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Learn to become an acupuncturist in Florida
Acupuncture is an ancient medical practice that can trace its roots back thousands of years. Acupuncturists place needles in the skin along the body’s natural meridians or energy points to promote healing and treat a range of health problems. Today, acupuncture is still practiced in health clinics and wellness centers across the country.
In order to become an acupuncturist, you must obtain a license through your state’s appropriate licensing body. In the state of Florida, that is the Florida Board of Acupuncture. Although each state sets their own requirements, the requirements to become an acupuncturist in Florida are pretty similar to most other jurisdictions. If you’re thinking about becoming an acupuncturist in Florida, read on to find out what you need to do before you can start your career.
Requirements for becoming an acupuncturist in Florida
To practice as an acupuncturist in Florida, you must apply for a license through the Florida Board of Acupuncture. Their licensure requirements are as follows:
Education and training requirements
In order to satisfy the education requirement, Florida acupuncturists must complete a four-year master’s level acupuncture program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM), or a candidate for ACAHM accreditation, which includes at least 2,700 hours of supervised instruction. A foreign equivalent program may also be accepted.
The program must include coursework on:
Candidates must also complete the following, which may or may not already be incorporated into their education program:
15 hours of supervised instruction in universal precautions for needle techniques
20 hours of Florida state laws and rules
60 hours of injection therapy
Exam and licensing requirements
The Board of Acupuncture uses NCCAOM’s acupuncture certification examination as their licensing examination. Candidates must contact NCCAOM directly in order to schedule and take the exam.
NCCAOM’s Acupuncture with Point Location exam consist of four domains, which include the following subcategories:
- Safety and Professional Practice: Professional practice; acupuncture-related adverse events; infection control; case management.
- Treatment Plan: Strategies and treatment methods; acupuncture treatment strategies according to diagnosis; cautions and contraindications; treatment plan modifications.
- Treatment Techniques: Acupuncture; moxibustion; adjunctive therapies; Asian bodywork therapy.
- Acupuncture Point Location: Acupuncture point location methods.
The exam is administered at authorized testing centers on a computer. You have 2.5 hours to complete the exam’s 100 questions.
Once you complete your education, pass the exam and the complete the remainder of the licensure requirements, you should be ready to apply and receive your acupuncture license.
Continuing education requirements
Florida acupuncturists must renew their license every two years to keep it active. In order for their license to be renewed, they must pay a fee and report their required continuing education (CE) hours.
Acupuncturists must complete a total of 30 hours of CE each renewal period. Those 30 hours must include:
Legal considerations for acupuncturists in Florida
Working as an acupuncturist in Florida
How much do acupuncturists make in Florida?
Unfortunately, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lacks salary data for acupuncturists for many states and metropolitan areas. Their only data from the state of Florida includes the metro areas of Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach. These areas have median annual wages of $82,410 and $67,600, respectively, according to their data.
The BLS reports that acupuncturists in Georgia, the closest state to Florida geographically, have a median annual wage of $97,930.
Median Hourly Wage$35
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Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2032. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.
Finding employment opportunities
According to the BLS, the employment of acupuncturists nationwide is expected to grow 5.3% through 2032, which is a little faster than average across all occupations.
The public is turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments more and more, however, meaning growth trends for acupuncturists could be even greater in the years to come. One report estimates, for example, that the global CAM market will more than triple between 2021 (valued at $100 billion) and 2027, when it is expected to reach over $315 billion.
Setting up a private practice
An acupuncturist that wants to start their own private practice can only do so once they have obtained a valid business license. These are typically issued by your local county or municipality (or both in some cases). Since this process can differ depending on where you live and want to practice, be sure to research your local business licensing laws to find out exactly what you need to start an acupuncture practice.
All acupuncturists must receive proper education and training before they can get licensed to practice, including in Florida. This means getting a master’s level degree in acupuncture before you can take the national certifying exam through NCCAOM, which the Florida Board of Acupuncture uses as their state licensing exam. To get started, begin by researching education programs accredited by the ACAHM to prepare for a rewarding career in acupuncture in the Sunshine State.