Ancient in origin, popular today. Acupuncture is used to rebalance the body and improve health, but a career in this practice can also give you a sense of purpose and a long-lasting career. Acupuncturists devote themselves to several years of schooling, but the payoff can be immense.
More than 3,000 years old, acupuncture brings balance to a patient’s life and a sense of purpose to the practitioner’s.
Acupuncturists thrive in different settings. Learn the various ways to boost your earning potential.
Pinpoint the acupuncture program that suits you best. Some schools even roll two degrees into one.
Learn More About Your Acupuncture Journey
In order to get started, you’ll need to enroll in an acupuncture degree program. Acupuncturists devote themselves to several years of school. They learn proper needle techniques, the fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine, working with special populations and how to run a practice. Acupuncture school can prepare you for an immensely rewarding career at hospitals, clinics, spas and private practice.
One of the greatest rewards in an acupuncturist’s career is helping improve the health of others. Many practitioners enjoy running a private practice, which allows for schedule flexibility, but others flourish in a group setting. You may even find success working alongside traditional MDs who are proponents of alternative medicine.
Many factors influence how much an acupuncturist can expect to make, including geographic location and experience level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t maintain salary figures for acupuncturists, but lists the median annual salary for health diagnosing and treating practitioners as $74,530.
If you dream of becoming a leader in the acupuncture field, a doctoral degree can help. You’ll learn about complex medical information while honing your critical thinking skills. A Master’s of Science in Acupuncture is the more common option and covers a plethora of topics in three years.
Need-to-Know School and Career Facts
According to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), 43 states and the District of Columbia have strict acupuncturist licensing requirements. Be sure you check with your state board to determine how many hours of formal schooling you need and whether you need to take (and pass) the NCCAOM exam.
For students who have at least two years of undergraduate coursework, there’s an acupuncture degree option just for you. Some schools offer a combined bachelor’s and master’s program in which you’ll participate in classroom work as well as clinical training.
School accreditation is one of the most important criteria to include in your acupuncture school search. Legitimate acupuncture schools should be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). This gives you the guarantee that the program meets certain requirements and provides a quality education. In order to take the national licensing test, you’ll need a degree from an accredited school or program.