Chiropractic Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Chiropractic Degree

Earning a chiropractic degree allows individuals interested in health care careers the ability to specialize skills necessary to treat chronic pain, injuries, and health problems using alternative treatments. Students within a chiropractic degree programs gain a broad understanding of anatomy, human biology, radiology, microbiology, physiology, neurology, and other aspects of the public health system. Students often specialize skills through advanced programs in massage, physical therapy, nutrition, neurology and clinical experiences in order to gain hands on training.

Many students manage job and family obligations in addition to educational responsibilities while pursuing a degree. Most colleges and universities have developed innovative online programs geared toward extending studies to students unable to attend on campus instruction. Online programs generally offer the same materials, information, and instruction as on campus programs. Online classes feature the added benefits of increased flexibility in course scheduling, 24 hour access to course materials, and one on one interactions with professors and other students through Internet chats. Obtaining an online degree is often one of the most affordable and convenient means of expanding education necessary for professional and personal success.

What Students Learn Within A Chiropractic Degree Program

Students within chiropractic degree programs gain a solid understanding of the human body, specialized skills necessary to treat injuries, disease, and chronic pain while promoting health and wellness. The field of chiropractic medicine offers dynamic and expanding job opportunities for qualified professionals. In order to qualify for employment as a chiropractic technician or professional, candidates are generally required to complete a minimum of an associate or bachelor’s degree program as well as 4 years of training within a chiropractic program. Additionally, most states require graduates complete of licensing procedures and continuing education programs to maintain licensure. Many students begin training for future professions within chiropractic facilities and organizations by completing a two year associate degree program in allied health science, medical assistant, biology, or other related fields. Courses within an allied health science program include: medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, chemistry, English composition, world literature, computer and Internet literacy, intermediate Algebra, college mathematics, statistics, nutrition, introduction to philosophy, general psychology, human growth and development, introduction to sociology, public speaking, strategies for success, principles of composition, principles of algebra, introduction to health science, diseases of the human body, medical law and bioethics, medical coding and insurance, and pharmacology. Graduates from associate degree programs may advance to state and employer determined licensing and certification programs to advance to employment as chiropractic assistants. Many graduates advance to higher degree programs to increase knowledge and skills necessary for jobs with greater responsibilities.

Bachelor degree programs generally qualify students to work closely with chiropractors in the dynamic field of alternative medicine. Students within bachelor degree programs gain an expanded understanding of the relationship between osteopathic, medical and chiropractic disciplines as well as increased knowledge of the health care system. Courses at a bachelor level within the discipline of human biology include: fundamentals of speech, calculus applied statistics, foreign language, physical education, English composition, the global challenge, perspectives on the individuals, cross cultural perspectives, general chemistry, biological sciences, cell biology, human structure and function, genetics, bioethics, organic chemistry, general physics, introduction to calculus, physics with calculus, introduction to radiology, immunobiology, and clinical experiences. With additional training in the specialization of nursing, students may advance to employment as chiropractic nurses. Many graduates who complete bachelor degree programs may advance to employment upon completing state licensing and certification procedures. Some graduates advance to higher degree programs to complete studies in the field.

Master and doctoral degree programs in chiropractic disciplines offer students the ability to gain expert knowledge in the field. Graduates within master’s degree programs gain specialized skills and instruction necessary to work as lead chiropractic professionals in various health care organizations and agencies. Master’s level courses include: foundations of the classroom; instructional theory and practices; elements of course development; instructional theory and practices: designing and developing; lab and online learning environments; instructional theory and practice; employment in the college and university setting; introduction to anatomy and physiology; chemistry, cells and histology; integumentary, skeletal, and muscular systems; nervous system; endocrine system; cardiovascular system; lymphatic system/immunity, respiratory system, digestive system, and metabolism; urinary system, acid-base balance, reproductive system, development/inheritance; essentials of genetics; essentials of medical microbiology; clinical nutrition for pain and inflammation; study design and critical evaluation of literature; research methods and applied statistics; developmental nutrition; and exercise physiology. Graduates who complete master’s degrees qualify for employment after passing state and employer certification and licensing requirements or advance to doctoral degree programs.

Doctoral degree programs offer students the ability to qualify as chiropractic experts. Doctoral courses include: histology/cell biology; spinal anatomy; chiropractic philosophy; professional development; spinal analysis; biochemistry; gross anatomy; microbiology; neuroanatomy; physiology; embroyology; microbiology; pathology; public health; core adjusting techniques; orthopedics; fundamentals of diagnostic imaging; nueromusculoskeltal diagnosis; orthopedics; clinical research; cardiorespiratory diagnosis; diagnostic imaging; radiographic positioning; radiographic toxicology; performance based chiropractic curriculum; practicum core adjusting techniques; jurisprudence; clinicial chiropractical reasoning; patient communication skills; principles of physical therapy; pediatrics; gastrointestinal-urogenital diagnosis; geriatric research; and research methodology. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs are considered experts in the field upon completing licensing and certification processes.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Chiropractic Degrees

Graduates with chiropractic degrees utilize skills and knowledge from educational programs to enter professions within the expanding health care system. Employment opportunities for chiropractic professionals are expected to be excellent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports employment for chiropractors and technicians to increase by 20 percent through 2018 at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations. Job growth will be influenced by factors like: consumer demand for alternatives to medicine, drugs, and surgery, as well as an increased demand for non invasive treatment for injuries, disorders, and diseases within the back, neck, joints, and extremities. Graduates who obtain advanced degrees, specialize in pediatric and geriatric care, and gain work experience through internships or on the job training are expected to find increased employability in comparison to graduates with less education, specialization, and experience. Graduates who complete associate degrees often work as medical assistants, chiropractic technicians, and chiropractic assistants. Graduates with bachelor degrees often work as chiropractic assistants, chiropractic nurses (with additional specialized training), or physician’s assistants. Graduates with master’s degrees generally advance to jobs as administrators within chiropractic and other medical facilities, vocational school instructors, or as chiropractors with continued education. Graduates with doctoral degrees generally work as chiropractors, instructors within colleges and universities, or researchers within the field.

Salary Range For Graduates With Chiropractic Degrees

Graduates with chiropractic degrees have the potential to have lucrative salaries and long term careers within the field of chiropractic alternative medicine. Chiropractic professionals have earnings based upon factors like: level of education, organization of employment, area/s of speciality, geographic location, practitioner qualifications, and related work experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports earnings for chiropractors range from $45,540 to $96,700 annually. Earnings for chiropractic professionals who work independently within their own practices generally have low earnings until they establish a client base. Graduates who work within larger facilities often have additional benefits including health insurance and retirement plans. Graduates who complete associate degree programs and work as chiropractic assistants earn from $23,700 to $33,050 annually. Graduates with bachelor degrees generally earn $51,640 to $76,570 annually as chiropractic nurses. Graduates with master’s degrees who work as health care administrators within chiropractic facilities often earn $62,170 to $104,120 annually. Graduates with doctoral degrees who work as instructors within colleges generally earn $41,600 to $121,850 annually.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Graduates With Chiropractic Degrees

Graduates who complete chiropractic degrees are expected to find plentiful job opportunities within the expanding field of chiropractic medicine. Job growth is predicted to grow at a much faster than average rate for chiropractic professionals and increase at a rate of 20 percent through 2018 per reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Factors like advancing technology, expanding and aging population, medical advances, and consumer demand will contribute to the overall stability and job growth for chiropractic graduates. Graduates may increase employability by specializing in pediatric and geriatric fields as well as within southern and western regions of United States.

Graduates with advanced degrees, experience, and specialized training also often find increased job prospects. Economic factors may limit job growth to a certain extent within the chiropractic field as treatment may be affected by patients’ abilities to pay for services as well as insurance issues. Chiropractic graduates generally begin employment by working for or partnering with an established practitioner, beginning their own practice within regions with low competition from other chiropractic facilities, or by purchasing an established practice. Many graduates also gain employment as “in house” chiropractic professionals within various clinics and health care facilities. Few chiropractors leave the profession and transfer to jobs within private organizations and businesses. Chiropractors are required to maintain licensing and continue education through the duration of their careers to remain qualified in the field.

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