Chiropractor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Chiropractor, or Licensed Chiropractor, is responsible for helping patients achieve better spinal alignment and pain relief. Their duties include meeting with patients to discuss their current ailments, summarizing potential treatment options for patients and using their hands or specific tools to alleviate musculoskeletal pain.

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Chiropractor Duties and Responsibilities

Chiropractors work closely with patients and have a variety of duties and responsibilities to perform, including: 

  • Consulting with the patient about their medical history and the reason for their visit 
  • Creating a plan of care that focuses on the patient’s overall health and wellbeing
  • Assessing the patient’s spine, posture and reflexes  to provide the appropriate treatment
  • Performing neuromusculoskeletal therapy by adjusting the patient’s spine and other joints
  • Providing supplemental treatments, such as massage and acupuncture to the injured area
  • Giving advice on lifestyle habits such as sleep, exercise and diet to improve patients physical health

What Does A Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractors typically work for chiropractic clinics or orthopedic facilities, but they may also operate a private practice. They use their knowledge of the neuromusculoskeletal system to identify the right treatment methods for their patients. Their job is to treat patients with various ailments, including arthritis, migraines and injuries resulting from playing sports or vehicle accidents. They may also provide patients with advice about stretching, nutrition and other beneficial habits to alleviate their symptoms.

Chiropractor Skills and Qualifications

A successful Chiropractor candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that are needed to perform their duties successfully: 

  • Interpersonal skills: Chiropractors form relationships with clients to make them comfortable and receptive to therapy and to build a strong client base. 
  • Organizational skills: Chiropractors keep patient records and may assist in administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, filing and answering phones. 
  • Empathy: Chiropractors use empathy to listen to clients’ symptoms and respond sympathetically to clients’ needs. 
  • Motor skills and dexterity: Chiropractors use their hands to make adjustments to the spinal column and other joints of the body. 
  • Decision-making: Chiropractors assess and create a plan of treatment for their patients. They may also recommend other health care professionals if the patient’s needs are outside of their scope of practice. 

Chiropractor Salary Expectations

Chiropractors make an average salary of $65,234 per year in the United States. This average is based on salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed within the last 36 months by 2,371 job advertisements, Chiropractor employees and users. Chiropractors typically stay at the same job for less than 1 year.

Chiropractor Education and Training Requirements

Chiropractors are required to hold a Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) and a state license. Many Ph.D. programs require students to hold a bachelor’s degree before applying, though students may apply to programs if they have completed 90 hours of undergraduate study, including coursework in anatomy, physiology and biology. The Doctor of Chiropractic takes four years to complete and covers clinical areas such as making spinal assessments, adjustments and diagnoses. 

D.C. programs may also incorporate classes in business, as chiropractors may choose to open their own practice. After graduating from an accredited D.C. program, chiropractors must pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners test, acquire a state license, as well as any state required jurisprudence exams. Licensed Chiropractors must take continuing education courses, requirements will vary from state to state. 

Chiropractor Experience Requirements

Chiropractic students complete supervised clinical experience before they graduate from their Ph.D. program. D.C.s can gain additional professional experience by completing clinical internships. Depending on the responsibilities of the position, some employers prefer Chiropractors to have at least a year of experience practicing as a licensed D.C., while others are willing to provide training to newly licensed D.C.s. 

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Frequently asked questions about Chiropractors

 

What is the difference between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?

Both Osteopaths and Chiropractors provide non-surgical treatment to their patients who suffer from conditions like arthritis or joint pain. They tend to differ in the type of degrees they receive, the methods they use to treat their patients and their scope of practice. For example, Osteopaths need to earn a doctorate degree in osteopathic medicine. Due to their education and training, Osteopaths treat patients using holistic methods and center treatment around the belief that all parts of the body rely on one another. 

In contrast, Chiropractors obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Their degree allows them to provide specialized treatment to patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Their practice focuses on using medical equipment to identify the cause of particular ailments before administering treatment. 

 

What are the daily duties of a Chiropractor?

On a typical day, a Chiropractor starts by reviewing their appointment schedule and looking over patient files to refresh their memory. Throughout the day, they greet patients, ask about their symptoms or progress and perform realignment procedures using specific chiropractic techniques. They take X-rays for new patients to identify the cause of their pain and diagnose patients with musculoskeletal conditions. 

Chiropractors also instruct their patients on home treatment methods and prescribe them with medications if necessary. In between appointments, they answer emails from other Physicians regarding patient referrals and take notes on their previous appointments.

 

What qualities make a good Chiropractor?

A good Chiropractor is someone who combines their knowledge of medicine with compassion for others to help their patients achieve better health and well-being. They value continued education and regularly lead reports and attend certification courses to hone in their chiropractic skills. Chiropractors also need a degree of physical strength to apply pressure and maneuver their patients’ limbs to realign their spinal system. Further, a good Chiropractor has a personable nature that helps patients feel comfortable with them.

 

Who does a Chiropractor report to?

A Chiropractor typically reports to a Senior Chiropractor within their practice to ask professional advice and receive patient assignments. Chiropractors may also report to the Clinical Director or Manager at their facility.

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