Alternative therapies

Career outlook for chiropractor

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would treat people with aches, pains and injuries by handling their limbs and body and moving their joints and bones.

You would use your hands, rather than drugs or surgery, to make them feel better and enjoy a better quality of life.

You’d move and adjust the person’s joints, bones and soft tissue, like muscles and tendons, to help them control their pain or to prevent injuries from happening again. You would probably focus on manipulating the spine.

Your patients may be suffering as a result of an accident, stress, illness or lack of exercise. The most common problems include:

  • Neck, back and shoulder pain
  • Sciatica and leg problems
  • Issues due to sports injuries
  • Joint and muscle pain caused by poor posture

You might also work with people suffering from migraine or asthma, and babies who have colic.

You’d chat with the patient to find out more about their problem and their lifestyle. You’d make sure that their condition was suitable for treatment or decide whether they need to see a doctor.

If you think you can help them you would:

  • Discuss their symptoms and health problems in detail
  • Examine them sometimes using x-rays or blood tests
  • Find out about any previous medical diagnoses
  • Design a programme of treatment to meet their individual needs

You may also give them advice on lifestyle, diet and exercise to support their recovery.


Working conditions


As a self-employed chiropractor, you would usually set your own working hours. However, to meet the needs of clients, you may need to work some weekends and evenings.


You could be based at a health clinic or therapy centre. You may carry out treatments at several locations, such as clients' homes or sporting events.


It would be helpful to have a driving licence as you may carry out treatments at several locations, such as clients' homes or sporting events.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Supporting
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Problem solving
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Social conscience
  • Time management

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You must have successfully completed a General Chiropractic Council (GCC) recognised degree (SCQF level 9/10). There are currently no General Chiropractic Council (GCC) recognised courses in Scotland.

Entry to a degree (SCQF level 9/10) elsewhere in the UK usually requires National 5 qualifications and at least four Highers (SCQF level 6) including Biology and another science subject, preferably Chemistry. Some courses may ask for Advanced Highers (SCQF level 7).

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Biology
  • At least one other science subject

You will also need

If you are qualified in medicine or other healthcare professions, you can take a shorter course to allow you to use chiropractic as well as conventional medicine.

You will need to pass a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Disclosure check .

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate understanding of health and wellbeing.

It would also beneficial to have qualifications in physiology and anatomy.