University of Wisconsin–Madison

Chiropractor

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Chiropractors, also referred to as chiropractic doctors, believe that many health problems are linked directly to problems of the muscular, nervous and skeletal systems.
  • Chiropractors take a holistic approach when treating their patients. They use natural, drugless, non-surgical health care and rely on the body’s ability to heal itself.
  • By using manipulations concentrated on the spinal column and the vertebras, chiropractors try to alleviate any stresses that may be affecting the nervous system.
  • Chiropractors take the patient’s medical history; conduct physical, neurological and orthopedic examinations; and may order laboratory tests and x-rays.
  • Chiropractors work in private practice, hospitals, health maintenance organizations (HMO’s), and chiropractic colleges.
  • Newly licensed chiropractors can set up a new practice, purchase an established one, or enter into partnership with an established practitioner.
  • They also may take a salaried position with an established chiropractor, a group practice, or a healthcare facility.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Employment outlook is expected to increase in the next ten years.
  • About half of chiropractors work in a solo practice.

 Education: 8 Years

 Patient Interaction: High

 Physical Activity: High

 Salary: $68,755

 Job Growth: Medium

 

Getting Started

  • High School Courses
    • Students should take a college preparatory curriculum.
    • Helpful high school courses would include biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy & physiology, foreign language (minimum of two years), public speaking, mathematics, and statistics.
    • Participation in community and volunteer experiences is very helpful for admission into a College of Chiropractic. Healthcare volunteering, work experience, and shadowing chiropractors is very valuable.
  • Education and Training
    • The minimum undergraduate prerequisites for admission into a College of Chiropractic College do vary. Northwestern College of Chiropractic, Bloomington, MN, requires: 6 semester hours of biology (with labs), 6 of general/inorganic chemistry (with labs), 6 of organic chemistry (with labs), 6 of physics/quantitative sciences/biomechanics, and 6 of English/literature/speech; 3 semester hours of psychology; 15 hours of humanities/social sciences; and 42 hours of electives recommending anatomy & physiology, cell biology, cell physiology, immunology, genetics, macroeconomics, marketing, small business management, public speaking, technical writing, and medical terminology.
    • Most applicants have a bachelor’s degree, which may eventually become the minimum entry requirement. A bachelor’s degree is currently a requirement for licensing in Wisconsin.
    • During the first 2 years, most Chiropractic Colleges emphasize classroom and laboratory work in basic science subjects such as anatomy & physiology, Public Health, microbiology, pathology, and biochemistry.
    • The last 2 years stress courses in manipulation and spinal adjustment and provide clinical experience in physical and laboratory diagnosis, neurology, orthopedics, geriatrics, physiotherapy, and nutrition.
    • To maintain their license, chiropractors must complete continuing education each year. This requires completion of a specified number of hours of continuing education each year.

    Educational Institutions

    Northwestern Health Sciences University
    Palmer College of Chiropractic

    Pre-Professional Programs

    Cardinal Stritch
    Mount Mary College
    Ripon College
    University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
    University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
    University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
    University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
    University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
    University of Wisconsin – Platteville
    University of Wisconsin – River Falls
    University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
    University of Wisconsin – Stout
    University of Wisconsin – Superior
    University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
    Viterbo College

  • Method of Entry
    • Undergraduate prerequisite coursework (usually a minimum of 90 credits) can be taken at any accredited college; however, because admission to a College of Chiropractic is competitive, most applicants have a bachelor’s degree (Required for a Wisconsin license) along with the prerequisite courses. Admission requirements vary with schools.
    • Application for Chiropractic College is usually done junior year of college requiring meeting specific school course prerequisites, completing an application including an essay and letters of recommendation. There is usually $50-$100 fee.
    • Graduates of an accredited chiropractic school (4 year) are granted the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic and are eligible to take tests offered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners: Part I, Part II, Part III, Physiotherapy, and Part IV Practical Examinations.
    • Licenses can be administered upon the successful completion of these tests. Many states also require a state licensing examination prior to going into practice. Most State Boards recognize either all or part of the four-part test administered by the National Board.
    • Some states have agreements permitting chiropractors licensed in one state to obtain a license in another without further examination, provided that educational, examination, and practice credentials meet state requirements.
  • Professional Organizations

    American Chiropractic Association
    1701 Clarendon Blvd.
    Arlington, 22209
    703/276-8800
    www.acatoday.org/

    Council on Chiropractic Education
    8049 N. 85th Way
    Scottsdale, 85258-4321
    480/443-8877 or 888/443-3506
    www.cce-usa.org

    Dynamic Chiropractic
    PO Box 28990
    Santa Ana, 92799
    714/230-3150
    www.chiroweb.com

    Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards
    5401 W. 10th St., Suite 101
    Greeley, 80634-4400
    970/356-3500
    www.fclb.org

    International Chiropractors Association
    6400 Arlington Blvd., Suite 800
    Falls Church, 22042
    703/528-5000 or 800/423-4690
    www.chiropractic.org

    World Chiropractic Alliance
    2950 North Dobson Road, Suite 1
    Chandler, 85224
    www.worldchiropracticalliance.org

    Wisconsin Chiropractic Association
    521 E. Washington Ave.
    Madison, 53703
    608/256-7023
    www.wisconsinchiropractic.com

    American Chiropractic Sports Council
    1720 S. Bellaire St., Suite 406
    Denver, 80222
    303/758-1100
    www.acasc.org/

    Association of Chiropractic Colleges
    4424 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 202
    Bethesda, 20814
    800/284-1062
    www.chirocolleges.org/

    American Chiropractic Association Rehabilitation Council
    11600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 412
    Los Angeles, 90002
    310/339-0442
    www.ccptr.org/

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 1,030
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 45,200
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 53,100
Percent Employment Growth 2014-2024 (U.S.): 18%
Expected Annual Openings (U.S.): 1,600

 

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.

  • Chiropractors may work 40 hours a week.
  • They can have the freedom to set their own work schedules
  • As chiropractors become experienced, their practice grows and their salaries increase.
  • Specialty councils within some chiropractic associations also offer programs leading to clinical specialty certification, called “diplomate” certification, in specialized areas. Ability to do additional procedures usually means additional reimbursement.