How to Become an Acupuncturist

How to Become an Acupuncturist? Which Path Should You Take

In the era of modern medical treatments, traditional treatments such as acupuncture are still popular. It is often combined with modern treatment to double up the speed of the recovery process. Along with the increasing popularity of acupuncture, the demand for acupuncturists is also high. As an acupuncturist Jacksonville, you can practice independently or team up with a group of integrative Western medical practitioners. This page will show you how to become an acupuncturist and what is needed to achieve your goals.

Training Required

Becoming an acupuncturist needs you to complete a proper education program. To have a career as an acupuncturist in the United States, you can attend any school accredited by ACAOM (the Accreditation Commission and Oriental Medicine. It is an institution recognized by the Education Department of the US as the authority in this field. Before applying to the accredited acupuncture schools in the United States, you need to accomplish a baccalaureate level for at least two years of study. Luckily, most acupuncture programs in the country accept students from all educational backgrounds. So, you can still have an opportunity to choose this career path even though you don’t have any background in medical education. Joining in acupuncture programs, you will learn things like biomedical clinical sciences, integrative herbal clinical training, oriental herbal studies, diagnosis techniques, treatment techniques, and oriental medical theory. Not only that you will also take courses on how to communicate with clients and how to manage an acupuncture practice. Once you complete the acupuncture programs on how to become an acupuncturist, you will get a master’s degree. This is the minimum educational requirement to allow you to practice acupuncture treatments.

Certification and Licensure Requirements

All but 6 states in the US require acupuncture practitioners to hold a license. Among the 44 states that require the license, it is only California that provides a different licensing examination for acupuncturists who want to practice there. Meanwhile, acupuncturists are required to complete the National Certification for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and pass its licensing examination. You also need to keep in mind that becoming a certified acupuncturist by NCCAOM, you need to complete the requirements needed. These include completing a clean needle technique course conducted by CCOAM (the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) and completing an accredited program of ACAOM. You also need to pass certification exams in the foundations of Oriental biomedicine, acupuncture, and medicine. Then, you will be known as an NCCAOM Diplomate once you complete the certification program.

How Long Does It Take to Be a Professional Acupuncturist?

Carving a path as an acupuncturist will need you to spend three years to complete the master’s degree program. After getting your master’s degree, you can start taking the NCCAOM certification program.  

How Much Will You Earn as an Acupuncturist?

Unfortunately, there is no information released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics about how much an acupuncturist might earn from their jobs. In this way, it is a bit hard to find out how much they usually earn each year. However, reports of CCAOM show that certified acupuncturists in the United States might earn $30,000 to $60,000 per year. However, reports of the National Guild of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NGAOM) make people question data released by CCAOM. Additionally, NGAOM suggests that many acupuncturists in the United States are underemployed now. 

Job Prospects of Acupuncturists

Acupuncturists still have good job prospects amid the modern medical treatment used by Western medication. Data collected by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) show that about one million people reported using acupuncture as an alternative to Western medication treatment. The collected data further shows that the job prospects as an acupuncturist will keep increasing in the future. The only downside that might limit the job opportunities for acupuncturists is the fact most of them tend to work independently in private practices rather than collaborate with a modern medical treatment team.

Long-Term Career Prospects for Acupuncturists

The career advancement prospect for acupuncturists remains unclear up to now. This is because the role of acupuncturists in today’s health care system is still involved. In this way, many certified acupuncturists in the United States choose to open a private practice. Some of them even take an additional training or education program at the doctorate level. However, there is one promising career path the acupuncturists can take into account. They can serve and work as a part of an integrative medical team that combines both modern and traditional medical treatments. This will provide them with opportunities to help a medical team to treat various diseases such as cancer or treating depressions. Many health care providers now are taking a progressive step and offer the integrative medical model. This is aimed to provide patients with holistic support and speed up the healing process.

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