You may have visited a chiropractor, heard about it, or seen a video on YouTube. The cracking, popping, and plucking of the spine and various limbs may be terrifying to some. Yet, it may be exhilarating to you. The thought of a tension-filled back finally snapping into a comfortable, relaxed state is just so satisfying.
You may therefore be wondering, “I could make a living doing this, but how long does it take to become a chiropractor?”
The answer is not set in stone. It can take between six to eight years, depending on what programs and school you attend. So, let’s dive into the details!
First Things First: Getting a Degree
Before you can be accepted into chiropractor school, you will need a degree. If you have a few chiropractor schools in mind, it is best to enquire what their preferred degrees are. It is safe to assume that they will likely require a degree in sports medicine, biology, life sciences, kinesiology, etc. You will need to have a firm grasp of human anatomy and be able to retain a vast amount of knowledge.
Obtaining these degrees in the United States will usually take about four years. However, there are accredited universities in other countries that may offer a complete bachelor’s degree in only three years. Your tuition fees and cost of living may be significantly lower or higher, depending on where you go and what the currency is worth. You will also have the benefit of experiencing life in a different country.
Studying in the US may take a bit longer but will make more sense for those who intend on working part-time or not being too far from home.
In any case, you will have to work hard and keep a GPA of 3.0 or higher, so be prepared to work hard.
Read more: Chiropractor Job Description
Next up: Chiropractor School
There are a few chiropractor schools in the US to choose from. Depending on the school, it will take three to four years to complete the program. The same will apply when studying abroad. It is important to consider which schools will be accredited and recognized when applying for your chiropractor’s license. Make sure to research the different schools well before making your choice.
The reason some take three years, and others take longer is because of each school’s time management. In any program, half are classroom lessons, and half are practical lessons. Some schools may have a busier schedule, fitting more classes into a shorter period of time. Others may have more free time between classes, thus taking longer to finish the required number of hours.
Choosing the school based on the pace at which the program is completed can be beneficial or detrimental. You need to consider the possibility of stress and burn-out, and your own realistic capabilities. Slow and steady wins the race in some cases, but if you typically thrive under pressure, a shorter program may work for you.
As with other medical professions, you will need to be licensed to practice. This license will be granted on the condition of a number of exams passed. These exams will start roughly during your second year of chiropractor school, and end between six months to a year after your graduation.
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners is in charge of the criteria to be passed for the core examinations. However, some states may have individual laws that require specific additional tests to be passed as well. It is important to make a note of this once you have qualified, should you wish to move to another state.
It is also worth noting that the field of medicine, sciences, and healing is ever-evolving. Therefore, you may need to take on additional courses and training throughout your career to keep up with current practices. This may also be a good opportunity to learn new specialties in chiropractic practice.
Do You Really Want This?
Yes, it is an overwhelming amount of work. If you start your journey at 18 and graduate by 26, you would have spent almost a third of your life studying towards this. Not to mention the fact that it is a physical job that also requires a lot of mental and emotional energy. Why bother?
Well, it’s simple. This can be a lucrative, fulfilling career. The days where chiropractors are seen as “not a real doctor” are coming to an end. Yes, you may not be a medical doctor, but you will obtain a “Doctor of Chiropractic” degree. So yes, you will be a doctor. You will physically heal people instead of prescribing medicine.
An excellent alternative…
There are millions of medications available to relax muscles and relieve pain. However, most of them will have side effects or create a dependency in the event of long-term use. More people are diagnosed with allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances to mainstream medications. Homeopathic medicines are often not clinically tested or approved by any standard of efficiency. Chiropractors are offering an alternative, physical treatment to many conditions.
With this in mind, there is a substantial prospect for demand in the field with a substantial salary to be expected. The average annual salary for a chiropractor is already more than $150 000. The projected employment growth for chiropractors between 2020 and 2030 is around 11%.
You can get a better idea of what you will earn in your area by visiting salary.com.
Looking for More Medical Career Options of a Great Chiropractor Gift!
Not sure which medical career is perfect for you? No problem, check out our in-depth Operating Room Nurse Job Description, ICU Nurse Job Description, our Neonatal Nurse Job Description, our NICU Nurse Job Description, our Medical-Surgical Nuse Job Description, as well as our Care Coordinator Job Description for 2023.
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How Long Does It Take to Become a Chiropractor?
If you have read this far, you must be interested enough in this field to want to learn as much as you can to make an informed decision. This is already a quality that will help you be a good chiropractor.
Your next move should be to call your local chiropractor’s office and ask to shadow them for a few days. If your body feels strained from sitting in one position to read through this article, it may be a good idea to book an appointment for yourself too!
Now, let’s relax with this amazing Youtube video of a skilled chiropractor at work!
All the best with your career as a Chiropractor.