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

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

    Dynamic Chiropractic
    PO Box 28990
    Santa Ana, 92799

    Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards
    5401 W. 10th St., Suite 101
    Greeley, 80634-4400

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

    World Chiropractic Alliance
    2950 North Dobson Road, Suite 1
    Chandler, 85224

    Wisconsin Chiropractic Association
    521 E. Washington Ave.
    Madison, 53703

    American Chiropractic Sports Council
    1720 S. Bellaire St., Suite 406
    Denver, 80222

    Association of Chiropractic Colleges
    4424 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 202
    Bethesda, 20814

    American Chiropractic Association Rehabilitation Council
    11600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 412
    Los Angeles, 90002

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.