What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractors also referred to as chiropractic physicians or doctors of chiropractor treat and diagnose patients with health problems related to the musculoskeletal system. They help minimize the effects of the problems on the nervous system and overall health of the individual. Chiropractors typically focus on the spine and ways to manipulate it. They provide health treatments that are natural and do not involve drugs or surgical techniques. They also acknowledge that many things affect health such as heredity, environment, stress, diet, exercise, and rest. Chiropractors recommend lifestyle changes to these factors to help improve health.
Some chiropractors use alternative medicines in treating patients such as therapies that use light, water, massage, electricity, ultrasound, heat, and acupuncture. They often apply supports including braces, tapes, and straps to provide manual adjustment to the spine.
What kind of training does a chiropractor need?
All chiropractors must complete a chiropractic program and most programs require a minimum of 90 undergraduate semester credit hours that leads to a bachelor degree. Many students entering chiropractic programs have previously completed a bachelor degree. Many chiropractic programs require at least 4,200 hours of a combination of classroom, clinical, and laboratory experience. Chiropractic programs and schools award a doctorate in chiropractic. Many chiropractic schools offer postdoctoral training for chiropractors to choose a specialty in a variety of areas. Once a chiropractor completes the training, specialty examinations are administered.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia require chiropractors to be licensed. The requirements vary by state, but typically require at least 2 to 4 years of undergraduate education, successful completion of a 4-year chiropractic program, and passing scores on state and national examinations.
What are the prospects for a career as a chiropractor?
Employment of chiropractors is projected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 14% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Employment will be driven by the increase in consumer demand for alternative health care techniques.
Job prospects are expected to be good especially for chiropractors with extensive experience. Job opportunities will also arise from chiropractors that retire.
How much do chiropractors make?
As of July 2009, the middle 50% of chiropractors earned annual salaries between $107,840 and $174,951. The top 10% earned annual salaries of more than $218,689 (2).
A career as a chiropractor is an excellent choice for individuals who enjoy providing alternative treatment options to patients. Chiropractors must have keen observation to identify abnormalities. Chiropractors must also have significant manual dexterity to perform adjustments. Ability to work independently, understanding, and empathy are also essential qualities.