Are acupuncturist job opportunities growing or declining?

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Host

Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most acupuncturist opportunities?

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nancy in Flushing, New York

52 months ago

Keep away from this profession. Jobs are following economic trends and are on a steady incline. Unless you open your own practice you will likely have to work in a no-fault clinic where clients are treated as cash-cows and not human beings.

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s in Wheaton, Illinois

45 months ago

plus, think about HOW MANY chiropractors there are. there are TONS everywhere you look, and they ALL work with acupuncture!!!!!!!!!!

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The Wizard in Minneapolis, Minnesota

42 months ago

Acupuncture have been growing but when the economy declined it has not been decreasing or increasing in opportunity. Its a great job but you have to have a very good business sense on top of your book knowledge.. If you are a business person and have book smarts only then this job is for you.

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Bobby in Brooklyn, New York

40 months ago

Do you think the situation for acupuncturists is likely to improve in the next 4 years? I know it's hard to imagine things that far in the future, but if those of you who are already in the industry could wager a guess, it might be helpful for those of us considering starting school. I keep hearing that it's a tough career now, but that as it becomes more accepted by the mainstream, opportunities are opening in hospitals, established acupuncturists are hiring recent grads, and that generally things are looking up, so there's a decent chance that if I start school now I'll not have too difficult a time finding work when I graduate. Is this acurate, or am I looking through rose colored glasses?

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liquorice in Stanford, California

30 months ago

Do not be so naive and optimistic. It is a tough profession and will become even more tougher. Only 1 out of 4 graduates can survive in this area. Other 3 has to give up. Some Chinese medicinal school hires somebody to do the marketing so that they can make more money from you guys. WHo cares if you can survive after graduation.

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Prisha in North Carolina

24 months ago

I think that it is obvious that there will be more and more work for practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the years to come. The population is aging and as we age we need more health care.
I have been working in the field since I graduated in 2000. I have not had any problems supporting myself, buying a house, putting kids through college and traveling around the world with the income I have made in this field. I didn't really have trouble starting a practice and have done it 3 times from scratch. I had a practice in NYC, San Francisco and Raleigh. (unfortunately, I am better at working than I am at staying in one place).
If I was going to start another new practice I would concentrate on geriatric health issues. It would be so easy to find the patients. For the fun of it and the flexibility, I would treat them in their homes or assisted living and retirement communities. No overhead and the patients would love it.

Maybe I am one of the successful practitioners because I can come up with hundreds of ideas for practices that will bring in piles of $$$$.

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mixuga in New York, New York

17 months ago

It is a very difficult profession for a lot of us to make a living. There are very few jobs and as stated above, often those jobs are for no-fault insurance clinics with questionable practices that can put you and your license at risk. If you are an introvert, it can be very hard to put yourself out there and get your services known to potential clients. There are cruise ships you can work on but those demand you do a lot of marketing and public speaking and selling products to earn your keep and make a profit for the spa. If you start your own business you will have to wear many hats when it comes to the billing, keeping your supplies stocked and ordered, cleaning and maintenance, advertising and marketing, record keeping, reception, etc... unless you can afford to hire someone to help you do these things or can find a rental space often shared with other struggling practitioners that provides a reception area usually rented per hour or by the day. I'm sure there are a number of other creative ways to make it a reality. Since this medicine is considered an art, and it takes a fair amount of confidence to display your work, those with low self-esteem, or who lack confidence may struggle promoting themselves. Also, it can be a challenge if you are not the healthiest person in the world because acupuncturists need to be healthy so they can be reliably accessible to meet their patients' scheduling demands. Each state is to decide if acupuncture will be an Essential Health Benefit (EHB) reimbursed under Obamacare. Your future success may depend on which state you plan to practice in. It has also been my experience, that people will try to haggle with you about your price OR despite having gone through a lengthy internship before you graduate and earn your degree or license, people you meet will offer to allow you to practice on them, meaning they want your services for free or they will offer you some Jambalaya as payment. Choose wisely.

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OM STUDENT in Woodside, New York

16 months ago

Prisha in North Carolina said: I think that it is obvious that there will be more and more work for practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the years to come. The population is aging and as we age we need more health care .
I have been working in the field since I graduated in 2000. I have not had any problems supporting myself, buying a house, putting kids through college and traveling around the world with the income I have made in this field. I didn't really have trouble starting a practice and have done it 3 times from scratch. I had a practice in NYC, San Francisco and Raleigh. (unfortunately, I am better at working

Hi Prisha,

Ilike your positive can do attitude. Do you have any tips for for a first year OM student in terms thinking about ways to be financially successful right out of graduation

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Prisha in North Carolina

16 months ago

OM Student
You are only a first year student. You can't do anything other than study right now.

Please tell me how you define “financial success” so I know how to direct the tips for when you have graduated. Tell me the exact dollar you are talking about. If you need $50,000 it would be one bit of advice and if it was millions we would have to talk bigger ideas, right?

Can you also give me some information about what your fantasy work day would look like. Will you have any money at all to get things started or are we doing this all gorilla marketing style?

There are not a lot of 'jobs' for acupuncturists. We create our practice/job/business which in my humble opinion is sooooo much better. It is totally and completely in my hands. I can create it any way I want. I will also never be laid off and I only get better with experience.

Do you have any connections to any group of people who you would tap for patients?

As you can see, my first bit of advice is to be clear about your goal.

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Jay in Mount Holly, New Jersey

12 months ago

Prisha in North Carolina said: I think that it is obvious that there will be more and more work for practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the years to come. The population is aging and as we age we need more health care .
I have been working in the field since I graduated in 2000. I have not had any problems supporting myself, buying a house, putting kids through college and traveling around the world with the income I have made in this field. I didn't really have trouble starting a practice and have done it 3 times from scratch. I had a practice in NYC, San Francisco and Raleigh. (unfortunately, I am better at working than I am at staying in one place).
If I was going to start another new practice I would concentrate on geriatric health issues. It would be so easy to find the patients. For the fun of it and the flexibility, I would treat them in their homes or assisted living and retirement communities. No overhead and the patients would love it.

Maybe I am one of the successful practitioners because I can come up with hundreds of ideas for practices that will bring in piles of $$$$.

Can you provide any details on best areas to begin or your start up techniques?

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Jay in Mount Holly, New Jersey

12 months ago

Can you provide best locations for 2013 and the best business techniques

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Carla in Bradenton, Florida

7 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most acupuncturist opportunities?

I agree

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Carla in Bradenton, Florida

7 months ago

nancy in Flushing, New York said: Keep away from this profession. Jobs are following economic trends and are on a steady incline. Unless you open your own practice you will likely have to work in a no-fault clinic where clients are treated as cash-cows and not human beings.

YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!!!

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Carla in Bradenton, Florida

7 months ago

Jay in Mount Holly, New Jersey said: Can you provide any details on best areas to begin or your start up techniques?

I was extremely successful.. I lost my office and I need to start from scratch.. How can I do it with out any capital?

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Cjpolins@aol.com in Bradenton, Florida

7 months ago

mixuga in New York, New York said: It is a very difficult profession for a lot of us to make a living. There are very few jobs and as stated above, often those jobs are for no-fault insurance clinics with questionable practices that can put you and your license at risk. If you are an introvert, it can be very hard to put yourself out there and get your services known to potential clients. There are cruise ships you can work on but those demand you do a lot of marketing and public speaking and selling products to earn your keep and make a profit for the spa. If you start your own business you will have to wear many hats when it comes to the billing , keeping your supplies stocked and ordered, cleaning and maintenance, advertising and marketing, record keeping, reception, etc... unless you can afford to hire someone to help you do these things or can find a rental space often shared with other struggling practitioners that provides a reception area usually rented per hour or by the day. I'm sure there are a number of other creative ways to make it a reality. Since this medicine is considered an art , and it takes a fair amount of confidence to display your work, those with low self-esteem, or who lack confidence may struggle promoting themselves. Also, it can be a challenge if you are not the healthiest person in the world because acupuncturists need to be healthy so they can be reliably accessible to meet their patients' scheduling demands. Each state is to decide if acupuncture will be an Essential Health Benefit (EHB) reimbursed under Obamacare. Your future success may depend on which state you plan to practice in. It has also been my experience, that people will try to haggle with you about your price OR despite having gone through a lengthy internship before you graduate and earn your degree or license, people you meet will offer to allow you to practice on them, meaning they want your services for free or they will offer you some Jambalaya as pay

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Cjpolins@aol.com in Bradenton, Florida

7 months ago

one hundred per cent true

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sharpdart in Brooklyn, New York

6 months ago

Thank you Cjpolins@aol.com for your comments on the prospects for acupuncturists. I found it very difficult to get people to pay for treatments when I first started and eventually had to continue a reduced rate in order to actually practice. I found working at a community acupuncture practice too low in pay to leave my waitering job, which I needed to pay my student loans and bills. After my first year, my confidence dwindled because it was so hard to make money and feel positive about what I was doing. I often heard practitioners/teachers say they treated x conditions in only 3-4 visits. I later found out that most people couldn't afford the treatments and/or didn't find enough of an improvement to justify acupuncture.

I eventually decided not to practice acupuncture. I felt that I either had to do community acupuncture to see the course of the medicine work, which meant making much less than my needs, or struggle with a private practice and only treat people that could afford it, if I was lucky. Since I didn't have any experiences, personal or witnessed, where I was sure that acupuncture would definitely help, I realized that I could not be objective any longer.

Today I have more $100K in student loans for a profession that really isn't considered a profession. When I tell people that I am no longer an acupuncturist, I am told more often that the efficacy and price deterred them from continuing their treatment. In my gut I knew that I could not continue a practice solely just to pay off my student loans.

When you are in school, you are told that the demand is high and acupuncture is taking off. However, most TA's did multiple jobs and even taught classes. Today I know few people that could actually leave their jobs to practice. It's a sad reality, and I hope more attention is brought to the struggles of acupuncturists.

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msmei in Honolulu, Hawaii

6 months ago

I graduated Dec 2011 in Denver, CO and moved back home to Hawaii. I quickly realized there are no jobs for hire. I needed to start my own clinic and make things happen. Acupuncture school does not teach you business. I learned how to help people but nothing to help myself financially.

I started my first clinic in a low income city with high hopes of saving the world. I did a few community farmer's market giving away free massages (am also LMT) to lure someone to be on the chair as I marketed acupuncture. I lost money, time, energy and spirit. As much as I wanted to help the community, the community was not ready for me. People had other problems to deal with and their health was not priority. Nor was I able to charge what I wanted.

I found a room for rent in a chiropractic clinic on the other side of the island. Mid-high income area within 5 miles. I joined a business networking group. I ran a Living Social deal and never again. The clinic had a influx of patients but not high retention because they were bargain hunters. And there's many other acupuncture and massage deals weekly. What I learned from that experience was I am not prepared. I had no additional information to provide them or how to sell myself. I was uncomfortable discussing the amount of treatments they need and price per session. That's a personal battle we all face; knowing self worth and charging people.

I came up with my fee schedule that I'm comfortable with. I also registered the clinic onto Yelp. Things started to change. I get new patients regularly and they refer their family and friends to me.

I've been home 1.5 years now and where I am now is unbelievable. I love what I do and I'm making the most money I've ever made. I'm looking to expand to 2 treatment rooms. It takes time and a lot more effort. The people I've helped enriches my spirit. This is a profession. I'm a true story. Find your passion and life will be rewarding.

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mtacupuncturist in Raleigh, North Carolina

4 months ago

I appreciate the last reply - am also hoping that person (in Hawaii) could offer some tips on how to grow a business. Did Yelp really help? I have done 3 of the coupons now and this is going to be the last one not because it's so bad charging less but as the writer of that last post said, it's often disappointing to find out that all they want is to bargain shop. I have one client who has booked all the coupons I've run, but otherwise she never contacts me. That feels cheap on some level, and I just want to reach a higher eschilon with this medicine.
I have had my office for 2 years or so, and it's not growing anymore. I stayed pretty busy for a while with regulars, and even got several referrals, but the steady stream of patients just doesn't seem to be happening. I think that what many schools and teachers don't mention is that you really don't know enough to practice when you graduate, this is a learn as you go medicine, and you have to find mentors or teachers to really get a real skill set. For example, my school taught basic pulse signs but nothing about what those pulses mean clinically, or translate in terms of identifiable disease states. I've taken elotus courses with Jimmy Chang to learn that. That's more money on top of the pricy education I will probably never be able to repay.
In spite of the hurdles, frustrations and low pay, I do believe in and love the medicine. I think that is a wonderful career but most of us have to hang in there until we hit a spot where things really begin to pick up. I am going to get a p/t job for now to fill in the gaps and keep on marketing, studying and treating. I plan to give it a full 5 years and if it is still dragging at that point, I will go to other types of work in order to save for retirement. I'm 53 and getting kind of old to be struggling, but I don't know what else to do.
I guess my advice is to mentor under a seasoned practitioner for a while after graduating to really learn clinical skills -

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robinsonkathleen in Evergreen, Colorado

2 months ago

nancy in Flushing, New York said: Keep away from this profession. Jobs are following economic trends and are on a steady incline. Unless you open your own practice you will likely have to work in a no-fault clinic where clients are treated as cash-cows and not human beings.

I disagree with keeping away from this profession (acupuncture). There are many feasible ways to earn not only a good living from the practice of acupuncture but to earn a good life by it. I just today found a posting from the U.S. Army Medical Command. They advertised from December 30, 2013 to January 9, 2014 for a full time Acupuncturist to work in their Fort Sam facility in Houston, TX. This by no means is evidence of lots of job opportunities for acupuncturists. However, it is evidence that the efficacy of acupuncture is becoming more recognized nationwide. This type of vetting bodes well for our profession and is a far cry from the opportunities that were available to me 20 plus years ago when I began my own private practice. As for other opportunities, many hospitals now hire, schools hire for teachers, and there is always the option of opening community clinics which help and support those less fortunate, as well as, of course, opening your own private practice. Acupuncture has gained tremendous attention since the days when first popularized in 1971 by reports of a New York Times journalist named James Reston who underwent an emergency appendectomy with acupuncture anesthesia. I do not believe, based on current trends, that acupuncture is going away. Please don't take my word for this. Rather, look on line and see the numerous opportunities which await. As for successfully building a practice and learning marketing skills the internet is alive with online courses. Statistically speaking no one can build a practice like you EXCEPT you. Keep your love of this medicine alive by building your most viable asset....a practice to love and serve by. All the best!

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carla polins in Bradenton, Florida

2 months ago

[ Can you hook up the army official..oQUOTE who="robinsonkathleen in Evergreen, Colorado"]I disagree with keeping away from this profession (acupuncture). There are many feasible ways to earn not only a good living from the practice of acupuncture but to earn a good life by it. I just today found a posting from the U.S. Army Medical Command. They advertised from December 30, 2013 to January 9, 2014 for a full time Acupuncturist to work in their Fort Sam facility in Houston, TX. This by no means is evidence of lots of job opportunities for acupuncturists. However, it is evidence that the efficacy of acupuncture is becoming more recognized nationwide. This type of vetting bodes well for our profession and is a far cry from the opportunities that were available to me 20 plus years ago when I began my own private practice. As for other opportunities, many hospitals now hire, schools hire for teachers, and there is always the option of opening community clinics which help and support those less fortunate, as well as, of course, opening your own private practice. Acupuncture has gained tremendous attention since the days when first popularized in 1971 by reports of a New York Times journalist named James Reston who underwent an emergency appendectomy with acupuncture anesthesia. I do not believe, based on current trends, that acupuncture is going away. Please don't take my word for this. Rather, look on line and see the numerous opportunities which await. As for successfully building a practice and learning marketing skills the internet is alive with online courses. Statistically speaking no one can build a practice like you EXCEPT you. Keep your love of this medicine alive by building your most viable asset....a practice to love and serve by. All the best!

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carla polins in Bradenton, Florida

2 months ago

Does anyone know what states Obama Care A Lot acupuncture

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