How to Become a Chiropractor

By Brenda on August 9th, 2011


Chiropractic medicine is a specialty branch of medical science that deals with musculoskeletal and nervous systems. A chiropractor is a medical health care provider that provides holistic and natural treatment methods to treat injuries, aches, pains, strains, and symptoms related to different illnesses.

The Council on Chiropractic Education oversees the standards of chiropractic programs offered at the various accredited schools throughout the country. Let’s review the steps needed to earn a chiropractic degree.

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

One of the requirements of getting accepted into a chiropractic degree is to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Students can major in anything they desire but will need to have a background in science including anatomy and physiology, organic chemistry, biology, and physics.

Admissions requirements vary depending on the program. Other important coursework that should be taken as part of an undergraduate degree include nutrition and public health.

Students should then apply for chiropractic school. Once admitted most programs last four years and lead to a doctorate degree. Programs are very rigorous and combine classroom instruction with lab time and working out in the field under the supervision of a chiropractor. Once students graduate from their program they are prepared to sit for the state licensing exams that will allow them to practice legally in their state.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing exams are overseen at the state level. States requirements vary so students should check to make sure what the exact requirements are for their state. The best strategy for taking the licensing exam is to do it in phases throughout your schooling. The exam is broken up into four parts. Part one focuses on basic sciences and can be taken as early as the first year of school.

Part two of the exam focuses on clinical sciences and cannot be taken until the student’s senior year. Once part two is passed the student may take part three which is the written portion of the exam. Once part three is passed students should prepare for part four of the exam which should be taken within a few months of graduation.

Part four of the exam is fairly new and focuses on x-ray interpretations, case management, and diagnosis.

Job Outlook

Chiropractic careers are expected to grow at an above average pace compared to other occupations. The job growth, estimated at 20%, is twice as fast as the average occupation. The average salary as reported by Chiropractic Economics is $95,000 per year making it a very lucrative living.




Category: Campus Degrees,Careers and Employment,Doctorate Degrees,Medical and Nursing