About one in five Americans suffer from chronic or persistent pain. From tension headaches to sacroiliac pain to whiplash, there are a number of reasons why patients may seek out the help of a medical professional. While some patients may consider taking medication to alleviate their symptoms, those who enter the care of a chiropractor are 64% less likely to receive an opioid prescription than other pain sufferers. Additionally, 95% of patients who visit a chiropractor describe their course of treatment as effective. It’s clear that chiropractors offer their patients life-changing care, without the risk of their patients becoming reliant on medication. Plus, unlike physical therapists, patients don’t need a referral to seek out care from a chiropractor. This makes chiropractors highly accessible and effective medical professionals.
If you’re interested in working hands-on with your patients, potentially becoming an independent business owner, or simply making your patients’ lives better, becoming a chiropractor could be a great pathway for you. In addition to the gratification and reward that comes from patient care, chiropractors are also able to make a great salary doing what they love! Here’s what you need to know about the Doctor of Chiropractic salary and how to get started in this rewarding career.
Doctor of Chiropractic Salary
The salary of a Doctor of Chiropractic can depend on a variety of factors, including whether or not they own their own business. According to a 2020 survey by Chiropractic Economics magazine, 56% of practitioners own their own business. Small business owners (also known as solo practitioners) report an average annual billing of $352,100, with their own salaries coming in at $118,000 per year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for chiropractors was $70,720 in May of 2020. However, chiropractors in Connecticut earn an annual salary that averages between $102,290 and $113,130 per year. The national average for all occupations in the United States is $41,950, so as an aspiring chiropractor, you can expect to earn substantially more in your line of work.
Chiropractic Job Outlook
Employment for chiropractors is expected to grow by 11% between 2020 and 2030. This means there will be about 1,800 new job openings for chiropractors each year, on average, for the next decade. While some of these jobs will become available due to existing doctors retiring, it’s also important to note that demand for chiropractic care will increase due to the aging population of the United States. More and more patients want a non-surgical, drug-free way to treat their pain and improve their well-being. As interest in a more holistic approach to health grows, so will the need for chiropractic services. In turn, the chiropractic salary may also see increases in the coming years.
Becoming a Chiropractor
It’s clear that working as a chiropractor can be both financially and personally satisfying. But how does someone enter this line of work? The first step is making sure you’ve received the prerequisite education.
To become a chiropractor, it is required that you pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. Your Doctor of Chiropractic degree program must be accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education, in order for you to practice.
D.C. programs require applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree or at least 90 credits of undergraduate study from a regionally accredited school before matriculating. Of these credits, 24 must be in the physical or life sciences, half of which must offer students lab experience. Some states require prospective chiropractors to hold a bachelor’s degree in addition to the graduate degree in order to practice. You can learn more about your state’s specific requirements, here.
Chiropractic school itself can take between three and four years to complete. University of Bridgeport’s Doctor of Chiropractic program takes four years to complete, allowing students to get the most out of their doctorate studies. The D.C. program provides a robust, evidence-based curriculum with a strong focus on science, as well as unmatched clinical training experiences in clinics, community health centers, and veterans centers across Connecticut. Students are also given their first two summer sessions off from classes, providing them the chance to shadow working chiropractors, study for boards, or work.
Students in a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program are required to complete a comprehensive selection of courses that prepare them to pass boards and enter the chiropractic field. While some schools focus on the history of the chiropractic field, University of Bridgeport requires its students to focus on forward-looking, scientific, and evidence-based practices. Patient-centered care is the cornerstone of University of Bridgeport’s curriculum.
Regardless of which program you choose, coursework in chiropractic programs is structured so that each course serves as a scaffold that supports students’ understanding of the classes to come. View the full list of Doctor of Chiropractic courses offered at University of Bridgeport, here.
In addition to a rigorous class schedule, students are expected to complete clinical training. Rotations and externships are offered at a variety of off-campus teaching clinics. University of Bridgeport students are able to take advantage of clinical training opportunities in such locations as:
- Stony Brook Medical Center
- VA Connecticut Healthcare System
- Optimus Health Care Center
- Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center
- UB Clinics
As noted above, prospective chiropractors are required to graduate from an accredited Doctor of Chiropractic program. Additionally, they must pass national board exams proctored by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The NBCE exams require test takers to demonstrate a minimum, baseline level of knowledge, as well as the ability to diagnose and treat chiropractic patients. These exams are made up of four parts, in addition to a physiotherapy exam. Students in Doctor of Chiropractic programs may be able to take portions of their boards exams during the course of their program of study. For example, University of Bridgeport Chiropractic students are eligible to take parts one and two of the NBCE exam. After completing all parts of the NBCE exams, prospective chiropractors are required to submit their scores and transcripts to the state in which they wish to practice.
Chiropractors are highly skilled professionals who provide their patients with life-changing care. After earning their Doctorate in Chiropractic, prospective chiropractors can look forward to a satisfying career providing care to patients who require relief from pain. As an added perk, chiropractors can expect to earn a salary much higher than the national average. If you’re interested in making a positive difference, while making a good living, perhaps a career as a chiropractor is a great fit!
Ready to become a Dr. of Chiropractic? Learn more about University of Bridgeport’s School of Chiropractic.