Did you know close to 35 million Americans will see a chiropractor this year? Chiropractic care helps people live full lives, free from pain and discomfort. Luckily, chiropractor training is available in many parts of the country. Continue reading below for a step-by-step guide to becoming a chiropractor.
Step 1: Undergraduate Requirement
Before you can apply for chiropractic school, you will need to fulfill the undergraduate requirements. Most chiropractic schools require at least 90 hours, or three years, of undergraduate coursework.
Your undergrad classes should be geared towards a chiropractor career. Such as human biology, exercise science, or kinesiology.
Step 2: Doctor of Chiropractic Degree
Upon completion of your undergrad hours, it’s time to go to chiropractor school for a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree or DC. A DC takes four years and includes the study of human anatomy, microbiology, and radiology, among other things.
Step 3: National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) Exams
Throughout your doctorate, you will take four different National Board of Chiropractic Care Exams. Each exam covers a different aspect of chiropractic care.
Part I: This exam is usually taken in the second year of chiropractic school and covers six different areas of science. For example, anatomy and kinesiology.
Part II: This exam is usually taken in your third year and covers imaging and chiropractic principles.
Part III: As you near graduation you will take your third NBCE Exam. By this exam, you will start demonstrating different chiropractic techniques and case management skills.
The final exam can be taken before graduation, but most wait until after. A continuation of Part III, this exam involves technique and case management.
Step 4: Licensing to Becoming A Chiropractor
If you’ve made it through all the exams and successfully graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree, next is the licensing process. The licensing process depends on which state you live in. Some require malpractice insurance or a clear background check.
Step 5: Work Experience
Now you’re a licensed chiropractor. The next step is to get work experience. This can be done in a number of ways. Same as someone in a medical career, you can join a practice or start your own.
Joining a practice as an associate can be a good way to get work experience right out of school. A few years as an associate will help you build a client base and prepare you to start your own practice.
Starting your own practice takes a lot of work and planning. However, it will give you the freedom to set your own hours and work as little or as much as you want. See the benefits of owning your own practice here.
Becoming a chiropractor doesn’t happen overnight. First, you have to have undergrad hours and then go to chiropractor school. In school, you’ll be required to pass a number of exams, graduate, and finally, be licensed.
It’s all worth it. You will find yourself in a meaningful career that directly improves people’s lives.
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