Chiropractic Assistant Degree Program Options
While many professionals in the field learn their skills on the job, to master skills that are more technical, individuals can choose to enroll in a degree program, such as an Associate of Science in Chiropractic Technology. Learn if licensure is required, and look at some of the courses and employment details.
A chiropractic assistant has many of the same duties as a regular medical office assistant, in that he or she is responsible for handling billing and reimbursement, communicating with insurance companies, greeting clients, maintaining financial records and scheduling appointments.
A 2-year associate's degree program in chiropractic technology provides high school graduates with the educational background and technical training necessary to perform these tasks. However, it also prepares future chiropractic assistants to complete some preliminary orthopedic and physical exams on patients, take x-rays and educate patients on treatment methods.
Those enrolled in an associate's degree program in chiropractic technology learn the fundamentals of the field through classroom lectures, but are also required to complete supervised experiences in chiropractic clinics. Direct, hands-on experience is required to prepare students to enter roles as chiropractic assistants upon graduation.
Previous college education is not typically a prerequisite for gaining admittance into an associate's degree program in chiropractic technology. Students interested in enrolling in such a program should hold a high school diploma program or its equivalent; they should possess a GPA of at least 2.0.
Courses within an associate's degree program in chiropractic technology cover basic office and business skills in addition to technical, clinical skills. Specific topics include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Bookkeeping fundamentals
- Computer science
- Chiropractic methods
- X-ray technology
- Office management skills
- Insurance and reimbursement procedures
- Chiropractic medicine and ethics
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
A chiropractic assistant performs both front and back office duties at the private practice of a licensed chiropractor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not release data specific to the position of chiropractor assistant but did report that medical assistants in general held more than 525,000 positions as of 2010, and employment is expected to grow in the field by 31% from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for a medical assistant was $29,370 as of May 2012.
Not all states require chiropractic assistants to gain licensure or certification before beginning a career in the field. Those that do typically require aspiring chiropractic assistants to apply for certification and then complete an examination offered by the state's Chiropractic Examiners Board.
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