Chiropractors diagnose and treat health problems associated with the central nervous system and the spine in particular. Striving for wholeness, they offer holistic healing to those having problems in the musculoskeletal system. Continue reading this CareerStint article to know the earning potential of a chiropractor.
It is indeed befitting to quote the master when talking of chiropractic treatment and a chiropractor in general. D.D. Palmer says, “I feel it my bounden duty to not only replace displaced bones, but also teach others, so that the physical and spiritual may enjoy health, happiness, and the full fruition of our earthly lives.”
Chiropractic treatment seldom involves use of medicine to cure or relieve pain. Instead it uses a technique referred to as the chiropractic adjustment wherein the mobility of a particular injured joint is restored by application of controlled force. This helps in alleviating muscle tightness and pain, which in turn allows the tissues to heal.
Chiropractors treat ailing bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and are known to lay focus on the overall health of their patients. As the treatment does not involve use of drugs and surgery, more and more people are showing interest in chiropractic care.
Accidents, sports injuries, or muscle strains often lead to chronic back, leg, or neck pain. In such cases, people usually consult a physician or an orthopedic surgeon. When traditional medication doesn’t help get rid of the pain, they eventually turn to chiropractors for alternative treatments. Not only injuries but aging and certain health conditions also lead to debilitating pain in back, neck, or legs. Chiropractors perform a series of manual adjustments to the spine, which include physiotherapy, Thompsons drops, etc., to correct the musculoskeletal system.
The driving force behind this profession…
Chiropractors have a strong belief that proper alignment of the spine is beneficial in maintaining optimum health. According to them, even a slight misplacement in the spinal joints can lead to skeletal imbalance and low resistance levels in individuals. They also hold that spinal or vertebral dysfunction alters many important body functions by affecting the nervous system, and this alteration is bound to be the cause of pain and discomfort.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of chiropractors is about to grow 15% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.
How rewarding is this field?
The figures below are a rough estimate of the annual salary that a chiropractor gets, and it is subject to change.
- The average salary of a chiropractor in the United States is approximately $66,720 per year. A chiropractor can earn anywhere between $30,000 to $150,000 annually.
- Top-paying states for this occupation are New Jercy ($129,010), Connecticut ($108,630), Florida ($101,390), Delaware ($101,750), and Massachusetts ($101,310).
- Rockford, IL, was the metropolitan area with the highest concentration of jobs. There, the average salary is $152,640 p.a.
- Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation were Camden, NJ ($174,240), Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($163,690), Rockford, IL ($152,640), Anchorage, AK ($140,690), and Greensboro-High Point, NC ($138,770).
* Source: BLS, May 2014
The approximate average salary for each state is given below. The salaries can vary due to a variety of factors, including education, experience, other skills, economic trend, insurance reimbursement rates, and location. Chiropractors with strong customer service skills receive higher salaries at hospitals and clinics in large metropolitan cities. Chiropractic care is highly personal. Only technical knowledge cannot help increase your clientele. To be a successful chiropractor, you should have strong communication and customer service skills.
Alabama – $104,555
Alaska – $75,000
Arizona – $84,000
Arkansas – $104,000
California – $110,000
Colorado – $91,000
Connecticut – $118,000
Delaware – $90,000
Florida – $95,000
Georgia – $117,000
Hawaii – $63,000
Idaho – $67,000
Illinois – $116,000
Indiana – $98,000
Iowa – $101,000
Kansas – $94,000
Kentucky – $89,000
Louisiana – $92,000
Maine – $91,000
Maryland – $105,000
Massachusetts – $123,000
Michigan – $104,000
Minnesota – $90,000
Mississippi – $107,000
Missouri – $101,000
Montana – $86,000
Nebraska – $75,000
Nevada – $78,000
New Hampshire – $101,000
New Jersey – $111,000
New Mexico – $89,000
New York – $124,000
North Carolina – $98,000
North Dakota – $91,000
Ohio – $98,000
Oklahoma – $95,000
Oregon – $99,000
Pennsylvania – $99,000
Rhode Island – $93,000
South Carolina – $101,000
South Dakota – $77,000
Tennessee – $95,000
Texas – $99,000
Vermont – $91,000
Virginia – $103,000
Washington – $106,000
West Virginia – $97,000
Wisconsin – $91,000
Wyoming – $85,000
* Source: Indeed, June 2015
Chiropractors work in chiropractor offices and clinics, physician offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and universities. Studies show that large states and those with a high number of retirees have the highest employment levels.
The job of a chiropractor entails…
… Reviewing patients’ medical history and noting down their concerns.
… Conducting physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations.
… Analyzing and evaluating a patient’s posture and examining the spine.
… Correcting the spinal column with the hands-on technique.
… Conducting additional diagnostic tests.
… Application of additional treatment techniques if essential.
… Counsel patients on health and lifestyle issues.
What you have to do to become one…
First and foremost, you need to complete your undergraduate school concentrating on laboratory sciences like biology, physics, and chemistry as your subjects. An additional course in psychology and liberal arts will be an added advantage. After completion of undergraduate schooling, you are expected to have a postgraduate professional degree, which is a four-year program encompassing laboratory work and practical instruction – hands-on experience. The completion of this intensive course earns you a Doctor of Chiropractic designation, which is a must to start practice. Besides, a chiropractor can also obtain a master’s degree in nutrition and sports rehabilitation.
Apart from the degree and designation, a chiropractor needs a license to begin practice. For this, he/she needs to clear a state-administered examination. A point to be noted is that each state has their requirements to be met, which implies that a chiropractor’s practice is restricted to the state from which he has obtained his license.