By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
This is a continuation of my post on Advice about Chiropractic Schools
BLS: Chiropractors held about 53,000 jobs in 2004. Approximately 58 percent of chiropractors are self-employed. Most chiropractors are in solo practice, although some are in group practice or work for other chiropractors. A small number teach, conduct research at chiropractic institutions, or work in hospitals and clinics.
Thoughts: There will always be work for chiropractors that desire to practice chiropractic. I have nothing to back that up with other than to make a comparison that there will always be work for musicians that desire to make music, there will always be work for artists that desire to make art, and there will always be services for those desiring to serve.
In Los Angeles, it seems as though many doctors have retired, passed on, or moved to other areas. As I see it, there is lot’s of opportunity. There is equally lots of challenges to face as we continue to witness changes in insurance reimbursement, rising costs of living, building and employee expenses, etc. Deciding whether to be in solo practice, group practice, or working for others should be ones personal choice. I’d like to point out that this is not unique to chiropractic. The entire healthcare industry is going through considerable change, and change is good.
BLS: Many chiropractors are located in small communities. However, there still often are geographic imbalances in the distribution of chiropractors, in part because many establish practices close to one of the few chiropractic institutions.
Thoughts: Don’t open up down the street from me! No really, many new communities in the US are emerging. Planning and preparing for those geographic imbalances and varying distributions of chiropractors can prove to be advantageous to the person with their eye on the target.
Chiropractic Job Outlook
BLS: Job prospects are expected to be good for persons who enter the practice of chiropractic. Employment of chiropractors is expected to *grow faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014 as consumer demand for alternative health care grows. Because chiropractors emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles and do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, chiropractic care is appealing to many health-conscious Americans. Chiropractic treatment of the back, neck, extremities, and joints has become more accepted as a result of research and changing attitudes about alternative, noninvasive health care practices. The rapidly expanding older population, with its increased likelihood of mechanical and structural problems, also will increase demand for chiropractors.
Thoughts: Expect to work hard. Stay committed, disciplined and focused. Unless you live under a rock you are aware that consumer demand is growing. The most stunning evidence I personally have of this are the nearly ten years of logged search results from planetchiropractic.com which are revealing some very interesting patterns of what “conscious Americans” seek.
WHY CHIROPRACTIC? All one has to do is read this statement again… “Because chiropractors emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles and do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, chiropractic care is appealing to many health-conscious Americans.”
Yes, the older population is rapidly expanding and some in medicine are laying claim to that occurrence. Someone find me a single adult that desires to live their last 20 – 30 years of a potential century of life on this planet in a diaper, a wheelchair, dependent on drugs, hooked up to a dialysis unit, dragging an oxygen tank, or who knows what else. Is that the definition of health? Is that ones desire for longevity and quality of life?
Simply, a chiropractic lifestyle is the antithesis of a non-chiropractic lifestyle. It is in direct contrast or exact opposition to a dis-eased or disorderly lifestyle. Philosophically it is known as the idea that A cannot equal not-A. Chiropractic cannot equal not-chiropractic. Similarly, medicine cannot equal not-medicine. In practice, chiropractic and medicine are at polar opposites from one another.
*BLS defines “Grow faster than average” as an “increase of 18 to 26 percent.”
BLS: Median annual earnings of salaried chiropractors were $69,910 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $46,710 and $118,280 a year. In 2005, the mean salary for chiropractors was $104,363, according to a survey conducted by Chiropractic Economics magazine.
Thoughts: God Bless America. Let’s not even discuss all the joy one potentially experiences as a doctor of chiropractic, that’s for another article. Just for sake of numbers let’s assume you are the average DC earning $69,910 per year. Don’t go thinking you are going to retire after 7 years of practice. However, if you GO TO WORK for 30 years you would have potential earnings of $2,097,300. That is based on median earnings.
BLS: In chiropractic, as in other types of independent practice, earnings are relatively low in the beginning and increase as the practice grows. Geographic location and the characteristics and qualifications of the practitioner also may influence earnings. Self-employed chiropractors must provide their own health insurance and retirement.
Thoughts: Again, planning is critical to success. Plan to practice and practice your plan.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections