A few years ago, when I was between careers, I worked part-time as a receptionist for my friend’s mom, who’s a chiropractor. First of all, getting adjustments at decreased rates was absolutely phenomenal and I’ve never felt better physically in my lifetime. However, as the receptionist, I was responsible for taking payments from patients and I was astounded by how much money people were spending on appointments that sometimes only lasted around 15 minutes. Of course, it would have been inappropriate to ask my friend’s mom how much she was raking in at her practice every year. But I got to wondering: how much do chiropractors make?
A 2017 study showed that the chiropractic field was expected to grow by 12% from 2016 to 2026, far faster than the average for other occupations. And it makes sense why more and more people are striving to become chiropractors. Your hours typically aren’t that long, you get the benefit of helping people improve their everyday lives, and you make a whole lot of money. Also, if you’re squeamish like I am, you typically don’t have to look at blood like you do in other medical professions. Why wouldn’t everyone want to be a chiropractor?
Pretty much all chiropractors make a solid living, but some states have much higher median salaries in the profession than others. Let’s look at the national average for chiropractors’ salaries and then look at individual states where chiropractors make the most.
What Is the National Average for Chiropractors’ Salaries?
The annual salary of a chiropractor varies heavily based on a number of factors. For one, if you work as an employee, your income will typically be lower than if you’re operating your own private practice. Secondly, your income will depend largely on the amount of experience you have. A 2020 study of the salaries of chiropractors in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area showed that employed chiropractors with one year of experience had an average salary of about $65,300 whereas chiropractors with over 10 years of experience made an average of $89,500 per year.
According to Salary.com, the average national salary across the entire chiropractic industry in 2021 is reported to be about $154,000, which is nearly triple the average salary across all industries in the United States. However, several sources report that that number may actually be considerably lower. Still, it’s absolutely no surprise that more people these days are looking into becoming a chiropractor as their career.
In Which State Do Chiropractors Make the Most?
In a 2017 study, the state where chiropractors got paid the most was Rhode Island, followed by Tennessee in the number two spot. Overall, it was found that New England in general typically paid its chiropractors a lot more, which makes sense as price indexes in New England are typically higher and households in New England have more disposable income on average. So, if your life’s path is leading you to become a chiropractor, your best bet for making the most money is to move to New England.
The state where chiropractors got paid the least was Wyoming. In terms of regional trends, the parts of the country with lower average salaries for chiropractors tended to be Mountain states and Southern states.
Chiropractor Job Satisfaction
In addition to paying a high salary, chiropractors typically report having a high level of job satisfaction. The job affords chiropractors the opportunity to build close relationships with their patients and help people in their everyday lives. Chiropractors also typically have low stress levels on the job, a good work-life balance, and have good prospects for increasing their salaries as their careers continue.