Currently, 100% online doctorate degree programs focused on chiropractic medicine are not available, however, on-campus programs are readily available due to the excessive amounts of clinical time required for proper instruction. Most likely, a program can be located in your community or, at least close by.

Have you ever thought, “Oh, my aching back?” If so, perhaps you have considered seeking the help of a chiropractor. Without a doubt, if you would like to try a healing process that does not require drugs, shots or surgery, chiropractic medicine is often recommended. If you feel the need to help others in this way, earning a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree may be an option for you.

What does a Chiropractor do?

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose skeletal and muscular problems within many areas of the body such as the spine, hips and legs, arms and shoulders, as well as, the neck. First, a chiropractor will assess the patient’s condition through a medical exam and x-rays. Then they create a treatment plan that is conducive to helping the patient’s complaint. They adjust the alignment of the spine, nerves, muscles, tendons and other bones to relieve pain. Often, chiropractors will offer procedures such as ultrasounds, massage therapy, lifestyle counseling or rehabilitative exercises to maintain after treatment.

Chiropractors may also choose to concentrate in specialized areas, such as orthopedics, geriatrics, neurology, sports medicine, pediatrics or, as a general chiropractic practitioner. They typically work in a clinical setting, are often on their feet for long periods of time and sometimes work weekends and holidays to meet the needs of their patients. Some chiropractors enjoy meeting their patients, especially the elderly, in their homes for treatment.

How do I earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree?

Earning a Doctor of Chiropractic degree is not for the faint of heart. The educational and licensing requirements for DCs are one of the most rigorous and demanding programs in the field of healthcare. To begin, some schools require that you have your bachelor’s degree, and some do not. It may depend on your state’s requirements or the school in which you wish to attend. And… some schools offer an accelerated program in which you can earn your Bachelor of Science in Biology degree in combination with your Chiropractic Doctoral degree. This type of program is typically completed in seven years as opposed to the eight years involved in earning your bachelor’s degree and then your Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Generally, if you have completed your bachelor’s degree, DC programs take 3.5 to 4 years to complete.

If your state or school does require a bachelor’s degree, individuals should focus on coursework such as, biology, physics, psychology, calculus, and chemistry to meet chiropractic college prerequisites. Other prerequisites for entering a DC program may include your official transcripts with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, an interview with the faculty, glowing letters of recommendation and excellent GRE scores. In addition, please verify that your chosen school is properly accredited.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic program will consist of an excessive amount of clinical training, as it should. Hands-on experience will be a major portion of your DC program due to the nature of the career, in fact, internships or residencies are often required, as well. You will begin by learning about the anatomy of the human body and neuromusculoskeletal system, in addition to, many other foundational skills. You will also expand on your knowledge of physiology, biology, spinal anatomy, diagnostic imaging and learn about the advanced chiropractic techniques used in today’s world of chiropractic medicine.  DC programs also usually include business, human resource and marketing coursework, all useful for those interested in a private practice.

Will I need a license to be a Chiropractor?

All states require a license to practice as a chiropractor. Upon graduation, you will be expected to pass a certification exam. Some states have their own examinations; however, most accept the examination given by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). In addition, your state will require continued education through workshops or classes approved by the state licensing board to ensure license renewal.

What kind of career and salary can I expect as a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors generally earn between $34,550 to $144,730 annually, with an average of $68,640 per year, as of May 2017 according to the BLS, depending on experience and geographical region of practice. And, you may choose to eventually explore other career options with your DC degree, such as an educator, researcher or clinic administrator. Some choose to pursue a career in sports chiropractic medicine, while others choose to open their own chiropractic business and build an expansive client base.  Between 2016 and 2026, the employment opportunities for chiropractors are expected to grow by 12 percent.

What schools offer Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs?

There are many schools that offer this type of degree in the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, online options are not yet available, however, on-campus schools are plentiful in all areas of the country, such as, at Logan University, located in Chesterfield, MO. Palmer College of Chiropractic has three campus locations offering a DC program in Davenport, IA, San Jose, CA and in Port Orange, FL. You can also find excellent programs at the University of Western States in Portland, OR, as well as, the New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY and at Life University in Marietta, GA.

The need for chiropractic care is contributed to the desire to treat pain without medication or surgeries, which naturally appeals to most individuals.  You will never regret the hard work and dedication you will put into your DC program.  As you help to relieve others of their pain, you will be rewarded, as well.