It can be hard to be a chiropractor because the career path is challenging. Once you become a chiropractor you can expect to encounter different difficulties, including potentially long hours and demanding physical work. However, the working conditions for chiropractors are generally amenable and the job pays well, with an average salary of $87,538 as of 2010.
Studying to become a chiropractor is no easy task. First, you will need at least three years of undergraduate education, including courses in liberal arts and laboratory sciences. Once you've completed sufficient undergraduate work, you'll need to get a doctor of chiropractic degree. This usually takes four years, with two years of classroom experience followed by two years of clinical training. After graduating, some chiropractors complete a residency program to gain training in a specific area.
In addition to completing a doctor of chiropractic program, you will need to be licensed in order to work as a chiropractor. The exact requirements for licensing vary by state. You will either need to pass a state exam or an exam administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. In some cases you will need to pass both a state exam and the national exam. Depending on your state, you may need to take continuing education to maintain your license.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chiropractors generally work in office settings that are clean and comfortable. While the environment may be comfortable, chiropractors perform physical work; they adjust patients' spinal columns and joints manually. They may also need to stand for extended periods of time while treating patients, potentially leading to discomfort.
Chiropractors can work long hours. Most work full time. In fact only 21 percent of chiropractors worked part time in 2010. Twenty-five percent of chiropractors worked more than 50 hours per week as of 2010. In order to accommodate the schedules of their patients, chiropractors may work during the evening.
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