Should I Become a Chiropractor?
One of the hottest and most enjoyable careers in medicine may be right for you!
Is Becoming a Chiropractor the Right Path For You?
Excel in the medical field without attending medical school
If you are interested in a career in medicine, you’ve likely heard about high stress, limited time for patient interaction, long work hours and unpredictable schedules. However, there are a number of professional, rewarding, high-paying medical careers that avoid these drawbacks. One of the most popular of these medical career paths is becoming a chiropractor.
What makes chiropractor such a popular career path?
- Chiropractors play a pivotal role in improving people’s health and well-being
- Chiropractic medicine is helping to meet a growing demand for noninvasive treatment options
- Chiropractic care is becoming more popular for people wanting to maintain an active lifestyle
- Chiropractors enjoy higher-quality interactions with patients and greater opportunities for individualized care
- Chiropractic care generally does not require a referral from a primary care physician and is covered by most health insurance plans
- Chiropractic schooling is more attractive to students than medical school because they can apply what they learn sooner through immersive internships, rather than years of residency
There’s also the chiropractic lifestyle. Chiropractors enjoy a comfortable work/life balance that may be appealing to you.
Many medical practitioners have become disillusioned with the increasing demands put on medical doctors and primary care providers, from patient overload to exhausting working hours. In contrast, most chiropractors enjoy not working on weekends or holidays, not working an exhaustive number of hours, and working in comfortable, low-stress environments.
Let’s explore some reasons why earning your chiropractic degree and becoming a chiropractor may be the ideal medical career path for you.
Becoming a chiropractor: focusing on noninvasive treatments, wellness, and prevention
Healthcare is constantly changing, and so are the demands and expectations of patients. A growing number of patients are seeking noninvasive treatment options (like chiropractic) that offer positive treatment outcomes without the use of surgery.
Many patients also seek more natural methods of treating musculoskeletal pain than using pain medications. There is a particularly strong interest among patients to eliminate pain medications from their treatment regimen with the ongoing opioid crisis.
Earning your chiropractic degree and becoming a chiropractor allows you to become part of a new era of healthcare. One that focuses on treating the entire person in natural, holistic ways that create positive patient outcomes.
Chiropractors maintain that the human body possesses an inherent ability to heal itself. By using treatment methods that don’t involve surgery or drugs, chiropractors can rehabilitate certain body functions, and even prevent further disability.
What medical conditions do chiropractors treat?
By becoming a chiropractor, you will care for individuals with a wide variety of conditions and injuries, including:
- Back, neck, and joint pain
- Stiff or sore muscles
- Injuries from accidents or falls
- Work injuries
- Sports injuries
- Postural conditions
What types of treatments do chiropractors offer?
Chiropractors provide professional healthcare, healing, and prevention through techniques that include:
- Spinal manipulation
- Extremity manipulation
- Handheld instrument adjustments
- Hands-on thrust adjustments
- Decompression (stretching) manipulation
How do chiropractors provide preventive care?
Many patients seek chiropractors to help them prevent common ailments before they even surface. Chiropractic preventive and wellness care is increasingly sought to prevent health problems by focusing on improving:
- Diet and nutrition
- Fitness through exercise
- Balance issues
- Blood pressure
- Stress levels
The requirements for becoming a chiropractor may align with your needs
If you want to make a more immediate impact in healthcare—rather than waiting through 7+ years of medical school and residency—it’s definitely worth exploring earning your chiropractic degree and becoming a chiropractor.
Admissions requirements—including credits and hours earned, required courses, GPA and other qualifications—will vary depending on which chiropractic program you pursue. However, many chiropractic schools look at the entirety of the applicant’s undergraduate education and do not require a specific bachelor’s degree. This is appealing for those who discover chiropractic as a career path later in their undergraduate education or even after their graduation, which avoids the need to start over or complete a second undergraduate degree.
One option to keep in mind as you explore the requirements for becoming a chiropractor is that some chiropractic schooling programs offer the opportunity to complete your bachelor’s degree while attending chiropractic school. Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU) offers a degree completion option for a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology degree you can earn concurrently with the Doctor of Chiropractic program.
Exciting options for chiropractic schooling specializations
Earning your chiropractic degree and becoming a chiropractor offers you options to specialize. Chiropractors can specialize in areas such as:
- Sports chiropractic
- Chiropractic rehabilitation
- Pediatric chiropractic
- Chiropractic acupuncture
- Occupational health chiropractic
- Chiropractic radiology
- Forensic chiropractic
What is a sports chiropractor?
Let’s explore one of these exciting areas of specialization. A sports chiropractor specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain and injury in athletes. Along with providing a variety of hands-on treatments, a sports chiropractor can design plans to help a patient recover faster and even improve their performance. Because of their unique skill set, a sports chiropractor may also work on the sidelines of sporting events.
Be your own boss with your private practice
One of the most exciting aspects of becoming a chiropractor is the opportunity to open your own private practice. Many chiropractors embrace the flexibility and control of working for themselves. Some advantages private practice owners report include:
- Develop your own mission and deliver chiropractic care your way
- Be your own boss and make decisions that are best for you and your patients
- Build your personal reputation and a strong reputation for your practice
- Control your own finances and enjoy your profits
- Enjoy fewer organizational or bureaucratic headaches
Enjoy strong earnings in a growing medical field
By becoming a chiropractor, you can expect to earn a strong salary and generous benefits. Chiropractor salaries vary by gender, geographic location, years of experience, or whether the chiropractor is working for an employer or operating their own practice, as well as other variables.
According to Chiropractic Economics , the average salary for chiropractors in the U.S. is $120,389. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) breaks down chiropractor salaries by state and metropolitan area. The BLS states that the annual mean salary for chiropractors in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota, metro area is $90,830, while chiropractor salaries for the state of Minnesota range from $90,020 to $119,210.
The growth rate for chiropractic jobs is also strong. The BLS estimates a 10% job growth rate for chiropractors from now until 2031. That’s roughly double the rate of growth for all jobs.