How To Become A Chiropractor In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how to become a chiropractor in Australia, including how long it takes.


Do you aspire to work as a chiropractor in Australia? Are you looking for the most exemplary chiropractic programs and colleges in Australia? If yes, the post below will be beneficial to you.


Chiropractors are essential health practitioners because they have extensive skills and knowledge to treat various neuromusculoskeletal diseases. Their ability to correct misalignment and manipulate the spine can improve overall health and body functions and relieve pain instantly.


A chiropractic job is personally fulfilling and rewarding as it allows you to treat and prevent alignment issues and educate individuals on maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper exercise.


Working as a chiropractor is a good option if you are a health practitioner who follows a different procedure or wants to start a career in natural therapies.


If this is something you'd be interested in, read the guide below and learn how to become a chiropractor in Australia, how long it takes, chiropractor degree requirements, courses, qualifications, salary, and more.



1. What Does A Chiropractor Do?


Chiropractors are in charge of physically treating aging patients or someone who has suffered specific health issues or injuries.


They often meet with patients, perform exams to detect problems, and offer consultation. After that, they create a treatment plan and perform chiropractic procedures on patients, such as Thompsons Drops, physiotherapy, and adjustments, to mention a few.


Chiropractitioners also need to inform clients about all the procedures involved thoroughly. Thus, good customer service and communication skills are required to put them at ease and answer any concerns they may have.


Chiropractors must develop a professional yet personal relationship with each client for them to return for future treatment. In some instances, they are also paid bonuses, depending on productivity.


Some chiropractors may need to supervise a team of assistants who provide care before the chiropractor performs their tasks.


Therefore, it is vital to communicate effectively with them and give them the right direction. Additionally, chiropractors collaborate with other medical professionals who offer care to clients to ensure that the best possible care is delivered.


Furthermore, chiropractors must keep detailed records of every patient treatment provided so that it can be forwarded to other medical professionals when required.


To work as a chiropractor, you must pass the state board examination, have a doctor of chiropractic degree, and gain a current and valid state licence.



2. Major Tasks And Duties of A Chiropractic


  • Perform specialised work, such as diagnostic imaging, paediatrics, sports chiropractics, or other chiropractic techniques.

  • Administer various tests to diagnose and analyse patients' physical issues and illnesses.

  • Adjust patients' spine and other joints to address dysfunctions that interfere with bodily function integration and nervous system control.

  • Conduct workplace assessments and pre-employment examinations.

  • Plan and discuss how to effectively manage a patient's dysfunction.

  • Takedown patient information, do physical exams and analyse diagnostic imaging findings, including X-rays.

  • Review, design, evaluate, assess, and monitor treatment programs.

  • Provide primary health recommendations to patients about nutrition and exercise.

  • Treat patients by adjusting the spinal column to manipulate soft tissues and joints.

  • Record the patient's medical history, therapies provided, reactions and treatment progress. 

  • Provide certificates for work-related and insurance purposes.

  • Refer patients to specialists and discuss their needs, problems, and progress with other medical professionals.

  • Educate patients, their families, partners, and friends about therapeutic methods, such as lifestyle changes and home exercises, to improve patients' health and wellness.



3. Steps To Become A Chiropractor in Australia


Here are a few common steps you can take to become a successful chiropractor in Australia:



Step 1: Determine Your End Goal


Before you start your career as a Chiropractor, you must establish your chiropractic practice's goal. You must know what you are about to step into to make the required preparations. These include obtaining the relevant qualifications and deciding where to work after that.


As a chiropractor, you will address various neuromusculoskeletal problems using the evidence-based treatment and care approaches. Here are some of the conditions you will treat as a chiro practitioner:


  • Arthritic pain

  • Lower back pain 

  • Repetitive strains

  • Sciatica

  • Migraines and headaches

  • Neck pain

  • Car accident injuries

  • Sports-related injuries



Step 2: Have The Heart For The Job


Even though chiropractic is a rewarding profession, it can be challenging for individuals who need more preparation. So having the inherent characteristics of a chiropractor, such as organisation, empathy, and the knowledge to make the right patient decisions, always pays off.



Step 3: Get Qualified


To qualify as a chiropractor, you must earn a Bachelor of Health Science with a major in chiropractic from a nationally accredited institution. This five-year program provides a solid foundation in science, including chemistry, physiology, anatomy, and biology, to mention a few.


You can also obtain a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science, a three-year full-time degree course. Some chiropractors follow a different educational path, for instance, getting a bachelor's degree in biology before pursuing a doctorate.



Step 4: Get a Membership With A Professional Association


After studying and earning your certification from an authorised Australian institution, you can join the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency). AHPRA is the country's regulating body for certified health practitioners, establishing performance criteria to which its members must adhere.


Once registered, you must renew it yearly, proving that you have completed the required CPD (Continued Professional Development). CPD comprises seminars and training courses that help you stay updated with the latest developments in the field of chiropractic.


You can collaborate with other health practitioners, work in any healthcare setting, or even open your clinic as a certified chiropractor. Setting up your private practice allows you to work flexible hours while offering high-quality care and treatment to your clients.



Step 5: Find A Chiropractor Job and Get Started


The final step is to get a job as a chiropractor in Australia. You can either partner with another practitioner or join a more extensive chiropractic facility. Further, you can also think about starting and managing your clinic. It is crucial to remember that entering an existing firm is more straightforward than running your clinic.


However, you might have to conduct thorough research to investigate local chiropractors' clinics and discover someone ready to work with a new chiropractor. Companies registered in this field need non-compete agreements or contracts. Remember that you can be banned from working with any other practice for several years if you sign a contract.


Remember, you must invest money to establish your own business since you'll need to pay for medical equipment, staff, office space, and other expenses. It may take longer to set up a new office than it would work with another chiropractor. However, you need to sign a contract to practice with another chiropractor.


Furthermore, starting your own business requires a solid patient base and may take some time.



4. Where To Study Chiropractic In Australia?


There are four universities and one college in Australia that offer chiropractic degree courses. Let us check them out:



  • Australian Chiropractic College: This institution is situated in Adelaide, South Australia (SA) and offers a four-year Bachelor of Chiropractic Degree. It also has a one-year university-level admission requirement.


  • Macquarie University is located in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW). This institution offers a three-year Bachelor of Chiropractic Science program that prepares students for a two-year Master of Chiropractic program.


  • RMIT University: It is based in Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), and provides a three-year Bachelor of Health Science (Chiropractic) degree, followed by a two-year Master of Clinical Chiropractic program.


  • Central Queensland University: This institution is situated in Brisbane and Mackay (Queensland) and offers a three-year Bachelor of Science (Chiropractic) degree. You can continue after this with a two-year Master of Clinical Chiropractic degree.


  • Murdoch University: This chiropractor university is in Perth, Western Australia (WA). It offers a Bachelor of Chiropractic and a Bachelor of Applied Science (in chiropractic), usually provided as a double degree program. You must complete the entire program successfully for professional registration as a chiropractor.



5. What Are The Skills Required To Become A Chiropractor In Australia?


Chiropractors must be interested in investigation, research, and natural laws. Further, they must enjoy serving, assisting, teaching, and counselling other individuals.


Here are all the skills a Chiropractors must have:



  • Detail-Oriented: Chiropractors must be attentive and pay close attention to details to make accurate diagnoses and stop making mistakes that may injure patients.


  • Decision-making Skills: Chiropractors must choose the best action when treating a patient. They must also know when to refer a patient to another healthcare provider.


  • Empathy: Mostly, chiropractors treat patients who are in pain. Therefore, they must be sympathetic and understanding towards their patients' needs and issues.


  • Dexterity: Chiropractors must be well-coordinated to provide successful therapy. They must use their hands to adjust the joints and spine manually.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Chiropractors must be approachable, so patients return for treatment whenever required. Also, they should be able to put their patients at ease because they frequently touch them while doing therapy.



6. How Long Does It Take To Become A Chiropractor In Australia?


An Australian chiropractor needs to complete a five-year degree program at a recognised and accredited university in Australia. This five-year period might consist of a five-year Bachelor of Chiropractic degree or a three-year Bachelor's degree followed by a two-year post-graduate degree, like a Master of Clinical Chiropractic.


You can also practise in Australia if you have completed an overseas study program accredited by the CCEA (Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia).


The CCEA is responsible for assessing the quality of chiropractic education and training in Australia and evaluating the skills and knowledge of chiropractors trained outside New Zealand and Australia.



7. How To Become A Chiropractor Without  Degree?


Chiropractors are not medical doctors because they do not hold any medical degrees. However, they need to undergo extensive chiropractic training to become licensed chiropractors. Generally, chiropractors start their education by earning a bachelor's degree focusing on the sciences.


They may also choose to specialise in a particular field. Regardless of speciality, all chiropractors must pass the state board exam to get a licence to practise. They must also attend regular continuing education sessions to stay updated in the profession.



8. How Much Does A Chiropractor Earn In Australia?


According to Payscale, the average chiropractic salary in Australia for an entry-level chiropractor with less than one year of experience is around AU$59,000 based on 19 salaries, including bonuses, tips, and overtime pay.


Based on 93 salaries, a chiropractor (early career) with one to four years of experience makes an average salary of AU$68,000. And a mid-career chiropractor with five to nine years of experience earns an average pay of around AU$77,500 per annum, based on 32 salaries.


On the other hand, a Chiropractor with ten to nineteen years of experience may expect to earn an average total salary of around AU$90,000 per year, based on 31 salaries. Employees with a long career (20 years or more) receive an average total remuneration of around AU$89,000.


Now that you know everything about becoming a chiropractor in Australia, you are ready to embark on your successful journey as an Australian chiropractor.


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