Being a chiropractor feels good. Ninety-four percent of chiropractors report finding meaning in their work, causing PayScale.com to rank chiropractic care among the top 10 jobs for people who want to make the world a better place.
But in today’s economic climate, students interested in a chiropractic career also have another consideration to weigh: whether chiropractic will make their checking account a better place. After all, job satisfaction doesn’t necessarily pay the bills.
The good news is that with a doctor of chiropractic degree, you really can have it all. Not only is chiropractic a meaningful calling, it’s also a growing field with an exciting job outlook.
Projected Job Growth
As chiropractic care becomes more widespread, new opportunities are opening up for those who obtain a chiropractic degree. The number of chiropractic jobs will grow 15 percent during the next decade—from more than 44,000 to more than 50,000.
Chiropractic also offers more job security than any other profession, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Management. Just one out of every 1,000 chiropractors was unemployed last year. That’s half the unemployment rate of dentists and one-quarter of the rate for physicians and surgeons. Graduates with a doctor of chiropractic degree enjoy a 95 percent job placement rate.
The field also pays well; chiropractors pull a median annual salary of $134,941 according to salary.com.
Rising Demand for Chiropractic Care
So what’s fueling the growth of the chiropractic profession? A variety of factors have all contributed to an increased demand for chiropractic care in the United States. These include:
Aging population. As Baby Boomers age and experience more neuromusculoskeletal and joint problems, many are turning to chiropractic care for relief. By 2030, nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older, and an estimated 5 percent of older adults seek chiropractic care and other alternative services.
Growing interest in holistic care. As more Americans realize the risks involved with traditional back pain treatments such as painkillers and surgery, they’re turning to alternatives that can offer relief without the dangerous side effects. Thirty-eight percent of adults now use some form of complementary and alternative medicine, with chiropractic care being one of the most widespread.
Support from insurance providers. The growth of the chiropractic profession hinges on patients’ ability to pay for services. While insurance companies were initially slow to cover chiropractic care, many are now changing their policies to acknowledge chiropractic’s increasing role in maintaining overall health. The Oregon Health Plan, for example, recently announced it will now prioritize chiropractic and other complementary treatments over painkillers and surgery for all types of back conditions. This could result in 4,000 new chiropractic patients in Oregon alone.
As chiropractic care continues to gain support and acceptance, it’s an exciting—and profitable—time to earn a chiropractic degree. Contact Palmer College to learn more about setting yourself up for a secure, well-paying and dynamic career that will also make you feel good about the work you’re doing.