Chiropractors are well-paid alternative medicine professionals. There aren’t too many of them – about 35,000 employed in the United States. What’s the average and median chiropractor salary, and what does the job entail?
The Average and Median Chiropractor Salary – Fresh Data
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the average chiropractor salary in 2021 was $81,240 per year, which is $39.06 per hour. The median was slightly lower, at $75,000 annually and $36.06 hourly.
Compared to the mean pay for all occupations, it’s about 29% more. For all healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, the average salary was $91,100. This means that chiropractors earn a bit less than the average in healthcare, but it’s still a good wage.
What’s the range of chiropractor salaries? The lowest-paid 10% of chiropractors earned less than $37,400 in 2021, while the highest-paid made more than $128,750. So there’s a lot of variation in what chiropractors can make.
Chiropractor Salaries over the Years
The BLS has been tracking chiropractor salaries for more than 10 years. Between 2010 and 2020, the mean salary increased from $79,820 to $83,830. Then, it dropped to $81,240 in 2021. If you take inflation into account, this means that chiropractors actually earn less now than they did a decade ago.
Why is that? Well, chiropractors may be taking on more duties outside hands-on chiropractic care. For example, they may be providing general wellness advice rather than treating patients, since their branch of medicine isn’t scientifically proven and may be losing trust.
The Average Chiropractor Salary by State
There’s a lot of variation in chiropractor salaries from state to state. In 2021, the BLS reported that chiropractors earned the most in Connecticut, with an annual mean wage of $116,340. New Jersey and Nevada were next, at $113,220 and $112,420 respectively. Massachusetts and New York also made it to the top 5, with annual salaries of $100,120 and $97,380.
At the other end of the spectrum, chiropractors in Montana earned the least – $53,070. Other states with salaries much lower than average were Georgia ($57,220), Iowa ($60,540), and New Mexico ($63,440).
What Else Influences How Much Chiropractors Make?
There are a few other factors that can affect chiropractor salaries. According to the BLS, chiropractors working in general or surgical hospitals and outpatient care centers made over $90,000 on average in 2021. On the other hand, those working in offices of physicians and other health practitioners earned around $80,000.
Experience is also important, as chiropractors who have been in the field for a longer time typically earn more. And, finally, chiropractors who hold a doctoral degree may make more than those with only a bachelor’s or master’s.
What’s the Job Outlook for Chiropractors?
If you’re interested in a career as a chiropractor, the job outlook is good. The BLS projects that employment will grow by 11% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. So chiropractors can expect to see plenty of opportunities in the years ahead.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
The chiropractor job description includes diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems, as well as providing advice on injury prevention. They use spinal manipulation and other hands-on techniques to adjust the spine and joints, relieve pain, and improve function. Chiropractors may also offer nutritional counseling, lifestyle recommendations, and massage therapy.
The History of the Chiropractor Profession
The chiropractor job has a long history. It was first developed in the late 1800s by Daniel David Palmer, who believed that chiropractic care could help to restore health by correcting misalignments in the spine.
He claimed to have received the knowledge from a deceased doctor, so the origins of chiropractic aren’t exactly scientific. Still, chiropractors are largely recognized as part of the healthcare industry, and there are more than 30,000 of them in the United States today.
Is Chiropractic the Right Career for You?
If the average chiropractor salary looks appealing to you, it’s important to understand what the job involves. Chiropractors often work long hours, and may need to travel to see patients. They also need to be good at diagnosing and treating conditions. If you’re patient, detail-oriented, and have strong communication skills, chiropractic care may be the right career for you.
What Benefits Can Chiropractors Expect?
Chiropractors can expect to enjoy a number of benefits. These may include paid vacation days, sick leave, health insurance, and retirement plans. They may also be able to receive reimbursement for continuing education courses.
How to Become a Chiropractor?
If you’re interested in chiropractic, the first step is to get the right education. This means earning a chiropractic degree from an accredited school. You’ll also need to be licensed by the state in which you practice. Some states require chiropractors to pass an exam before they can be licensed.
Chiropractic Salaries Are Good, but Slowly Decreasing
The chiropractic salary is a good one, but it is slowly decreasing. This is most likely due to the diminishing trust towards alternative medicine. Nevertheless, chiropractors make an average of $81,240 per year as of 2021.