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Chiropractor

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Summary of occupation

Chiropractors diagnose and treat patients by triggering the body’s recuperative abilities to assist with health problems related to the nervous and skeletal systems – without resorting to drugs or surgery. They would research a patient's details, carry out a physical examination and use and interpret diagnostic images, such as x-rays, before attempting to adjust a patient’s spine.

ANZSCO description: Diagnoses and treats physiological and mechanical disorders of the human locomotor system, particularly neuromuscular skeletal disorders, and provides advice on preventing these disorders. Registration or licensing is required.
Alternative names: Chiropractic Physician
Specialisations: Extremity Work, Paediatric Chiropractor, Sports Chiropractor
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A chiropractor needs:

  • to enjoy working with people
  • a reasonable level of physical fitness and agility
  • to enjoy health sciences
  • good interpersonal skills
  • to be able to think and work independently.
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Working conditions

Chiropractors generally work standard business hours, Monday to Friday. However,  evening or weekend work may also be required. Most chiropractors work in an office environment, typically within a school, hospital, nursing home or community centre. Some chiropractors do go into private practice.

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Salary details

On average chiropractors and osteopaths can expect to earn between $1,500 and $1,749 per week ($78,000 and $90,999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Chiropractors need to be able to read x-rays and other diagnostic test results. They may also need to be able to use ultrasound equipment.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a chiropractor, you need to study an accredited degree in chiropractic science at university.

Murdoch University offers a five-year double bachelors degree: Bachelor of Science in Chiropractic Science and Bachelor of Clinical Chiropractic to become an accredited chiropractor.

Contact Murdoch university for further information.

To work as a chiropractor in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Chiropractic Board of Australia.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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