To become a chiropractor, one must earn a degree from an accredited school and become licensed by the state in which they wish to practice. Many states also require continuing education credits for chiropractors to maintain licensure.
Chiropractors earn the doctor of chiropractic degree, or DC. Programs generally last between three and five years and students almost always are required to have a bachelor degree with an emphasis on science courses.
The Council on Chiropractic Accreditation is the national accrediting body for chiropractic programs in the United States. Students must earn their DC from an accredited school in order to be eligible to take the national exam, which is administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) and tests for skills in basic science, clinical science, clinical competency, x-ray interpretation and diagnosis, chiropractic technique, and case management.
Health Guide USA provides links to each state's chiropractic board, which detail requirements for state licensure. The North Carolina Board of Chiropractic Examiners, for example, requires aspiring licensees to pass the national exam in addition to a state administered exam. The Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners requires students to have a minimum score of 375 on the NBCE exam and pass a state jurisprudence exam. Vermont's Office for Professional Regulation, however, requires chiropractors only to have attended an accredited school and pass the national board exam.
Chiropractors are also often required to earn continuing education credits. For example, the Ohio State Chiropractic Board requires practicing chiropractors to complete 24 hours of continuing education every year to maintain licensure, while the Massachusetts Board of Chiropractors requires 12 hours of continuing education credits for each license renewal.