Top 10 Reasons to Become a Chiropractor

Should you become a chiropractor? If so, how do you prepare for this career – and will you have good career opportunities?

PennWest California knows the many reasons for choosing this exciting career path. Most important, PennWest California can be your best resource with an exceptional program for professional preparation that also saves you time and money.

You can take advantage of PennWest California’s “3+3” dual degree program, which allows you to earn a bachelor of science degree in biology while transitioning into the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program at one of the nation’s top three chiropractic colleges. With strong pre-professional preparation at PennWest California, along with excellent chiropractic training, you’ll be ready for career success.

Still thinking?  Here’s a closer look at the top 10 reasons to become a chiropractor – and why you’ll get the best start in this dynamic field at PennWest California. 

1. Get a well-rounded foundation. The National Institutes of Health describes chiropractic practice as “a healthcare profession that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure – mainly the spine – and its functioning.” This complementary therapy often includes spinal manipulation and other treatments to address problems such as lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches.

Earning a PennWest California bachelor’s degree in biology, with a pre-professional concentration, provides you with a strong foundation for a future in healthcare with approved courses in human anatomy, human physiology, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, and chemistry, along with other science and general education courses.

2. Learn with top experts. After completing a minimum of 90 credits during three years of study at PennWest California, qualifying students make a seamless transition to one of the nation’s top three chiropractic colleges to begin their chiropractic education:

  • Palmer College of Chiropractic, the first and largest chiropractic college, with campuses in Davenport, Iowa; San Jose, Calif.; and Port Orange, Fla.
  • New York Chiropractic College, founded in 1919. Since 1991, NYCC has been located in Seneca Falls, N.Y. 
  • Logan University in Chesterfield, Mo., a longstanding PennWest California partner, which has been offering chiropractic education since 1935. 

3. Save time and money. PennWest California’s “3+3” dual degree program allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology at PennWest California while transitioning into the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program at one of the nation’s top chiropractic colleges. You’ll complete your studies in about six years. 

4. Count on a solid career. People across all age groups are increasingly becoming interested in integrative or complementary healthcare as a way to treat pain and improve overall wellness. Chiropractic care is appealing to patients because chiropractors use nonsurgical methods of treatment and do not prescribe drugs.

Employment of chiropractors is projected to grow 12% through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for chiropractors was $68,640 in May 2017. Graduates with a D.C. degree are prepared for career opportunities as solo practitioners or members of a group practice, as sports team or corporate chiropractors, or as chiropractic educators or researchers.

5. Be part of a growing trend. Chiropractic treatment of the back, neck, limbs and involved joints has become widely accepted as a result of research and changing attitudes about additional approaches to healthcare, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, chiropractors are increasingly working with other healthcare workers, such as physicians and physical therapists, through referrals and complementary care.

The aging of the large baby-boom generation will lead to new opportunities for chiropractors because older adults are more likely than younger people to have neuromusculoskeletal and joint problems. Members of the aging population likely will continue to seek treatment for these conditions as they lead longer, more active lives.

6. Benefit from real experience. PennWest California students who go on to chiropractic college gain important hands-on experience to develop their professional skills. At New York Chiropractic College, for instance, students benefit from top clinical opportunities for practice in integrative environments, including:

  • Remote Internships at such sites as Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.; Chronic Pain Options, Riverhead, N.Y.; and Miami VA, Miami, Fla.
  • Multidisciplinary settings that include: Seneca Falls Health Center, Seneca Falls, N.Y.; Campus Health Center, Seneca Falls, N.Y.; and Rochester Outpatient Health Center, Henrietta, N.Y.
  • Community service healthcare at Campus Health Center, Seneca Falls, N.Y.; Lighthouse Free Clinic, Buffalo, N.Y.Salvation Army Satellite Clinics, Freeport, Tonawanda, N.Y.; and SUNY Health and Wellness Center, Farmingdale, N.Y.
  • Hospitals, including Monroe Community Hospital, Rochester, N.Y.; and VA Medical Center and Hospital, Canandaigua, Bath, Rochester and Buffalo, N.Y.; and Miami, Fla.


7. Treat the whole person. Chiropractors focus on patients’ overall health. Chiropractors believe that malfunctioning spinal joints and other somatic tissues interfere with a person’s neuromuscular system and can result in poor health, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Chiropractors offer less invasive, non-surgical treatments that do not rely on prescription drugs. While many chiropractors focus on care for the entire family, Doctors of Chiropractic also can focus their practice on specialty care. Areas of focus include sports, neurology, pediatrics, orthopedics, nutrition or radiology.

Some chiropractors use procedures such as massage therapy, rehabilitative exercise and ultrasound in addition to spinal adjustments and manipulation. They also may apply supports, such as braces or shoe inserts, to treat patients and relieve pain. In addition to operating a general chiropractic practice, some chiropractors specialize in areas such as sports, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics or nutrition, among others.

8. Improve your quality of life. As a career, the chiropractic field provides a great quality of life, says Logan University, one of the nation’s top three chiropractic colleges and a partner with PennWest California. According to the Chiropractic Economics 2013 Salary and Expense survey, Doctors of Chiropractic spend an average of 32 hours per week engaged in patient care, and the average total compensation for a DC is just over $128,000. In addition, more than 40% of all chiropractors are self-employed and own their own clinic.

9. Engage in research. Earning your D.C. degree means you can become a practitioner – and you can choose to go into research. At Palmer Chiropractic College, The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research is dedicated to advancing health care for patients by translating knowledge into ways that improve the practice of chiropractic. Current high-priority areas of study and research at Palmer include:

  • Integrating health care for musculoskeletal pain and mental health disorders for veterans.
  • Evaluating chiropractic care practiced in integrated clinic settings.
  • Growing emphasis on multi-disciplinary health services research and health policy initiatives.

10. Study with a recognized leader. PennWest California has built a reputation for strong academics, great value and excellent online and on-campus programs. Our undergraduate and graduate degrees are regularly ranked among the best college programs in the nation, including these recognitions:

  • Consistently named one of the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review for 13 years.
  • #12 Top Online College for Bachelor's Degree, 2017,
  • Best Online Programs, Bachelor's Degree Programs, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, S. News & World Report.

You have many reasons to build a strong future as a chiropractor. Start today with PennWest California’s on-campus “3+3” dual degree program.  Apply now!   

A chiropractor helps a patient.

Chiropractic Dual Degree

Comprehensive. Cost-effective.

PennWest California’s exceptional “3+3” dual degree program enables students to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology while transitioning into the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program at one of the nation’s top three chiropractic colleges.  

Learn more.


A chiropractor speaks with a patient.

Benefits of a Dual Degree

Go Further.

The pre-professional biology program at PennWest California is an efficient and cost-effective first step toward specialized study and a top career as a chiropractic healthcare professional.

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A chiropractor helps a patient's neck.

Chiropractic Dual Degree – Palmer Chiropractic College

Specialized Study.

At the first and largest chiropractic college in the nation, students get excellent teaching, comprehensive learning and real-world preparation.

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Chiropractic Career Options

Exciting Opportunities.

Explore many career opportunities, from solo practitioners and members of a group practice to sports team or corporate chiropractors, and chiropractic educators or researchers.

Learn more.