Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that is still used today with many benefits for body and mind. An acupuncturist is someone qualified to perform the alternative treatment, and their salary can range quite a bit depending on how they practice and other aspects of their career.
There are many forms of treatment and medicine that we have learned from the Chinese and acupuncture is one that is still widely used today. Acupuncture uses fine needles that are inserted into the skin at various points around the body, believed to treat different mental and physical conditions.
Due to the sensitive nature of the skin and the accuracy in which these needles need to be inserted on the correct lines of the body, an acupuncturist is quite a respected career. There are in-depth training and education that take place in order to become qualified and people often wonder about the acupuncturist salary and how it compares to the work that is done.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming an acupuncturist but first want to know a little more about what the job involves and how much salary you can expect to make, this guide will walk you through it. As a growing form of complementary treatment, this is an area that will only continue to grow, and it makes a smart career choice for someone with a keen interest in alternative medicines.
What Does An Acupuncturist Do?
According to ancient Chinese teachings, qi is the energy which runs through all of our bodies. We each have meridians or pathways that run through our body and possess this energy, and it is the role of the acupuncturist to find these pathways and insert tiny needles in them in order to balance our energy.
Acupuncture can be used to treat all kinds of issues, whether they’re mental conditions like anxiety and depression, or physical pan such a neck and spine problems or digestive upset. The role of an acupuncturist is to speak with their patient and understand their issues and then find the correlating meridians and points to insert needles on in an effort to reduce or relieve their symptoms.
An acupuncturist may work alone or be involved as part of an overarching treatment plan. The salary that one earns will depend on how they work, whether they have their own practice, and how experienced they are. Usually, it’s up to the acupuncturist to charge the fee for their services so they have final say, but in order to stay competitive, they should be in line with others in the industry.
How Do You Qualify To Become An Acupuncturist?
People often assume that alternative treatments like this can be performed by anyone, but that’s not true at all. An acupuncturist needs to combine lengthy study with hands-on experience before they can become qualified, and even then they will need to build a reputation for themselves before they are taken seriously.
In order to become an acupuncturist, you must be sure of your own skills, as it requires a steady hand, solid concentration, and empathetic nature in order to treat others effectively. There are various schools available that teach the methods and you will need to choose which type you want to study, with some options including Japanese and traditional Chinese.
Most acupuncturist schools require you to have a bachelor’s degree before you can commence. The degree doesn’t have to be related to medical science but it is usually helpful. Once you have enrolled, you can expect to spend a few years studying in order to obtain the qualification, so you have to be prepared to commit.
Once you’ve graduated, you’ll need to become accredited with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. This is done by passing an exam and proving that you are qualified to begin practice. From there, you will need to grow your career and get a solid reputation that will help you reach even more patients.
What Is the Acupuncturist Salary?
Although it shouldn’t be the sole reason that you get into acupuncture, the salary needs to be right for most people to commit to the study and training. Just like any other profession, especially a medical one, the more experience you have and the longer you’ve been practicing, the better your salary will be.
The acupuncturist salary can also differ depending on the state. Reports indicate that the average earnings for an acupuncturist are around $33 per hour but this can vary. In Maryland, the wage is an average of $60.15 per hour which is a lot higher, but somewhere like Nebraska you can expect to earn only $25 per hour. Again, this also depends on your experience and how you practice.
When compared to other forms of complementary medicine like chiropractor and art therapist, the acupuncturist salary is actually quite high. The average yearly salary is around $74,000 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which can be earned with just a few years of practice. Whether you have your own office or are part of a larger health team will also alter your earnings, so it’s important to consider how you want to practice.
The Career Choices Are For Acupuncturists
Learning acupuncture doesn’t just mean you can only do one job, as people commonly think. With an acupuncture degree and certification under your belt, there are actually many ways that you can put it good use. Here are a few places you can work when you are an acupuncturist:
The demand for acupuncturists is high at the moment, which signals that it’ a great time to jump into this career. According to recent figures, this career can expect a growth of 9 – 13 per cent in coming years, so it’s definitely not showing signs of slowing down.
As many of the places that are hiring this profession work at all hours, the flexibility that you have will be beneficial to landing a job. Most will require shift work or for someone to work late hours, and if you are able to commit to this then you will easily build your skills and career. Again, if you are flexible to move to other locations it could also open up more doors for you, as there is more demand in places like Maryland, Georgia, and Alabama.
Ways to Advance Your Career In Acupuncture
Being an acupuncturist alone can be a very rewarding career, especially for those who are self-employed and run their own business. However, there are other things you can do to advance your career and use your knowledge and skills in acupuncture to grow yourself even more professionally.
The most important thing for an acupuncturist to do is to continue studying and training in the area, as there are always new developments and findings in this form of medicine. Keeping up to date with these advancements is essential to being the best practitioner possible, and will show your patients an ongoing commitment to the best treatment.
Those who have found a lot of joy in alternative treatments may like to study something further, like naturopathy or massage. This means that they can perform more than just one type of treatment from their practice, and will have a greater understanding of these natural types of medicines.
A junior acupuncturist salary will obviously be a lot less than someone more qualified, but if you’re able to add even more skills to your profile then this has the potential to earn you more as well. Without taking anything away from your focus and dedication to acupuncture, there is a chance to make a good living from this complementary form of treatment.
An Alternative Treatment In High Demand
According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture has been effective in treating a number of issues including high blood pressure, chemo-induced nausea, and gastric conditions. With real evidence that this complementary form of treatment works, we will no doubt see more need for acupuncturists in the future.
Many people assume that with alternative treatments like this or ancient Chinese medicine practice that there’s no real study or training behind it. However, to become an acupuncturist takes a lot of hard work, training, and study in order to become accredited, and from there you then need to spend years building your practice.
The salary of an acupuncturist is what you would expect in the world of alternative treatments, but the true joy of the job comes from helping others. If you have a desire to treat people without the need for invasive surgery or harmful drugs, becoming an acupuncturist could be an excellent move to make.
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