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Salary Range for a Self-Employed Chiropractor

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Chiropractors use massage, spinal manipulation and other techniques to treat patients with problems related to the musculoskeletal system. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most chiropractors are self-employed, working in either group or solo practice. A survey conducted by "Chiropractic Economics" magazine showed that in 2013, 57.2 percent were in solo practice, 28.8 percent were partners in a group practice and 13.3 percent were practice associates.

National Averages

When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics examined the 2012 salaries for chiropractors, it arrived at an average annual salary of $79,550. Ten percent of the nation's chiropractors earned no more than $31,030, and 10 percent earned at least $142,950 per year. The BLS data included chiropractors who were self-employed as well as those who worked for others, such as hospitals and employment services. The survey from "Chiropractic Economics," which focused on self-employed chiropractors, reported a national average salary of $100,100 annually, with additional compensation, such as bonuses or paid benefits, of $28,106 per year.

BLS Data by Practice Type

In 2012, chiropractors in practices focused on chiropractic care or other nonphysician health care earned an average of $79,480 per year, according to the BLS. This category represented 26,180 of the nation's 27,740 chiropractors, or approximately 94.4 percent. Chiropractors participating in a group practice with physicians averaged $76,090 per year.

Highest- and Lowest-Paying States

The BLS provided salary data by state for chiropractors practicing within each state. Although this data included a small number of chiropractors who weren't self-employed, the impact of their salaries on the state averages wasn't statistically significant. As of 2012, the best-paying states for chiropractors were Alaska, Ohio, North Carolina and Massachusetts, with average salaries of $157,420, $126,060, $113,330 and $106,340, respectively. The lowest-paying state was Montana, where chiropractors averaged $49,760 annually and 10 percent earned no more than $18,870. Oklahoma was the second-lowest paying state for chiropractors, providing an average of $51,930 annually. Idaho and Georgia also had average salaries that were significantly below the national average, reporting $52,060 and $52,940, respectively.

Best-Paying Metropolitan Areas

When the BLS examined salaries by metropolitan areas, the best-paying city for chiropractors in 2012 was Spokane, Wash., where they averaged $173,220. The average in Anchorage, Alaska, was $167,280. In the greater Camden, N.J., area, chiropractors averaged $158,270 annually. They averaged $152,870 in the Akron, Ohio, metropolitan area.

Best-Paying Rural Areas

Compared to salaries in metropolitan areas, salaries in rural or nonmetropolitan areas were significantly lower, according to the May 2012 BLS report. The best-paying nonmetropolitan area was the southern Ohio district, with an average salary of $130,780. In the rural district of western central North Carolina, chiropractors averaged $119,120.


Jeffrey Joyner has had numerous articles published on the Internet covering a wide range of topics. He studied electrical engineering after a tour of duty in the military, then became a freelance computer programmer for several years before settling on a career as a writer.

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