How Long Does it Take to Become a Chiropractor?
If you are wondering, "How long does it take to become a chiropractor?" you are not alone. In fact, this is one of our most frequently asked questions here at Northeast College of Health Sciences. The short answer is, at Northeast, it takes just over 3 years to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. However, this timeframe can vary depending on your preferred professional path and the program in which you enroll .
The first step to becoming a chiropractor is completing 90 hours of undergraduate studies. These 90 credit hours must be in a major related to chiropractic studies; this equates to 3-4 years of undergraduate studies. It is also required that these credit hours be completed at an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or an equivalent foreign agency. As well, you should generally earn at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale for those completed credit hours.
After completing 90 hours of undergraduate studies, it's time to earn a chiropractic degree. Although there is some variation, most accredited programs can be completed in just over 3 years or 10 trimesters, depending on the specialty and institution. At Northeast, these 10 trimesters include hands-on experience and clinical opportunities to set students up for success.
No matter in what state you will be practicing, you will need both a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and certification earned by passing the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NCBE) four-part exam. Fortunately, this exam can be completed at any time while attending chiropractic schooling. This helps reduce the time it takes to start your career.
Choosing to pursue a specialty can help you hone in on your dream career. Whether it's a specialty like rehabilitation, sports and human performance, pain management, orthopedics, workplace ergonomics, pediatrics, geriatrics, and more, you may need to take additional courses. However, some chiropractic specialty classes can fit right into the institution's curriculum and might not add extra time.
The final step of becoming a chiropractor is starting your career. There are many routes one can take post-graduation, like opening a practice or getting a job at an established practice. With 92% of graduates having a secured position 6 months after graduation at Northeast, we have full confidence that your job search won't even add one year to your journey to become a chiropractor.
The Pay Off
Although your dream of becoming a chiropractor is a time investment, it pays off -- big time. The average gross income of Northeast graduates is upwards of $149,000 3 years after graduation. In just over 6 years, you could be on your way to a successful and rewarding career. If you are excited about starting your journey to becoming a doctor, consider checking out our complete grad school checklist to prepare for your next step in becoming a chiropractor.