Students interested in both the human nervous system and chiropractic medicine can combine their career interests by becoming chiropractic neurologists. To become a chiropractic neurologist, candidates must attend a four-year chiropractic college and receive postdoctoral training in neurology. The average salary for chiropractors in the United States was $79,820, based on a May 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics report. However, chiropractic neurologists can average salaries in the six figures, according to SalaryExpert.com.
Chiropractic neurology is a brand of medicine under general chiropractic medicine that blends chiropractic diagnosis with scientific knowledge of the human nervous system. By evaluating patients' nervous systems — from vision and hearing to bending and standing — chiropractic neurologists treat and improve the mobility of joints and muscles. Chiropractic neurologists also consider factors such as physical trauma, nutrition, stress and posture in their diagnoses. Unlike medical neurologists, chiropractic neurologists don't prescribe pharmaceutical drugs or surgical procedures during their treatment. However, these professionals do take and analyze x-ray images and consider patients' medical history when crafting treatment plans.
A June 2011 SalaryExpert.com report stated that average salaries for chiropractic neurologists differed considerably across geographic areas. For example, in Houston, chiropractic neurologists reported an average salary of $79,731 per year. In comparison, chiropractic neurologists in Phoenix averaged $93,613 annually. Dallas chiropractic neurologists reported an average salary of $113,591 per year. Chiropractic neurologists working in New York City’s Manhattan borough reported an average salary of $104,976 per year. Professionals employed in Los Angeles and Miami averaged $99,949 and $99,961, respectively.
Chiropractic neurologists earned comparable salaries to chiropractors across various sectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that chiropractors working in health practitioner offices averaged $79,150. Chiropractors averaged $98,680 in dental offices and $99,570 in doctor's offices. Professionals working in general hospitals and medical centers earned an average salary of $69,730 per year. Outpatient care centers paid chiropractors an average salary of $75,800 per year. Chiropractors employed at colleges and universities averaged $88,060 annually.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that chiropractor jobs, which includes those of chiropractic neurologists, will grow 20 percent through the year 2018. In addition to increasing demand for alternative health-care services, the bureau attributes job growth to greater adoption of holistic and noninvasive medical treatments. The bureau also cites increasing acceptance of chiropractic treatment as a legitimate area of medicine, particularly for spinal-related injuries and conditions. Chiropractic neurologists should experience positive job prospects during this period and seek job opportunities in medical practices with different specialties. Candidates can also increase their salary potential by starting a practice in underserved communities or areas with a low number of chiropractors.