Practicing chiropractic as a profession

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

Our Master of Chiropractic - MChiro (Hons) degree program is designed to provide you with all of the necessary theory, practical skills, and clinical experience to become a competent chiropractor.

From the start, you'll be gaining clinical experience through real-world 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 per year.

The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and the European Council on Chiropractic Education have both accredited our full-time course. For more information, please see our accreditation page.
Chiropractic diplomas

What exactly is a chiropractor?

Chiropractic is a licensed primary care profession. Chiropractors are most commonly associated with the treatment of neck and low back pain, but they are also trained to diagnose, treat, manage, and prevent conditions affecting other joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

Chiropractors, as primary healthcare providers, can see patients without a referral from another healthcare provider, which means they must be able to assess patients' overall health, including physical, emotional, and social well-being, and refer patients to other health professionals as needed.

Chiropractors employ a variety of treatment techniques to alleviate pain and improve function. Joint manipulation is frequently used in conjunction with other myofascial (muscle and fascia) therapies, therapeutic exercise, and lifestyle advice, but chiropractors use a variety of other treatment techniques as well.

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

Chiropractic is a rewarding career path with opportunities for advancement after graduation in areas of special interest such as sports, veterinary chiropractic, paediatric musculoskeletal health, and musculoskeletal neuroscience. Some graduates pursue careers as researchers within the profession, taking advantage of a variety of opportunities such as roles in education and leadership.

How do I become a chiropractor?

Understanding a chiropractor's role and where they fit within the larger healthcare-industry will help you decide if this is the right career path for you. We recommend that you observe chiropractors in action to gain an understanding of chiropractic. We invite you to come to our chiropractic clinic and observe our clinical students. This can be arranged through our clinic; however, due to the nature of the practice and to protect our patients' confidentiality, these visits are limited to those aged 16 and up, or those in year 10 with an appropriate letter of recommendation from your school or a healthcare professional. More information about clinic visits and shadowing can be found on our Schools and Colleges outreach page.

Another way into t To become a chiropractor, you must first complete your previous degree in health science and then apply to our MSc Chiropractic (Graduate Entry) program.  

We recommend that you attend one of our open days to learn more about a career as a chiropractor, our courses, see the on-campus training facilities, learn about the admissions process, speak with current students, and much more.
schedule an open house

How long does it take to train as a chiropractor?

To qualify as a chiropractor in the United Kingdom, students must complete 4 to 5 years of education. Our Master of Chiropractic - MChiro (Hons) program is a full-time program that lasts four or five years, depending on your prior qualifications. Students can also transfer to a full-time MSc Chiropractic program, bringing their total study time to 5 or 6 years.  

Chiropractors in the United Kingdom must participate in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) after graduation in order to remain registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). CPD talks, seminars, conferences, and short courses help chiropractors maintain an up-to-date knowledge base, learn new therapeutic skills, or begin to develop an area of special interest.

Short Courses and Continuing Education

A chiropractor's workplace

Graduate chiropractors have a wide range of opportunities available to them. Many chiropractors go on to run their own private clinics, frequently employing other chiropractors and healthcare professionals. Multidisciplinary clinics, in which chiropractors work as part of a healthcare team, are becoming more common. However, we also have graduates working for a Formula One team, the Royal Ballet, various charities, Olympic medical teams, Premiership football teams, and humanitarian organizations.

How much does a chiropractor make on average?

Chiropractors' earnings vary depending on the number of hours worked and whether they own a business that employs others, but the average annual salary in the UK* ranges from £20,000 to £80,000 per year. The average salary of our graduates six months after graduation is £27,000 (according to the most recent DLHE data).

*Salaries may differ depending on the country in which you work.

Where can I find advertised chiropractor jobs?

Normally, jobs are advertised through national professional associations. At AECC University College, we hold an annual clinic recruitment event where clinics can meet and interview our final year students on-campus in a friendly and relaxed setting. Jobs are also advertised on our Alumni Facebook page and shared with final-year students via Graduate Opportunities notices.

facebook group for aecc alumni

Can I practice as a chiropractor in my own country?

Chiropractic is recognized as a profession in the majority of countries. You will be able to practice in many countries once you have completed your chiropractic studies. It is recommended that you check with the chiropractic association in the country or countries in which you wish to work to ensure that they accept your Chiropractic qualification as well as any other requirements that they may have in place.

Do I need any work experience?

Although there is no requirement for work experience to begin the Master of Chiropractic program, we recommend that you observe chiropractors in action.
Clinic shadowing is an invaluable experience for students interested in chiropractic or other clinical professions; more information on clinic shadowing eligibility can be found here.  

Applicants for the MSc Chiropractic (Graduate Entry) course should have a minimum of one year of relevant work experience or equivalent clinical experience from training and placements.  

What skills do I need to develop?

A chiropractor has a wide range of specialized skills that they use in their work, including:

  • A compassionate attitude
  • Self-discipline
  • Outstanding communication abilities
  • Enthusiasm
  • Humility
  • Empathy
  • Hand dexterity
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Skills in observation and problem solving
  • The ability to work both as a team member and as an individual
  • Confidence
  • Marketing and business awareness

General Chiropractic Council Key Competencies

The Code of Standards is what chiropractors must meet in order to join and remain on our register and call themselves a chiropractor in the United Kingdom.

Patients can be confident that when they visit a chiropractor, they will receive quality care and will be safe.

The Code is organized around eight principles that require chiropractors to do the following:

  • Prioritize the health of patients.
  • Maintain the highest professional and personal standards of integrity and honesty.
  • Maintain a high standard of clinical care and practice.
  • Maintain a clear professional relationship with patients.
  • Obtain informed consent for all aspects of patient care.
  • Communicate with your patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals in a clear and effective manner.
  • Maintain, expand, and apply your professional knowledge and skills.
  • Maintain and safeguard patient information

Next steps

If this sounds like a good career path for you, we invite you to attend an open day and speak with our academic staff, current students, and professional service teams. You may also want to learn more about our School of Chiropractic and register for our chiropractic courses. If you have any further questions about entry requirements, please contact our admissions team via the relevant course page.  

Schedule an open house.
Request a prospectus

Additional guidance

See also: How to Become a Chiropractor for more information.

Prospects job type information: Chiropractor job profile

UCAS job types information: Chiropractor job profile
British Chiropractic Association has information on how to become a chiropractor.
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