This post presents detailed information on the chiropractor job description and career, including the duties, tasks, and the responsibilities they commonly perform.
It also shows how to become a chiropractor and the different job positions you can get with a chiropractor background.
It also presents the major requirements candidates have to fulfill to be hired for the chiropractor role by most employers/recruiters, as well the estimated salary for the position.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
The chiropractor job description entails assisting patients with conditions that are related to the spine.
They diagnose and treat various types of physical disorders, including back pain, neck pain and low-back pain.
Chiropractors provide chiropractic services by adjusting patients’ spines and nervous system to relieve pain.
Their role involves taking x-rays, performing physical exams, and ordering lab tests and other studies as needed to help diagnose a patient’s ailment.
It also entails counseling patients on lifestyle changes and health issues.
Chiropractors also help patients develop healthy routines for living that improve their health.
They take a thorough case history, make observations, and perform a physical exam of each patient.
It is their duty to assess the patient’s range of motion, muscle strength, stress levels, and any pain.
The chiropractor also takes x-rays and MRIs as needed.
They provide patients with specific exercises to help them regain lost range of motion that may have contributed to their condition.
The chiropractor job description also involves offering nutritional counseling for healthier living and stress reduction.
This helps to improve patients’ overall health, especially when it concerns overall health of the nervous system and spine.
These are both vital components in terms of overall health.
An important part of the chiropractor’s job is determining the length of time a patient needs to be in their office.
This is especially when the chiropractor is not able to determine why a patient is experiencing pain.
More Chiropractor Duties and Responsibilities
The chiropractor’s duties also include keeping up with continuing education, filing reports and paperwork for insurance, and updating licenses as required by their state board of licensing or certification.
It is the responsibility of the chiropractor to make sure that their office is kept clean, tidy, and safe.
Their duty also includes taking a complete patient history that includes information on any injuries the patient may have had at other locations.
They determine whether or not there is a connection between the present condition and the injury.
The chiropractor is responsible for applying state and federal laws as they affect their particular field of practice.
They are expected to keep abreast of new legislation that may impact health care in general.
Chiropractors must also make sure they are aware of all new therapies offered in their field.
Chiropractor Job Description Sample/Example/Template
The chiropractor job description involves the following duties, tasks, and responsibilities:
- Deliver information on chiropractic health and wellness
- Perform diagnostic services to determine patients’ neuromusculoskeletal condition and advise them about treatment options
- Test patients’ joint mobility and muscle strength to identify areas of weakness or tightness, which may indicate a spinal misalignment (subluxation)
- Use a variety of manual adjustment techniques to correct spinal misalignments (subluxations) and improve muscle tone
- Refer patients for additional treatment, such as electrical stimulation or ultrasound therapy, if necessary
- Work with other health care providers in the clinic, hospital or physician office to provide holistic health care services to the patient
- Act as the primary contact between the patient and the chiropractor
- Work with other health care professionals in the clinic, hospital or physician office
- Provide education and training for other health care providers in the clinic, hospital or physician office
- Take patient treatment orders, using the chiropractic management software
- Enforce policies and procedures, and resolve customer service issues
- Participate in ongoing quality assurance activities, and provide feedback to improve the operation of the clinic or office.
Chiropractor Job Description for Resume
If you are making a resume or CV for a new job as someone who has worked before as a chiropractor or are currently working in that role, you can make a compelling Professional Experience section for the resume by utilizing the sample chiropractor job description above.
You can apply the duties and responsibilities of a chiropractor provided in the sample job description above in making your resume’s Professional Experience section to show that you have been effective performing the chiropractor’s functions.
This piece of information in your resume/CV can greatly influence the recruiter/employer to consider you for the job, especially if the new job requires some work experience as a chiropractor.
Chiropractor Job Requirements: Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success
If you are seeking to work as a chiropractor, here are major requirements employers/recruiters may want you to meet to be hired:
- Must have a minimum of two years of post-high school training in Chiropractic, with graduation from an accredited chiropractic college or university
- Possess a minimum of four years of practical experience following graduation from the college or university
- Must have a state license to provide chiropractic care in the state that one practices in
- Have continuing education credits (CEUs) during each renewal period as provided by state law and by the National Board for Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE)
- Strong knowledge of anatomy and physiology, as well as the musculoskeletal system and its relationship to health, disease, and wellness
- Must have a thorough understanding of spinal subluxation theory
- Ability to provide good customer service skills
- Must be able to work in a team environment with patients and other health care providers in the clinic or office
- Ability to establish and maintain effective patient-doctor communication. Chiropractors should demonstrate professionalism, courtesy and respect for the doctor-patient relationship. This is through appropriate professional treatment communication skills
- Solid knowledge and advanced practice skills in the use of various treatment techniques. This includes spinal adjustments, therapeutic exercises, and rehabilitative activities, modalities, ionic foot baths and more.
More Chiropractor Requirements
- Must have good computer skills and be proficient in a health care management software program. This includes Atlas MD or Chiropractic Management Software (CMS)
- Ability to follow up with patients after they leave the office. This is to ensure they are doing well following their therapy plan as prescribed by another health care professional working with the patient
- Have the ability to maintain current CPR certification for health care professionals at all times during employment in this field
- Must maintain current liability insurance coverage at all times during employment in this field.
The average salary for a chiropractor is about $71,018 per year. The best paying cities for chiropractors in the United States include: Chicago, IL, $77,224; Denver, CO, $75,947; Atlanta, GA, $74,748; Austin, TX, $73,930; and Houston, TX, $72,596 per year.
There are currently over 70,320 chiropractors working in the United States. Women make up 50.5% of all chiropractors, while men make up 49.5%.
An employed chiropractor is 44 years old on average. White (84.3%) chiropractors are the most common ethnicity, followed by Asian (6.7%), Hispanic or Latino (5.7%), and Unknown (1.4%).
Chiropractor Career Opportunities
A chiropractor can advance their careers in different roles as time goes on, some of such roles include:
- Chiropractor Practice Manager
A chiropractor practice manager is a chiropractor who is also a business manager. Chiropractor practice managers are trained in the business side of chiropractic, including accounting, insurance, and legal issues.
They may also choose to call themselves clinical coordinators or practice coordinators, depending on the state they live in.
- Chiropractor Executive
A chiropractor executive is a chiropractor who has specialized in the sales and marketing of chiropractic care.
They are responsible for setting a budget for their practice and making sure that their practice does not spend more than what they earn through their income.
Chiropractor executives also make sure that all the money that comes in from patient payments goes towards covering staff salaries, rent, equipment and any other expenses.
- Chiropractor Expert Witness
A chiropractor expert witness is a chiropractor who has been trained as an expert in their field to testify in court on behalf of their clients.
They are generally professional, with a license to practice chiropractic and insurance coverage.
Chiropractor expert witness can also be affiliated with certain universities or organizations. These organizations will often hire them to testify on matters of health, safety and human rights.
- Chiropractor Faculty Member
A chiropractor faculty member is a chiropractor who has been trained to teach at colleges and universities.
They are generally well trained in their field of chiropractic, be it anatomy, physiology, pathology or any other specialty they may have.
Chiropractor faculty members can make great teachers as they know what it is like to work within the medical field and are well versed in the learning process.
More Chiropractor Career Opportunities
- Chiropractor Researcher
A chiropractor researcher is a chiropractor who has been trained in research, as well as some clinical experience.
They can be hired by pharmaceutical companies to test new medications and treatments, or even to conduct their own research for a new medication.
- Chiropractor Clinical Specialist
A chiropractor clinical specialist is a chiropractor that has been trained to do more of the general work that chiropractors do.
They will generally work in clinics, helping to make sure that physical therapy, occupational therapy and other techniques are working.
Chiropractor clinical specialists may also work as an occupational therapy specialist or physical therapy specialist (if they have been trained in their field).
- Chiropractor Marketing Specialist
A chiropractor marketing specialist is a chiropractor who has specialized in marketing their practice and the services they provide to clients.
They can specialize in the area of direct mail, email marketing, or even social media marketing.
Chiropractor marketing specialists may also specialize in lead generation, sales pitches, and other sales techniques.
- Chiropractor Sports Performance Specialist
A chiropractor sports performance specialist is a chiropractor who specializes in athletic training.
They are able to detect if there is any injury occurring and treat it accordingly.
Chiropractor sports performance specialists typically work with athletes who may be injured or have pain from an injury, as well as with any coaches or trainers that oversee the team for the athlete.
They may also work as part of a sports medicine team for a chiropractor or hospital.
Additional Career Opportunities for Chiropractors
- Chiropractor Speech Therapist
A chiropractor speech therapist is a chiropractor who specializes in speech therapy.
They work with patients who have problems speaking and using language or who are not able to communicate clearly.
The chiropractor speech therapist will work with them to find an appropriate method of communication that is the most efficient for them.
They may also work in schools, helping students who have trouble communicating with others.
- Chiropractor Athletic Trainer
A chiropractor athletic trainer is a health professional who specializes in prevention, recognition, management and rehabilitation of injuries in athletes.
They can work with patients who have suffered an injury or illness not just while they are at the hospital, but also when they return to their home.
Chiropractor athletic trainers will work with them to help heal any injuries that they may have suffered at home.
Challenges faced by Chiropractor on the Job
Some of the challenges that a chiropractor may face while working are:
- Misconceptions about chiropractic care
Due to the fact that chiropractic treatment does not involve drugs, invasive procedures or surgery, many people do not trust chiropractors.
Furthermore, some people feel that chiropractic care is only of benefit to patients who have a specific type of back pain.
However, there is plenty of evidence showing that chiropractic care can help more than just back pain and these misconceptions are becoming less common.
Due to insurance restrictions, it is difficult to meet the needs of patients.
To begin with, chiropractors are not permitted to treat most acute spinal injuries. However, they will be able to treat any diagnosis or condition within the scope of “chiropractic care”.
For example, they can treat a patient who has arthritis or chronic back pain to relieve their pain or gait abnormalities when there is no structural damage present.
In the medical community, chiropractors are misunderstood and undervalued.
In some countries, non-physician practitioners are not allowed to offer diagnostic or treatment services independently of a physician.
This means that they must work under the supervision of a licensed medical doctor.
In other countries, chiropractors are required to practice within the scope of “chiropractic care”, which limits them to treating back pain or neck pain and no other condition.
New legislation has allowed chiropractors and physiotherapists in California to practice without physician supervision for conditions within their scope of practice.
How to Become a Chiropractor
The following are the steps to becoming a chiropractor:
- Begin with undergraduate research.
To be eligible for chiropractic school, you must first obtain your undergraduate degree or complete at least 90 hours of undergraduate coursework (roughly three years of study).
However, each school will have its own entry requirements, so before applying to any school, make sure to research the undergraduate coursework requirements.
2. Earn your Doctor of Chiropractic (DC).
You’re ready to apply for a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree program once you’ve completed your undergraduate degree requirements.
These programs are available at chiropractic schools, where you can expect to graduate after four years of hard work.
Expect a combination of classroom and clinical experiences.
3. Obtain your driver’s license.
After passing all four parts of the NBCE exams and graduating from chiropractic school, you are eligible to apply for a chiropractic license in your state.
Each state requires different things for licensing. Many states will have additional application requirements or documents, such as passing a background check, providing proof of malpractice insurance, or listing personal references.
The NBCE administers state exams in some states, including Florida, Missouri, Oregon, and Oklahoma.
As with other medical professions, you’ll need to renew your license according to state regulations, which will most likely include completing a certain number of continuing education units (CEU).
More Tips on How to become a Chiropractor
4. Think about specializing.
In addition to the services you learned in chiropractic school, you may want to consider becoming certified to provide specialized services to your patients, such as acupuncture or nutritional counseling.
Earning specific board certifications is a great way to tailor your chiropractic services to your current and future career goals.
It can also broaden the scope of your care. Pediatrics, sports medicine, and acupuncture are all popular specializations.
5. Get some work experience.
After you’ve obtained your state license to practice as a chiropractor, it’s time to consider your ideal work environment and long-term career goals.
Chiropractors, like other medical professionals, can either join an existing practice or start their own.
New graduates looking to pay off their student debt and gain experience may join a practice as an associate.
While some people enjoy working as an associate for the duration of their careers, others prefer to build their own private practice and only work as an associate for a short period of time.
There are people who may want to work as independent contractors.
Major Benefits of a Chiropractor Career
Here are major benefits of being a chiropractor:
- Enjoy being part of a team and doing something meaningful
Chiropractors care for patients by helping them restore their health, mobility, and quality of life.
They mobilize and align the joints or bones in their spinal column to eliminate misalignments and restore optimal function.
Chiropratic treatments help people feel better, reduce pain and suffering, strengthen muscles and ligaments, prevent injury, increase endurance and improve overall health.
- Sizable and flexible schedule
Chiropractors can choose how many hours they want to work each week without having to worry about pay cuts or demotions.
This allows them to work when they want and to schedule their hours around patients’ schedules.
- Many sources of income
In addition to their chiropractic services, chiropractors can earn revenue from practices in which they do not include treatment.
They also have opportunities to earn revenue from individual or group insurance plans and from other practitioners who they refer patients to.
- Utilize skills and abilities
As a chiropractor, you will be required to use interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills.
You will also be able to detect signs of illness and injury by reviewing your patient’s history, conducting clinical exams, and listening to their complaints.
- Job security
Chiropractors enjoy job security with an average annual salary of $100,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
There are many benefits to a chiropractor career choice, especially when compared to other healthcare professions, such as dentistry or nursing.
More Benefits for Chiropractor Career
- Enjoy many job options
Chiropractors can choose from a variety of routes to become a physician, including private practice, group practice, and administration.
- Enhance personal and professional skills
Most chiropractic schools require students to study anatomy and physiology, with the hope that they will also apply these skills to their chosen profession.
As a chiropractor, you will need to be able to communicate effectively with patients who have different needs and arrive at the right diagnosis and treatment plan for each individual.
Becoming a chiropractor is not for the faint of heart and for most new graduates, it is not easy.
Once you get established in a career as a chiropractor, it can be rewarding and fulfilling.
It requires patience, persistence, and hard work to become professionally successful, which makes it an excellent career choice if you are willing to put in the effort.
Chiropractic is one of the fastest growing health care professions in the United States. It has experienced fast growth primarily because it offers a service that has been proven to be effective in treating diseases and disorders.
The chiropractic approach is nontoxic and noninvasive, which makes it safe, effective, affordable and an attractive alternative to drugs and surgery.
This post is helpful to individuals interested in the chiropractor career; they can learn all they need to know about the duties, tasks, and responsibilities chiropractors typically perform.
It is also useful to employers/recruiters seeking to hire for the chiropractor position; they can apply the sample chiropractor job description provided above in making a detailed one for their organizations.