Career in Chiropractic

If you're interested in the chiropractic profession and/or want to know more about becoming a chiropractor, this page will give you all the information you might need to set the first steps into your future career.

Why study chiropractic?

The first step to a successful career in chiropractic is a good education that will prepare you in theory and practice for the opportunities and challenges you may face in your future career.

Our Master of Chiropractic - MChiro (Hons) degree course is designed to equip you with all the relevant theory, practical skills, and clinical experience that you'll need in order to become a competent chiropractor.

From day one you’ll be building up clinical experience with real patient observations and case studies. In your final year of study you’ll be treating real patients under supervision in our large on-site teaching clinic which sees over 50,000 patient contacts a year.

Our full-time course is accredited by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and the European Council on Chiropractic Education. Visit our accreditation's page for full details.
Chiropractic degrees

What is a chiropractor?

Chiropractic is a regulated, primary healthcare profession. Chiropractors are best known for treating neck and low back pain, but they are trained to diagnose, treat, manage and prevent conditions affecting other joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles.

As a primary healthcare professional, chiropractors can see patients without a referral from another healthcare professional which means that they must also be able to assess patients for their overall health, including physical, emotional and social wellbeing, and make referrals to other health professionals when necessary.

Chiropractors use a range of treatment techniques to help reduce pain and improve function. Manipulation of joints is commonly used together with other myofascial (muscle and fascia) therapies, therapeutic exercise and lifestyle advice, but chiropractors also use a variety of other treatment techniques.

A chiropractor will determine the best way to treat each individual patient using an evidence-informed approach and select the best therapeutic management for that specific patient.

Chiropractic is a rewarding career choice, with the opportunity to develop further after graduation in areas of special interest such as sport, veterinary chiropractic, paediatric musculoskeletal health and musculoskeletal neuroscience. Some graduates go on to become researchers within the profession taking advantage of a number of opportunities available as well as roles in education and leadership.


How do I become a chiropractor

Understanding the role of a chiropractor and where they sit within the wider healthcare-arena will help you determine if this is the right career path for you. To help you get an insight into chiropractic we recommend that you observe chiropractors in practice. We welcome you to visit our chiropractic clinic and shadow our clinical students. This can be arranged through our clinic, but due to the nature of the practice, and to respect our patients’ confidentiality, these visits are limited to those 16 and over, or those in year 10 with an appropriate letter of recommendation from your school or from a healthcare professional. Find more details on clinic visits and shadowing on our Schools and Colleges outreach page.

Another route in to train to become a chiropractor is using your previous degree in health science as the foundation of your clinical training and then applying for our MSc Chiropractic (Graduate Entry) course

We recommend that you come along to one of our open days where you can hear more about our a career as a chiropractor, our courses, see the on campus training facilities, find out about the admissions process, talk to existing students and more.
book an open day

How many years does it take to become a chiropractor ?

In the UK, students must complete 4 to 5 years of education to qualify as a chiropractor. Our Master of Chiropractic - MChiro (Hons) course is a full-time course of 4 or 5 years duration depending on your previous qualifications. We also have the opportunity for students to transfer onto a full-time MSc Chiropractic course which brings the total study time to 5 or 6 years. 

After graduation chiropractors in the UK must participate in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in order to remain registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). CPD talks, seminars, conferences and short courses provide extra learning for chiropractors, to help maintain an up-to-date knowledge base, learn new therapeutic skills or start to develop an area of special interest.

CPD and Short Courses

Where does a chiropractor work?

The opportunities available to graduate chiropractors are varied. Many chiropractors go on to run their own private clinics, often employing other chiropractors and healthcare professionals, multidisciplinary clinics where chiropractors work as a part of a healthcare team are becoming more common. However, we also have graduates working with a Formula 1 team, the Royal Ballet, various charities, Olympic medical teams, Premiership football teams and some carrying out humanitarian work.


What is the average chiropractor salary?

The income of chiropractors varies according to the number of hours worked and whether they run a business employing others, however the average annual salary in the UK* is £20,000 to £80,000 per year. Our graduates’ average salary six months after graduation is £27,000 (latest DLHE data).

*Salaries may vary depending on the country you work in.

Where can I find chiropractor jobs advertised?

Jobs are normally advertised through the national professional associations. Here at AECC University College we hold an annual recruitment event for clinics to meet and interview our final year student’s on-campus in a friendly and relaxed environment. Jobs are also advertised on our Alumni Facebook page, and are shared with final year students via Graduate Opportunities notices.

aecc alumni facebook group

Can I be a chiropractor in my own country?

Chiropractic is recognised in most countries as a profession. Once you have completed your chiropractic studies, you will be able to practice in many countries around the world. It is advised you check with the chiropractic association in the country or countries you wish to work in to ensure they accept your Chiropractic qualification, and any other requirements that they may have in place.

Do I require any work experience?

There is currently no requirement for work experience to start the Master of Chiropractic course, however we recommend that you do observe chiropractors in practice.
Clinic shadowing is an invaluable experience for students considering chiropractic or similar clinical professions, you can find more information on eligibility for clinic shadowing here

For the MSc Chiropractic (Graduate Entry) course, applicants are expected to have a minimum of 1 year's relevant work experience or equivalent clinical experience from training and placements. 

What kind of skills do I need to acquire?

A chiropractor has a whole host of specific skills that they employ in their work, including:

  • A caring attitude
  • Self-discipline
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • Humility
  • Empathy
  • Manual dexterity
  • Critical and analytical abilities
  • Observational and problem solving skills
  • The ability to work as part of a team and as an individual
  • Confidence
  • Business and Marketing awareness

Key competences from General Chiropractic Council

The Code of standards is what chiropractors must meet if they wish to join and remain on our register, and call themselves a chiropractor in the UK.

By publishing standards that chiropractors are required to meet, patients can be confident that when they go to see a chiropractor they will receive quality care and will be protected from harm.

The Code is arranged around 8 principles that require chiropractors to:

  • Put the health interests of patients first
  • Act with honesty and integrity and maintain the highest standards of professional and personal conduct
  • Provide a good standard of clinical care and practice
  • Establish and maintain a clear professional relationship with patients
  • Obtain informed consent for all aspects of patient care
  • Communicate properly and effectively with your patients, colleagues and other healthcare professionals
  • Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills
  • Maintain and protect patient information


Next steps

If this feels like a good career option for you, we would encourage you to come along to an open day and talk with our academic staff, current students and professional service teams. You may also like to find out more about our School of Chiropractic and register your interest on our chiropractic courses.  Any questions on entry requirements, our admissions team will be happy to help you further, get in touch with them on the relevant course page. 

Book an open day
Order a prospectus

Further advice

For further details on how to become a chiropractor, see also: 

Information on types of jobs from Prospects: Chiropractor job profile
Information on types of jobs from UCAS: Chiropractor job profile
Information on training to become a Chiropractor: British Chiropractic Association