Equine Chiropractor Training Programs, Job Outlook and Career Info

Sep 26, 2019

Equine chiropractors treat various ailments in horses by manipulating the animal's spine. This is considered an alternative form of treatment, and several schools offer animal chiropractic programs. Practitioners can be veterinarians, chiropractors or vet techs with training in veterinary massage practices.

Essential Information

Individuals wishing to pursue training in equine chiropractic have a number of options available to them depending upon their end goals. They can be found in many professions, including veterinary medicine and equine therapy. The job outlook for equine chiropractors is increasingly brighter as animal owners lend credibility to alternative techniques for healing. Equine chiropractors may be chiropractors or licensed veterinarians, while others may simply have training and certification in veterinary massage, therapy or veterinary spinal manipulation.

Required Education Varies from training in veterinary massage and therapy to a Doctor of Chiropractic or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program
Certification/Licensure Certification by the Animal Chiropractic Certification Commission
Additional Requirements Non-veterinarians must have obtained written consent from a veterinarian prior to performing procedures on animals
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 7% for chiropractors, 19% for veterinary techs, 18% for veterinarians*
Average Salary (2018) $71,410 annually for chiropractors, $34,420 for veterinary techs, $93,830 for veterinarians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Training Programs

The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) approves several schools with animal chiropractic training programs. Those who successfully complete these programs can go on to sit for the certification exams, overseen by the Animal Chiropractic Certification Commission (ACCC), which is a division of the AVCA. This type of certification is usually earned by a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).

Other types of certifications may be earned via training programs as well. Some schools offer training and certification programs in veterinary massage, rehabilitation therapy and veterinary spinal manipulation. Students can also look to schools that offer human chiropractic training to see if they offer an animal-based variant of the education.

Career Information

Equine chiropractors can be found in a large variety of occupations. Some, as licensed D.C.s, practice human chiropractic and do occasional animal work on the side. Others are veterinarians who wish to extend their range of services offered into equine or animal homeopathy. Still others hold neither DVM or D.C. licensure and work entirely as equine therapists, using a combination of massage and chiropractic techniques. However, non-veterinarians must have direct written consent from a veterinarian before performing such procedures on an animal. This is due to the fact that human chiropractors and non-chiropractic equine therapists may not recognize or understand diseases and medical conditions in horses.

Job Outlook

Very few sources indicate job prospects for equine chiropractors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 18% (the average for all occupations) increase in employment from 2018 to 2028 for veterinarians, 19% for veterinary technicians and technologists and 7% over the same time frame for all chiropractors. Positions in specifically equine chiropractic may increase as a result of both careers growing so rapidly. As of May 2018, the BLS reported average annual salaries of $34,420 for veterinary techs, $93,830 for veterinarians and $71,410 for chiropractors.

According to the Equine Post, an online resource for horse owners and enthusiasts, states that finding employment is simply a matter of finding the right geographic location to work in. As animal owners become increasingly more concerned about giving their pets the finest care, they will call upon equine chiropractors and those practicing alternative methods for healing and behavioral improvement (www.equinepost.com).

Equine chiropractors are usually trained as veterinarians, vet technicians or chiropractors. Depending on their background and training, they work with veterinarians to supplement care for horses using the alternative method of spinal manipulation. Jobs are projected to increase in all these fields through 2028.

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