How Long Does It Take To Become a Chiropractor?

How Long Does It Take To Become a Chiropractor?

From the classroom to the clinic to continuing education, there are many steps one must take along the way. But, how long does it take to become a chiropractor?

To become a chiropractor, an individual must first complete a minimum of three years of undergraduate study. After which, they may be eligible to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. 

Such a program typically takes between three and a half to five years to finish, with a minimum of 4,200 instructional hours required.

To practice chiropractic, one must pass a series of exams administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and obtain a license in the state where one plans to practice.

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What Is Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a doctor who specializes in providing care to patients through the adjustment of the spine to treat neuromuscular disorders. 

This type of care is based on the belief that many health concerns arise from issues with the muscles and bones. The manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor can help to alleviate pain, as well as other symptoms. 

People often use chiropractic care to treat back pain or joint pain, and some may visit them for assistance with allergies, digestive disorders, and other issues.

Duties Of Chiropractor

Here are some common duties of chiropractor:

  • Convening with individuals to examine signs and symptoms.
  • Assessing one’s posture and spinal alignment to determine any problems.
  • Creating a plan of action for in-house treatment.
  • Advising patients on stretches, exercises, sleep strategies, and dietary options may help them improve their wellbeing.
  • Exploring methods such as acupuncture and massage therapy can be beneficial.

How To Become a Chiropractor?

To become a chiropractor, you must first complete an accredited chiropractic program. This program typically lasts four years and includes intensive study in anatomy, physiology, pathology, and spinal manipulations

After graduating from an accredited chiropractic program, you must pass a series of state and national exams and obtain a license to practice. Some states may require additional training and certification. 

Once qualified, you can then work as a chiropractor in a variety of settings such as private practice, hospitals, and health centers. 

To stay up to date with the latest chiropractic techniques, you should take continuing education classes.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Chiropractor?

To become a chiropractor, it typically takes eight years. 

Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Get a college degree.
  • Attend a chiropractic school.
  • Obtain a license.
  • Consider a specialty.
  • Find and start a job as a chiropractor.

Get a College Degree

To attend a chiropractic school, a bachelor’s degree is required. Sciences like biology, exercise science, and kinesiology demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of science and the capacity to remember substantial data. 

Attend a Chiropractic School

Most people take three and a half to four years to gain a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. During this time, they will undergo approximately 4,500 hours of intensive classes and clinical training to expand their understanding of the human body.

The first two years of most programs are focused on laboratory and classroom instruction. You will then have two years of clinical practice, which will involve reading textbooks, attending lectures, studying cadavers in a lab and exploring the microscopic workings of the human body.

Obtain a License

To become a practicing chiropractor, you must pass the examinations of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). 

Part I is usually taken during the second year of school and consists of questions on general anatomy, spinal anatomy, pathology, chemistry, microbiology, and other related topics.

In your third year, you will be engaging in Part II of your chiropractic education which includes topics such as practice, general diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis, and other specialized areas.

After you graduate, you can take Part III and Part IV of the program six to nine months later. Part III focuses on case history, case management, clinical examinations and chiropractic techniques, while Part IV tests more advanced case management and chiropractic techniques.

Consider a Specialty

Chiropractic certifications in a variety of specialties are obtainable, including occupational health, acupuncture, radiology, clinical nutrition, neurology, developmental disorders, pediatrics, forensics and sports medicine. 

These specializations usually necessitate 300-400 hours of extra instruction, and they can make you more attractive to patients and other health care practitioners.

Find And Start a Job As a Chiropractor

Starting a chiropractic business can be done by launching your own, partnering with an existing practice, or securing a job with a larger office. 

Joining an existing company is quicker than creating one from scratch, but you should take some time to research chiropractic practices in your area and find a suitable employer. 

Contracts or non-compete agreements may be required by employers in this field, and these agreements could potentially restrict you from working with any other practice for a few years.

How Long Is Chiropractic Schooling?

Accredited Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs must offer a minimum of 4,200 instructional hours. Certain programs may require a longer period of time, up to five years, while others may cover the same material in a shorter amount of time.

Chiropractor Education Requirements

To become a chiropractor, one must attend chiropractic school, obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, pass exams administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and obtain licensure in the state, province, or relevant jurisdiction in which they wish to practice.

Once you’ve obtained the necessary chiropractor credentials, furthering your education through continuing education courses is a requirement to keep your license valid. Refer to the above information for more details on chiropractic education.


Becoming a chiropractor requires dedication and hard work. Completing the necessary educational requirements, passing the necessary exams, and obtaining a license can take anywhere from five to seven years. However, with the right attitude and commitment, you can become a successful chiropractor and help many people improve their health and quality of life.

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Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does It Take To Become a Chiropractor

Yes, chiropractors are doctors. Chiropractors are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. 

Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median yearly salary for chiropractors in the US was $75,000 as of May 2021. The lowest 10 percent of chiropractors in the US made less than $37,400, whereas the top 10 percent earned over $128,750.

No, chiropractors do not go to medical school. Chiropractors are trained in a separate field of health care known as chiropractic. This field focuses on the diagnosis and manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, primarily the spine, to diagnose and treat illness and injury.

No, a chiropractor is not a physician. A chiropractor is a health care professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, with a particular focus on the spine

To become a chiropractor, one must go to chiropractic school, obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, pass a series of tests from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and receive licensure in the state, province, or other jurisdiction where they plan to work.

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By Alex

Alex is one of the industry's most highly-regarded career experts with many years of experience in career development, human resources, job hunting strategies, workplace success, and hiring. Alex is the founder of also writes about job searching and careers for The Business Beaster.