When it comes to bettering one’s health, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You go to the doctor, change your lifestyle, and adopt a new diet. However, one of the most underrated forms of treating one’s health is chiropractic care. A chiropractor is someone who uses their hands to manipulate a patient’s joints, bones, and muscles to relieve health issues. At first glance, this sounds like a masseuse, however, this career is far different. If you’re looking to become a part of the medical field in a unique way, then being a chiropractor might be what you’re looking for. In this article, we’ll be going over what you need to become a chiropractor.
Earn Your BA
Your first step to becoming a chiropractor is to earn your BA in human biology or kinesiology. What’s interesting about chiropractic care is that you don’t necessarily need a degree to get the career. However, having those credentials behind you can give your patients peace of mind when coming to your practice. Attending college, especially for a medical degree, can be a very expensive investment. You can expect to spend at least $50,000 or more, depending on how you go about your education. The best way to pay for your degree quickly and efficiently is to take out a student loan.
Your student loan can be used for tuition, textbooks, technology, programs, and even room and board. How much you get is determined by the cost of attendance (COA) and the expected family contribution (EFC). The latter is subtracted from the former, which is what you’ll most likely receive as your loan. If you’re looking for a way where you don’t have to deal with paying back the loan over time, you can always consider applying for a scholarship instead. A scholarship can cover the entirety of your college education, but this also depends on what you choose through the search and application platform. That said, it’s important to keep in mind not every scholarship is the same. In some cases, it might only cover about half the cost, so make sure to spend your time researching each option.
Apply for Your Licensing
Before anyone can become a chiropractor in their state, they must first acquire their license. This license is issued by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. In most states, the process for obtaining your license will require you to pay a few fees, which can cost up to $300, and take an in-depth test. Once approved, you will receive your license in the mail from your state’s board. Something we must point out is that your license won’t be valid in any other state. Each state also has its own requirements for application. So, if you wish to practice in more than one area, you’ll have to apply several times.
Expand Your Network with Professional Organizations
Once you’ve completed your degree and obtained your licensing, it’s time to start focusing on expanding your professional network. Your network is how you’re going to stay up-to-date with any and all advances within your field. Some of these organizations include the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the aforementioned National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). The ACA offers a variety of services for its members, including listings of jobs and internships, insurance information, and continuing education opportunities. It also provides other resources such as an online library with downloadable patient education materials. The NBCE may be what ultimately issues your license, but there’s more to them than that. The NCBE offers aspiring chiropractors a wide array of benefits to its members, including job listings and licensing assistance when necessary. It also includes an online national exam preparation course that prepares students for their board exams.
Use Every Opportunity to Further Your Education
Your college degree is only the beginning. This career is about more than learning techniques to recover from spinal pain and performing procedures. A chiropractor must show that they’re passionate as well as knowledgeable about their field. Some states require that continuing education courses be taken from accredited providers, which can include universities and chiropractic colleges. You might be wondering what this is for. To keep your license and practice, you must keep taking classes to show your skills. The state board of chiropractic will ultimately determine the number of hours required for you to keep practicing as a chiropractor. If you end up falling short, your license might be nullified before you can continue working. Make sure to ask your state’s board of chiropractic care what kind of coursework they accept as well as how many hours each type will count toward maintaining your license.