Chiropractic Programs and Careers Q&A

What careers can I pursue with a chiropractic medicine degree?

The majority of chiropractors are self-employed, but you can also pursue a career in hospitals, group practices and dentist offices.

A small number of chiropractors also choose teaching as a career path.

What degree programs will I take?

Aspiring chiropractors need at least three years of undergraduate study, although a 4-year bachelor’s degree is recommended by many schools.

Once you complete your undergraduate work, you’ll need to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree which takes four years. Some programs give students the option to complete their bachelor’s degree work and earn their DC at the same time.

What can I expect after I submit a request for information to a school?

First, you’ll need to make sure you fill out the form correctly. For example, if your completed education level is high school graduate, you would need to complete a bachelor’s program before applying to a master’s degree program. So if you enter “high school graduate” and request master’s degree information, your request may fail. Be sure to request information for the correct level of education you plan to pursue.

Once you’ve selected the schools you’re interested in and submitted your information, you’ll receive a thank you from the schools you chose. You’ll be contacted by these schools either by email or telephone. The advisors who call you will ask you about the programs you’re interested in, when you would like to start school, and talk about financial aid options, among other things. Feel free to ask questions!

Is financial aid available for chiropractic school?

Financial aid is available from a variety of sources. Government financial aid is the most common, but before you can be considered for aid, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Other types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, private loans and PLUS loans.

What types of courses will I take?

Chiropractic coursework includes biology, anatomy and physiology, spinal anatomy, diagnostic imaging, ethics and adjustive technique. You’ll also participate in clinical rotations as you progress through your education.

Is it better to work for myself or an employer?

Most chiropractors work in their practice, but when you first start out, it may be best to work for an employer. This will give you a built-in set of patients and allow you to establish your reputation. Working for yourself offers you the ability to set your own hours and earn a bigger paycheck.

If I work for myself, what else will I need to learn?

If you decide to work for yourself, you should take classes in business administration and accounting in order to keep books, manage payroll and keep up on health insurance policy. If you plan on hiring employees you’ll want to take some courses in management or human resources.

Does school program accreditation matter for alternative medicine careers?

In order to become licensed, you need to have a degree from a program accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE)

What type of licensing (if any) will I need?

Chiropractors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia must be licensed to practice. You’ll need to take either a state-issued exam, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners test or both.

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