That’s why there are over 70,000 registered chiropractors in the U.S. In addition to the financial benefits, becoming a chiropractor will allow you to improve the lives of your patients. It’s also highly empowering, especially when you consider the satisfaction that comes with knowing you’re helping others live a more productive life.