Chiropractors are responsible for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders related to the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. They are independent primary health care professionals.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to chiropractor:

Licensed chiropractor
musculoskeletal therapist
neuromusculoskeletal therapist

Minimum qualifications

Doctoral or equivalent level is generally required to work as chiropractor. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Chiropractor is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Chiropractor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to chiropractor.

specialist chiropractor
advanced physiotherapist
specialist pharmacist
specialist biomedical scientist

Promotions or specializations

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of chiropractor. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of chiropractor with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills of chiropractor

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of chiropractor.

Radiation effects on human body
Musculoskeletal anatomy
Biological chemistry
Exercise physiology
Radiation physics in healthcare
Somatic integrated modalities
General medicine
Human physiology
Orthopaedic treatment alternatives
Rehabilitation of all organ systems
Obstetrics and gynaecology
Human anatomy
Manage healthcare staff
Medical informatics
Orthopaedic conditions
Evidence-based approach in general practice
First aid

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of chiropractor.

Contribute to quality physiotherapy services
Create solutions to problems
Respond to changing situations in health care
Educate on the prevention of illness
Inform policy makers on health-related challenges
Contribute to continuity of health care
Promote health and safety policies in health services
Manage clinical risk
Provide information on chiropractic treatment outcomes
Use e-health and mobile health technologies
Interpret medical images
Address public health issues
Ensure proper appointment administration
Assist patients with rehabilitation
Empathise with the healthcare user
Assess referred healthcare users
Manage chiropractic staff
Analyse X-ray imagery
Manage staff
Record healthcare users’ progress related to treatment
Provide neuromusculoskeletal therapy
Provide leadership
Advocate health
Measure effectiveness of the service provided
Maintain chiropractic equipment
Develop chiropractic treatment plans
Use different communication channels
Supervise chiropractic students
Monitor patients’ progress related to treatment
Educate on preventing injuries
Advise on pregnancy
Apply supports for spinal adjustment
Manage healthcare users’ data
Provide medication information
Apply business acumen
Deal with emergency care situations
Advise patients on health and lifestyle issues
Provide health education
Manage chiropractic professional equipment
Prescribe healthcare products
Contribute to the rehabilitation process
Adhere to health well-being and safety
Prescribe treatments related to surgical procedures
Promote health in specialised care
Communicate effectively in healthcare
Undertake healthcare examination
Develop therapeutic relationships
Observe record keeping standards in chiropractics
Provide learning support in healthcare
Follow clinical guidelines
Undertake clinical chiropractic research
Apply caseload management
Apply person-centred care
Conduct physical examinations
Follow-up after patients’ surgery
Collect healthcare user’s general data
Diagnose musculoskeletal conditions
Provide chiropractic diagnosis
Advise on healthcare users’ informed consent
Cover a variety of health conditions
Perform orthopaedic examinations
Interpret findings from medical examinations
Operate medical imaging equipment
Comply with quality standards related to healthcare practice
Comply with legislation related to health care
Listen actively
Conduct neurological examination
Apply health sciences
Adhere to organisational guidelines
Work in a multicultural environment in health care
Develop plans related to the transfer of care
Post-process medical images
Prescribe treatment for musculoskeletal injuries
Promote inclusion
Interact with healthcare users
Conduct chiropractic examination
Prepare patients for surgery
Advise on rehabilitation exercises
Provide treatment strategies for challenges to human health
Manage infection control in the facility
Ensure safety of healthcare users
Maintain treatment records
Adhere to organisational code of ethics
Apply organisational techniques
Write reports on neurological tests
Interpret medical results
Have good bedside manner
Assess chiropractic intervention
Develop a collaborative therapeutic relationship
Apply specific manual chiropractic techniques
Apply context specific clinical competences
Develop plans related to client discharge
Use techniques to increase patients’ motivation
Triage clients
Manage acute pain
Refer healthcare users
Work in multidisciplinary health teams
Perform chiropractic examinations
Apply massage therapy
Accept own accountability
Perform clinical neurophysiological examinations
Formulate a treatment plan
Provide stabilisation care in emergency

Optional knowledge and skills of chiropractor

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of chiropractor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Therapeutic massage

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of chiropractor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Employ cognitive behaviour treatment techniques
Obtain healthcare user’s medical status information
Use functional neuroimaging
Apply acupuncture
Process medical insurance claims
Record healthcare users’ billing information
Interpret evoked potentials records
Interpret electroencephalograms
Conduct health related research
Treat neurological disorders
Employ foreign languages for health-related research
Employ foreign languages in care

ISCO group and title

2269 – Health professionals not elsewhere classified







U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last updated on June 8, 2022