Chiropractor Career Overview
Chiropractors release tension in muscles but also realign and adjust bones to release pinched nerves and nerve interference. Before beginning their practice, chiropractors need to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, which is difficult to complete online as the program requires hands-on practice. Learn more about the skills needed for this career as well as the salary and job outlook in the table below.
|Required Skills||Decision making, detail oriented, dexterity, empathy, interpersonal and organizational skills|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)*||7%|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$71,410 per year|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Become a Chiropractor Online
While many degree programs have expanded into the online education realm, the Doctor of Chiropractic isn't one of them. That said, the undergraduate coursework that is needed prior to the doctorate can be completed online, and there are many online programs for continuing education to maintain licensure after you have started your career as a chiropractor.
Step 1. Obtain an Undergrad Degree Online
Before being admitted into a chiropractic school, applicants generally complete at least three years of a bachelor's degree program that fulfills the entry-level science requirements, particularly courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. Bachelor's degrees that include these courses, such as those in the sciences are available online at many universities and colleges. Although a bachelor's degree is not a hard requirement, it is encouraged; however, you may also fast track into the program using options such as an online pre-Doctor of Chiropractic pathway, which is offered at some schools. The pathway curriculum is shorter than a four-year bachelor's degree program but entails science and chiropractic courses that satisfy prerequisite requirements, and some courses may even be transferred into the doctoral program.
Step 2. Continue with a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree
Chiropractic training consists of a doctoral degree that is offered on campus at select schools. The Doctor of Chiropractic is a professional degree that can be completed in 3-4 years and includes coursework in the health sciences, including anatomy and physiology. This lays the foundation of knowledge and skills needed for helping clients as a professional chiropractor. Hands-on practical experience, such as spinal assessment, is a large part of the curriculum, as is chiropractic medicine and learning how to manage a private practice.
Step 3. Become Licensed as a Chiropractor
Prior to working with clients, chiropractors are required to be licensed by the state they will work in. Requirements for licensing are not the same for every state, but common requirements include a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a passing score on the exam administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). The exam has to be taken at a test center; however, it is possible to register and prepare for the test online. Many websites offer online study guides, and the NBCE offers sample tests on their website.
Step 4. Complete Continuing Education Online
Because it is important to stay current with research and standards of practice, chiropractors are required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain their chiropractic licenses or gain specializations. Continuing education courses for chiropractors can be taken online. Examples of some online course topics include state laws and ethics, MRI basics, neurogenic claudication, OSHA standards, and pain education.