A female chropractic doctor assisting a patient with physical therapy techniques

How to Become a
Chiropractic Assistant

Dasha Castillo
By Dasha Castillo - Content Writer
|
Last Updated: August 02, 2023
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This guide provides expert insight on how to become a chiropractic assistant. You will find valuable resources to help you excel in this new role, from training to job requirements.

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What Does a Chiropractic Assistant Do?

Chiropractic assistants mainly help chiropractors in two ways: patient care and office management. They ensure the office runs smoothly by doing routine functions such as check-in, filling and working with patient insurance.

Their duties include billing and coding, scheduling and contacting patients. They are also responsible for helping prepare patients and assisting with X-ray processing and physical therapy techniques.

An effective chiropractic assistant needs to have a good understanding of health care and medical terminology, computer programs, filing techniques, knowledge of medical paperwork, and excellent customer service skills.

Duties may include:

  • Provides administrative and clinical support to chiropractors.

  • Answering phone calls.

  • Scheduling patients and collecting payments.

  • Managing the office.

  • Verifying insurance.

  • Sorting through correspondence.

  • Keeping waiting rooms and examination rooms clean.

  • Maintaining other inventories.

How to Become a Chiropractic Assistant

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for medical assistants, including chiropractic assistants, is increasing much faster than in other careers. Employment in this field is expected to grow 10% from 2021 to 2031. This growth is due to an increased number of people interested in preventative medical care. As these medical practices expand, so will the job opportunities for assistants to help with administrative and clinical duties.

Most chiropractic assistants work full-time. Some work evenings, weekends or holidays to cover shifts in medical facilities that are always open. Follow these steps to become a chiropractic assistant:

1

Complete a post-secondary education program.

Although a high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient to work as a chiropractic assistant, you can enroll in a post-secondary education program or pursue a certification. These programs are dedicated to teaching applicants how to think critically and organize themselves and an office. Subjects could include anatomy, physiology, business, medical terminology, recording vital signs and chiropractic history. You can take the Chiropractic Assistant Certification online. Additionally, training in physical therapy or kinesiology can help you advance your career as a chiropractic assistant. Training courses can be taken online, at community colleges or medical assistant training facilities.

2

Pass the state's Chiropractic Examiners Board certification.

Some states require aspiring chiropractic assistants to apply for certification and then complete an examination offered by the state's Chiropractic Examiners Board. The Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Board (FCLB) provides a Certified Chiropractic Clinical Assistant Qualification (CCCA). To obtain this qualification, individuals must complete high school, 24 hours of post-secondary education and an examination. Since employers often prefer certified job applicants, this route is advisable.

3

Gain experience requirements.

The Certified Chiropractic Clinical Assistant (CCCA) requires either 2,000 hours of experience under the supervision of a licensed chiropractor or 24 hours of approved education. Additionally, a second part of the chiropractic assistant certification program is testing, followed by a required 300 hours of supervised practical chiropractic assistant experience.

4

Create a job-winning resume and apply for jobs.

Hiring managers must go through piles of resumes to find candidates that meet all the qualifications for this role. You need to build a job-winning resume highlighting your skills and experience.

For additional guidance on creating a resume for this industry, check out our chiropractor assistant resume examples, featuring position descriptions that you can easily personalize or use for your resume. When applying for jobs, write a cover letter that expresses your interest in the position and highlights your qualifications and what you would bring to the role. Take a look at our cover letter samples for inspiration.

Chiropractic Assistant Skills

All chiropractic assistants need solid social, verbal and written skills and excellent job attendance. They must work well with a team and maintain friendly relationships with other staff members to achieve common organizational goals.

Since they are the first people visitors and patients will meet, they must strive to create a good impression to ensure a future client base. Being able to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously is helpful.

Chiropractic assistant hard skills:

1Phone etiquette
2Patient care
3Interpreting X-rays
4Diagnostics
5Spine and joint massage techniques
6Taking vital signs

Soft skills:

1Customer service in health care sets the tone for quality patient care.
2Communication techniques help improve patient interaction.
3Self-discipline allows you to stay focused in any situation.
4Patience is the emotional intelligence needed to work in stressful environments.
5Attention to detail can impact a patient's outcome.
6Time management assures productivity and improves patient satisfaction.
7Organizational skills help deliver highly valued customer service and patient care.
8Empathy helps validate the patient’s needs and can create meaningful relationships.

Insights from a Chiropractic Assistant

Desiree Dutton is a Chiropractic Assistant with Vital Force Clinic, a chiropractic office based out of St. Louis, Missouri. We asked her some questions to get an inside look on how to become a Chiropractic Assistant.  Here is what Desiree had to say:

What is the common career path for a Chiropractic Assistant?

The common career path for a Chiropractic Assistant includes assisting the chiropractor in the two most criteria for a successful office: patient management and office management. Mastering both of these is key to advancing.

A Chiropractic Assistant  looking to make themselves and their skills known and improve professional knowledge should also attend any and all Chiropractic Association group meetings and conferences that their Chiropractor makes available to them. Taking advantage of the educational opportunities can help with career advancement and increase the Chiropractic Assistant's value in the office. This gives the Chiropractic Assistant the opportunity to speak with colleagues and other influential people in the field about chiropractic care advancements and to learn new, improved systems for every aspect of the Chiropractic Assistant’s job.

What should someone consider before becoming a Chiropractic Assistant?

Becoming a Chiropractic Assistant requires an honest self-review of your ability to be patient, kind, understanding, a good listener, and an outstanding multi-tasker with the ability to put your Doctor’s needs above any other, and schedule availability for what can be very different hours from the “normal” office hours.

What type of person excels in this job, and what are the most important skills?

You should possess the following resources: excellent communication skills, exceptional organization, detail-orientation in every aspect of the job (especially when it comes to paperwork), a strong understanding of the chiropractic field, willingness and ability to assist patients, being physically fit, well groomed, and wanting the satisfaction of helping every single patient be the most important person in the office for each and every visit on a daily basis.
I recommend following the rule of putting the patient FIRST by being:  Friendly, Intelligent, Resourceful, Self-disciplined, and Trustworthy.

What are the most rewarding aspects?

One of the most rewarding aspects is the daily satisfaction in knowing the wonderful help you provide your clients. Getting a client testimonial about how chiropractic care has helped them to lead successful, more productive lives is a feeling beyond measure.

Being a chiropractic patient for 28 years, I constantly stress my belief in chiropractic care and what it can do for everyone. Personally, my greatest reward is working for the very best chiropractor ever and helping to run such a great practice.

How Much Do Chiropractic Assistants Get Paid?

The U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics reports that Medical Assistants, including Chiropractic Assistants, earn a median hourly wage of $30,590. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,040, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $43,880.

Top 10 States for a Chiropractic Assistant Salary

Medical Assistants in the following states make the highest median hourly wage in the U.S.

    District of Columbia

    $19.13

    Alaska

    $18.65

    Massachusetts

    $18.31

    Washington

    $17.50

    Minnesota

    $17.40

    Connecticut

    $17.20

    Oregon

    $16.70

    Vermont

    $16.63

    New Jersey

    $16.51

    New York

    $16.48

    Chiropractic Assistant Resources

    We put together this list of additional resources to help you as you continue to explore a career as a Chiropractic Assistant.

    On the Web

    ACE
    Assistants for Chiropractic Excellence training program.

    Chiro Assistant 101
    for practice tips and advice.

    Industry Groups

    ChiroAssistants
    This is a forum where Chiropractic Assistants can discuss professional issues, debate.

    Chiropractic Assistants Page
    Here you can find many resources and tips to help with expected daily tasks.

    Chiropractic Assistant Books

    The Chiropractic Assistant
    This manual is required reading by many State Boards.

    Crack It! For Chiropractic Assistants: 5 Steps To Becoming A WOW! Chiropractic Team Member
    This book discusses ideals and values to create a functional team and nurture patients.