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Acupuncture – Career Outlook and Employment Prospects


Acupuncture is a Chinese medical art that has been traditional practiced ever since ages, whose process includes implanting fine needles across various points on the surface of one’s body so as to influence various physiological functions. A wide variety of psychological and physical conditions are treated by acupuncture practitioners, successfully treating patients suffering from chronic diseases. They get to work in multiple healthcare settings such as hospitals and private clinics. Majority of acupuncturists possess graduate certificates or master’s degrees from recognized acupuncture programs.

Educational Requirements:

In order to become a certified acupuncturist, a bachelor’s degree is crucial besides also having a solid science background so as to initiate your acupuncture studies at the graduate-level. Around 50 programs have been certified by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), all of which offer master’s degrees in acupuncture. These programs usually take about 2-3 years for completion, at the end of which you would have successfully developed the required expertise in identification and assessing various acupuncture points across the surface of the body. Other topics that are worth being explored while you’re a student include topics such as bodywork therapy, clinical practices, Qi Gong, herbal medicine, meridian theory and needle techniques.

Career Options:

The career path for a certified acupuncturist could have various directions. Majority of them prefer to run their own private practice, but considering the increasing popularity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), they can now make bright careers in clinics and hospitals with other CAM providers. There is also an option of working directly for a chiropractor or an oriental medicine center wherein your role is that of an independent practitioner in collaboration with other professionals dealing with natural healing comprising massage therapists, naturopaths and chiropractors.

Acupuncturist Job Description:

Traditional Chinese medicine is practiced by targeting specific points on surface of the body with needles. This is so designed so that the pain is reduced and the energy flow is in turn redirected all through the body and mind. A customized treatment plan is to be designed for each patient focusing on their overall body health. You could also work towards promoting healthy behaviors via analysis of their medical histories and results of respective treatments. In a nutshell, an acupuncturist does the following –

  • Treat the symptoms of patients via a wide range of tools that include needles, electrical currents and cups
  • Developing a specific plan for patients and offering personalized treatment
  • Comply by all laws of acupuncture
  • Identify and detect ailments and disease conditions as per Oriental medicine traditions

Acupuncturist Salary :

A certified acupuncturist earns about $45,000 every year and at the end of five years into practice can earn up to $100,000. There is an increasing number of acupuncturists who are joining group practices which include medical doctors and chiropractors. It is also important to note that a licensed practitioner’s earning potential is also determined by their skill level, knack to communicate and of course business expertise.

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