Chiropractors treat disorders related to the spine and nervous system to relieve pain and improve the function of nerves, muscles and joints.
Chiropractors with up to five years' experience usually earn
$42K-$60K per year
Chiropractors with more than five years experience usually earn
$60K-$150K per year
Source: NZ College of Chiropractic, 2019.
Pay for chiropractors varies depending on experience and responsibilities.
- Chiropractors with up to five years' experience usually earn between minimum wage and $60,000 a year.
- Chiropractors with more than five years' experience can earn up from $60,000 to $150,000.
Source: New Zealand College of Chiropractic, ‘2019 Survey of the Chiropractic Profession: Analysis of Survey Data’, accessed May 2021, (www.chiropractic.ac.nz).
- PAYE.net.nz website – use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Chiropractors may do some or all of the following:
- question, examine and x-ray the patient
- discuss methods of care with the patient
- adjust patients' spines
- advise patients on posture, ergonomics and function
- advise patients on other factors that affect spinal health such as diet, exercise and lifestyle
- refer patients to other health care professionals
- do chiropractic work with animals.
Skills and knowledge
Chiropractors need to have knowledge of:
- the human body, particularly the spine and nervous system
- diseases and illnesses, particularly relating to the spine and joints
- up-to-date chiropractic information and methods
- radiographic techniques and interpretation.
Chiropractors also need to have business skills if they are self-employed.
- usually work regular business hours. Chiropractors who support sports teams may be required to work overtime or during weekends
- usually work in private clinics and health centres.
To become a chiropractor you must:
- complete a Diploma in Applied Science
- then complete a Bachelor of Chiropractic (BChiro) degree.
The New Zealand College of Chiropractic recommends the Diploma in Applied Science Pre-Chiropractic at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
If you wish to study your diploma elsewhere, you will need the diploma approved by the New Zealand College of Chiropractic first.
- AUT University website - information about the Diploma in Applied Science(Pre-Chiropractic)
- NZ College of Chiropractic website - information about the Bachelor of Chiropractic
The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include biology, chemistry, health education, physics, physical education and maths.
Additional requirements for specialist roles:
To specialise in chiropractic radiology you need to:
- complete the three-year Residency in Diagnostic Imaging at New Zealand College of Chiropractic
- sit the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology exam.
Chiropractors need to be:
- patient and understanding
- concerned for and wanting to help others
- good communicators
- good at organising and planning their own work.
They also need to have an awareness and understanding of a range of cultures and ages.
Useful experience for a chiropractor includes health care work and leadership roles in school, sports clubs or the community.
Chiropractors need to be reasonably fit and healthy.
Chiropractors must be registered with the Chiropractic Board of New Zealand and hold a current Annual Practising Certificate.
Find out more about training
- New Zealand College of Chiropractic
- (09) 526 5678 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.chiropractic.ac.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
The number of chiropractors is growing because:
- more New Zealanders are willing to try alternative health care methods
- ACC are funding chiropractic treatment
- using modern technology is leading to posture problems
- New Zealanders are ageing and looking to alternatives to treat age-related health problems.
According to the Census, 504 chiropractors worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Most chiropractors self-employed
Most chiropractors (over 84%) are self-employed and have private practices. The remainder of chiropractors are employed at:
- private practices
- natural health care clinics
- education institutions as teachers
- chiropractic institutions, doing research.
- Clayton, R,'ACC Paid Out $163 Million on Alternative Therapies and Physiotherapy in 2015', 29 April 2016, (www.stuff.co.nz).
- Haavik, H, Dr, 'The Need for Chiropractic Research', 2016, (www.chiropracticresearch.ac.nz).
- MarketWatch, '10 Professions with the Best Job Security 2015', 29 January 2016, (www.marketwatch.com).
- New Zealand Chiropractors' Association Inc, 'Annual Report 2016', April 2016, (www.chiropractic.org.nz).
- NZCC Stakeholders Advisory Committee, '2016 Stakeholders Advisory Committee Survey of the New Zealand Chiropractic Profession: Analysis of Survey Data', 2016, (www.chiropractic.org.nz).
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Chiropractors can do postgraduate training and move into teaching and research roles. They can also progress into management roles, or establish their own practice.
Chiropractors may specialise in chiropractic radiology.
- Chiropractic radiology
- Chiropractic radiologists diagnose bone disorders from looking at x-rays.
Last updated 18 October 2021