How to Become a
Chiropractic Assistant

Female chiropractic assistant showing a patient in pain a spinal cord model

If you are interested in becoming a Chiropractic Assistant and possess strong communication and administrative skills, then find out all you need to know about how to pursue this career choice here where you will learn all about the training, job duties and other requirements.

What Does a Chiropractic Assistant Do?

The main job of a Chiropractic Assistants is to help chiropractors with their daily duties. Some of their duties include checking patients in and out, doing medical billing and coding, and answering phone calls. They need skills in organization and technology, together with a basic understanding of healthcare and medical terminology.

Seeing that most chiropractic offices only have one licensed chiropractor, a Chiropractic Assistant must be ready to take on a number of roles. Chiropractic Assistants mainly help Chiropractors in two ways: that is patient management and office management.

An effective Chiropractic Assistant needs to have a good understanding of computer programs, filing techniques, knowledge of medical paperwork, and great customer service skills. They may be asked to greet patients, manage patient files, juggle scheduling, manage claims, instruct patients and monitor equipment and supplies. Some other duties may involve collecting money, billing insurance companies and answering phones.

Patient care duties that a Chiropractic Assistant may be responsible for would be to conduct patient interviews, educate of the patients, recording vital signs, performing certain exams, taking x-rays, etc.  There are some practices that require the Chiropractic Assistant to administer physical therapy techniques.

Some other duties may include the following:

  • Managing the office

  • Verifying insurance

  • Sorting through mail

  • Keeping waiting rooms and examination rooms clean

  • Maintaining other inventories

Chiropractic Assistant Skills

It is important for all Chiropractic Assistants to have strong social, verbal and written skills as well as excellent job attendance. They need to be able to work well with a team, and to maintain friendly relationships with other members of staff 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. Needless to say being able to engage in multiple tasks at the same time is helpful. The Chiropractic Assistant’s work is also to keep the doctor informed about patients’ cares and concerns regarding their treatment in the clinic.

Other key Chiropractic Assistant skills include:

  • Customer service, especially in dealing with patients who may be in pain

  • Ability to communicate medical concepts to the layperson

  • Deal promptly and effectively with problems

  • Self-discipline and patience

How Do You Become a Chiropractic Assistant?

Education and Training

Although a high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient to work as a Chiropractic Assistant, if interested one can enroll in a post-secondary education program or pursue a certification. Relevant work experience in a medical or chiropractic environment together with typing skills would make one highly employable. Most Chiropractic Assistants can also receive on-the-job training; however, a basic medical knowledge would definitely be an asset, since most employers will require some type of medical assistance at some point.

There are several post-secondary certification programs throughout the United States, which can help a Chiropractic Assistant obtain a job position. These programs are dedicated to teaching applicants how to think critically and organize both themselves and an office. The subjects included are anatomy, physiology, business, medical terminology, recording vital signs and chiropractic history. These certifications can help Chiropractic Assistants in achieving better positions and possibly even higher pay. Some of these certifications are Certified Chiropractic Assistant, Chiropractic Assistant Advanced and Chiropractic Assistant Basic.

A 2-year associate's degree program in chiropractic technology provides high school graduates with the educational background and technical training needed to perform tasks in a front office. It also prepares future Chiropractic Assistants to complete certain preliminary orthopedic and physical examinations on patients. A Chiropractic Assistant with a degree may take x-rays and educate patients on treatment methods.

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 offers a Certified Chiropractic Clinical Assistant Qualification. To obtain this qualification individuals have to complete high school, 24 hours of post-secondary education and an examination. Since employers often prefer certified job applicants, this route is advisable.

Most medical assistants work full time. Some work evenings, weekends, or during holidays to cover shifts in medical facilities that are always open.

Finding a job

The U.S. 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 by 23 percent through 2024. 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 both administrative and clinical duties. Furthermore the number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to increase due to federal health insurance reforms thereby increasing patient access to medical care. Given this projected growth, a job as a Chiropractic Assistant is very compelling. Employment for Chiropractic Assistants can be found in group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities

To ensure a successful Chiropractic Assistant job one needs to start with crafting a high-quality resume that highlights your skills and experience. For guidance on creating a resume, take a look at our library for Chiropractic Assistant resume samples.

Once your resume is complete, search online for Chiropractic Assistant job opportunities. As you look for job opportunities, be sure to contact people in your professional network, including people you met through any work experience.

A cover letter that expresses your interest in the position and highlights your qualifications is essential when applying for Chiropractic Assistant jobs. If you need help with this have a look at JobHero’s collection of cover letter samples.

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.