The stats on chiropractor salaries
Part 3 of Assessing the Salary of a Chiropractor Series

If you haven’t already seen them, here is Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

Statistics on chiropractor salaries

I have done some of my own research to gather information regarding Chiropractor Salaries. I came up with a lot of different numbers, none of which offer any specifics on topics I hope to address. No one is going to have exact data but we can at least get a range from the info that is available. For example, according to salary.com, the median expected salary for a typical chiropractor in the United States is $78,994.

spine in chiropractic office

According to data on collegegrad.com, median annual earnings of salaried chiropractors were $65,330 in 2002 with the middle 50 percent earning between $44,140 and $102,400 a year.

One website I visited stated that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates chiropractors earned an average salary of $84,020 in 2004. However, when I visited the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics I found this information… Median annual earnings of salaried chiropractors were $69,910 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $46,710 and $118,280 a year. The Labor Bureau mentions a chiropractic economics survey from 2005 with a mean salary for chiropractors at $104,363. If we go back to 2000, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) found average income for chiropractors at about $81,500.

I like the idea of averages, It is a great way to measure anything that is going on in your practice/life. I have to give credit to Dr. Fred Schofield for really pushing me to develop the skills to measure averages, in multiple categories, on a daily basis. Let’s average out some numbers from above so we can get a figure to work with.

78,994 + 65,330 + 84,020 + 69,910 + 104,363 + 81,500 = 484,117
484,117 divided by 6 gives us an average of $80,686.00

We are looking at data over a five year period since we have ACA info from 2000 up to most current data from 2005. I believe the 2005 data is actually reported incomes from 2004. In a way, having info across a five year span helps us since we are really interested in averages and don’t want to focus on just one year. I am working to keep this article refreshed with the most accurate data so watch for updates.

For 2017 I have another source of data that’s collected from chiropractors selling their practices to others (Chiropractic Practices For Sale). I am including advertised numbers here, it’s a randomly selected list of chiropractor take home pay mentions.

Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $202,739.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $303,598.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $50,118.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $106,257.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $33,547.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $149,830.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $130,418.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $367,036.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $130,418.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $273,615.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $104,913.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $121,059.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $196,365.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $582,666.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $146,994.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $228,815.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $276,547.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $341,000.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $333,143.00
Chiropractor take home pay before taxes $213,910.00

I randomly selected 20 listings from hundreds (may actually be thousands) of practice ads for sale. I then ran the numbers through excel to get an average. That number was $214,649.40.

Looking at these numbers reminded me of a conversation I had years ago with a chiropractor in Miami, Florida. He shared that he never tried to make a lot of money in chiropractic and instead focused on serving his patients. However, looking back on 30 years in practice he realized he averaged (over the 30 years) a take home income of around $300K per year. On the day we spoke, he was genuinely very excited to be serving patients, that has stayed with me to this day.

Remember the 3 to 4 different groups I mentioned when we started this article? Everyone’s going to have different thoughts and opinions. I know there are chiropractors reading this thinking to themselves wow, I earn two to three times the national average, I’m a rock star! Others, are wondering why their earnings are coming in under these estimated averages. To those of you that are completely new to the idea of being a chiropractor, understand that these are averages based on past performances, they don’t represent future earning potentials.

As an aside, I hang out with a lot of successful chiropractors, many of whom practice on the West Coast, but there’s a number scattered throughout the globe. I cannot think of one that’s had take-home earnings under six figures per year, since they’ve established their businesses. Almost all are self-employed and own their chiropractic business.

Some things we are going to discuss…

Chiropractors in solo practice (self-employed chiropractors or those in an independent practice)

Chiropractors in a group practice

Chiropractors working for others (salaried chiropractors)

Chiropractors located in small communities vs. big cities or metropolitan areas

Chiropractors that do vacation or locum coverage

Geographic imbalances in the distribution of chiropractors – mainly because many tend to establish practices close to chiropractic schools and colleges

Earnings in the beginning of practice (first five years) vs. increased earnings as the practice grows

Chiropractors focusing on particular practice models…
Personal Injury Clinics
Workers Compensation Clinics
Cash Only Offices
Insurance dependant Clinics
Straight Chiropractic Offices
DRX9000 or Vax-D Offices
Multi Disciplinary offices (massage, acupuncture, yoga, nutrition, physical therapy, medical care)

Questions visitors are asking me…
What are the doctors in my area doing?
Is that a doctor working in someone else’s office?
Are they in their own office?
Which is better?
Should I associate?
Should I go out on my own?
Should I rent?

Advantages of working for someone…
Learning the ropes
Not paying salaries
Paying less on insurance
Paying less on rent
many others…

Disadvantages…
Paying a percentage on patients
miss out on the benefit of being out on your own
many others…

In the final part of this series we will be discussing location.

Choosing a Prime Chiropractic Location