Chiropractic Technician: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for chiropractic technicians. Get the facts about education, salary and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Chiropractic Technician?

A chiropractic technician is a medical assistant who works in the office of a chiropractor. Chiropractors are natural health practitioners who use spinal alignments and body adjustments to promote health and wellness. Chiropractic technicians support them by performing administrative duties in the office, like scheduling appointments and billing patients, as well as assisting with patient examinations and other basic clinical procedures.

The following chart provides an overview about becoming a chiropractic technician.

Degree Required Postsecondary certificate or associate's degree
Education Field of Study chiropractic technology, medical assisting
Certification Professional certification is available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 23% (all medical assistants)*
Mean Salary (2015) $27,890 (medical assistant in chiropractic office)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How Do I Become a Chiropractic Technician?

Some chiropractors hire aspiring technicians in a learn-on-the-job capacity, but many technical colleges, community colleges and chiropractic colleges offer formal training programs that may result in a certificate, diploma or associate's degree. Completing an accredited program at the college level is necessary to earn certification, which some states and employers do require. Programs may result in a credential for chiropractic technology in particular or medical assistance in general. While a certificate or diploma can be earned in less than a year, an associate degree takes two years to complete. Courses at all levels are:

  • Chiropractic philosophy
  • Patient examination and record keeping
  • Physiotherapeutic treatments
  • Nutrition
  • Ethics
  • Office management
  • Insurance billing
  • Radiology
  • Alternative medicine theories
  • OSHA regulations

Do I Need To Be Certified?

Some states require you to become certified to work as a chiropractic technician. For example, Wisconsin requires you to earn certification to prove you have completed programs in specific areas of chiropractic study.

There are also voluntary certifications available for chiropractic technicians. Becoming certified as a radiological technician through the American Chiropractic Registry of Radiologic Technologists qualifies you to take and read patients' chiropractic x-rays. You can also become a Certified Medical Technologist (CMT) through the American Medical Technologists in order to perform complex tasks within the scope of chiropractic care. Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants is another option for expanding your qualifications through certification.

What Job Duties Might I Have?

Once you are a chiropractic technician, you may perform a myriad of office tasks depending on your level of education and certifications. This includes answering phones, making appointments, answering patient questions and dealing with paperwork. You also learn to manage insurance billing, such as Medicare and Medicaid. If you become certified as a radiology technician, you're able to take, process and review x-rays of clients. CMTs and CMAs can interact with clients and perform basic treatments under the supervision of a chiropractor.

What Might I Expect to Earn?

How much you earn as a chiropractic technician depends on your level of education and the certifications you hold. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), health technicians working in the offices of chiropractors earned a mean salary of $27,890 as of 2015. The field of medical assisting is expected to grow upward of 23% from 2014 to 2024, increasing the demand for highly trained technicians. Being certified as a radiological technician and medical technician can improve your chances of getting a position as a chiropractic technician.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of working at a chiropractor's office, you could consider pursuing a job as a medical assistant in a traditional healthcare facility, like a hospital or a family doctor's office. If you are particularly interested in patient diagnosis, you could also consider becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer, a job in which you would use ultrasound technology to create images that can help physicians identify injuries and diseases. To get this job, you would need to earn an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate. Another option is a job as a massage therapist, where you would utilize soft tissue manipulation techniques to promote client health. This job also requires a postsecondary certificate.

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