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Chiropractor

Chiropractors are medical professionals. They diagnose, treat and help patients prevent problems with the spine, muscles, bones, joints and nervous system. They provide hands-on treatments such as manipulating or adjusting the spine.

Also Known As

Complementary Healthcare Provider, Complementary Medicine Practitioner, Doctor

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Chiropractors (3122) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Chiropractors (D022) 
  • 2011 NOC: Chiropractors (3122) 
  • 2016 NOC: Chiropractors (3122) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Chiropractors
2006 NOC : 3122

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information from examinations and tests to determine the effectiveness of various treatments such as electrotherapy, light and massage

SOCIAL

Interest in mentoring patients by advising on corrective exercises, posture, lifestyle and nutrition, and by referring them for medical care when appropriate

METHODICAL

Interest in manipulating the spinal column, pelvis, extremities, associate tissues and therapeutic medical equipment according to established practices and procedures

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 09, 2018

In general, chiropractors:

  • diagnose health issues by:
    • reviewing patients’ chief complaints
    • reviewing personal and family health histories
    • observing and examining patients
    • reviewing various forms of imaging (such as x-rays, MRIs, CTs, and ultrasounds)
  • suggest treatments, such as:
    • adjusting the spine
    • doing soft tissue therapies
  • suggest exercises
  • suggest changes to diet and lifestyle
  • refer patients to other health providers when needed.

Their goals are to:

  • correct the neuromusculoskeletal system
  • restore and maintain function of the body’s muscles, nerves and joints.

Chiropractors may take x-rays onsite, or refer patients to medical x-ray and other imaging clinics.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 09, 2018
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Most chiropractors work in their own clinics or with other chiropractors. Some share clinics with massage therapists, physiotherapists or family doctors.

Chiropractors are on their feet for much of their working day. In general, they need upper body strength to perform some procedures and help with patient movement.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 09, 2018

Chiropractors need to possess:

  • good listening skills
  • empathy and compassion
  • patience and perseverance
  • physical strength and endurance
  • good health
  • stress management skills
  • manual dexterity.

They should enjoy:

  • studying to figure out the best treatments
  • advising and treating patients to promote health and wellness.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 09, 2018
  • Minimum Education 7 years post-secondary

The minimum educational requirement is 3 years of a bachelor’s degree followed by a 4-year Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree program. The DC program must be from a school that is recognized by the College of Chiropractors of Alberta.

Most DC entrants have a bachelor’s degree in arts or science (BA or B.Sc.). There are no course requirements but those wishing to apply are encouraged to study kinesiology, biology, psychology, anatomy, physical education and chemistry.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

 

The College of Chiropractors of Alberta also recognizes the Universite du Quebec in Trois Rivieres (instruction in French) and chiropractic colleges in the United States accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 09, 2018
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Chiropractor

Chiropractors examine, diagnose and treat patients, through chiropractic adjustment and other natural means, to maintain and promote health and wellness.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Chiropractors Profession Regulation, registration with the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession, or supervise registered members who provide services to the public. Registered members, who are authorized by the College, provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may call themselves chiropractors.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Chiropractor.

 

Additional Information

Chiropractors must complete 25 hours of continuing education per calendar year to maintain their licence to practice.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 09, 2018

Chiropractors may operate their own private clinics or join other chiropractors or health providers to form group clinics. They may offer services in the areas of occupational and industrial health, athletic injuries, x-ray interpretation, orthopedics, rehabilitation, nutrition, geriatrics or pediatrics care.

It may take a large investment of time and money to build a thriving practice. Business skills and knowledge are required.

Chiropractors work in the Health Care and Social Assistance [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of things including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 3122: Chiropractors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.5% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 38 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years. 

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 09, 2018

No information is available regarding chiropractors’ incomes in Alberta.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 09, 2018

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors website: albertachiro.com

Canadian Chiropractic Association website: www.chiropractic.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 09, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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