A chiropractor is a medical practitioner who focuses on joints, muscles, and the bones, especially in the back. They make considerably less money than most other medical specialties because they do not attend medical school. Instead, they have their own separate education system to certify their knowledge. In this post, we will analyze the salary of the chiropractor in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, and Norway. We will also discuss the major factors that influence a chiropractor salary and what causes the salary to be different in each of those nations.
Chiropractor Salary Influencers
As medical professionals, chiropractors all over the world share a skillset and body of knowledge. However, there are large changes in the way the health care industry operates from country to country, which significantly affects their salaries. Experience also plays a major role in their income.
The biggest factor is whether the health care industry is mostly private or mostly run by the government. If it is private, then individuals have more power to set their own prices for their service. They also typically send their bills to insurance companies rather than the patients directly. In countries with a larger role for government in public health, prices tend to be at least in part set by the government. There are also national differences in educational availability. Some nations have many schools of chiropractic, while others do not, creating a supply shortage.
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Chiropractor Salary in the US
The average chiropractor in the US makes $67,520 per year or $32.46 per hour. Chiropractic services are usually covered by insurance, so patients usually only pay a small copay per session and the insurance company pays the rest. There are many chiropractic schools in the US to provide the necessary education.
Chiropractor Salary in Canada
The salary for a chiropractor in Canada is $64,917, very similar to the US. They make about $39.60 per hour. That indicates that they can work fewer hours for the same overall pay. Canada has strong government involvement in the health care industry to help pay care providers.
Chiropractor Salary in the UK
An average chiropractor in the UK can make about fifty thousand pounds. That translates to $65,000 in US dollars. The UK has a national public health system that pays for all healthcare, but that doesn’t change the salary very much.
Chiropractor Salary in Australia
In Australia, chiropractors make the equivalent of about $53,000 in US dollars. That is a noticeable dip as a result of weaker government involvement in medicine and less general interest in the service as a whole. Chiropractic is less popular in Australia than other places.
Chiropractor Salary in Switzerland
Chiropractors in Switzerland enjoy a significantly higher salary than in the nations described so far. In American dollars, they make about $125,000 on average. The Swiss government combines high taxes with high spending on health care to provide for its citizens.
Chiropractor Salary in Norway
Like Switzerland, chiropractors in Norway have high salaries. They make about $110,000. The high salaries come from a socialist approach to healthcare combined with an oil-rich government that can spend on various treatments.
The numbers reported above are averages for mid-career chiropractors. It is very common to make less when first starting out, in the area of $40,000, and much more with experience, at $150,000 or more. Higher salaries tend to be most common in areas with high costs of living. For example, a chiropractor with 15 years of experience would probably make more in New York City than in Houston, but their living expenses would be higher as well. More experience also means more clients and job security as well as a higher rate. Experienced chiropractors can also consider teaching in a local school if they want to contribute to the education of prospective colleagues.
Chiropractors typically put in standard hours. They will find it hard to work more because the practice involves a lot of use of the hands and arms, similar to a massage therapist, so they will become fatigued. A chiropractor working independently has a lot more control over their hours than one working in a larger company or health system. They tend to make appointments by the hour, so their income will be based on their hourly rate.
Bonuses and Benefits Packages
Chiropractic jobs tend to be similar to other jobs in terms of benefits. Someone working independently has to finance their own health insurance, retirement savings, and other benefits. In other cases the employer provides it. Each country has its own laws about benefits packages and what they must contain. As a medical field, bonuses are rare in chiropractic work because rates are generally fixed in advance between patients, insurers, and the government, and tipping is not standard.
There is increased demand across the board for all medical professionals, including chiropractors. The population of the US and Europe is aging, which is driving that increased demand. Chiropractors who take the time to go through extra courses about caring for the elderly will find themselves highly valued in the coming years. Chiropractors are especially valued for their ability to help relieve joint and muscle pain in the back, which is a common concern among the elderly.
Chiropractors across the countries of the US, UK, Australia, and Canada tend to make similar incomes of about $65,000. They can make more in Switzerland and Norway, although they will generally face higher prices and taxes as well. In all of these nations, there is a very large difference between the salary of a new chiropractor and one with many years of experience. Chiropractors do not need to spend as much time in school as doctors, but they tend to make less. The future for chiropractors looks promising due to high future demand for all health care services and medical practices.