Interest in acupuncture is growing, and the alternative medicine industry outlook is very positive. If you’re working on your training for a career in acupuncture or perhaps approaching graduation, you may be wondering how you’re going to go about finding a job in your chosen field.
Here’s my advice for acupuncture job seekers:
- Plan to spend your first few years building your expertise, clientele, and knowledge of what it means to be a practicing acupuncturist. When searching for a career in acupuncture, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Be willing to work hard to develop your career and pay your dues. Some people who study acupuncture expect to start making a lot of money at their first job. The reality is that, as with any other profession, income is directly related to experience.
- Talk with an experienced acupuncturist. Having a person who’s able to help guide you in the right direction in your professional career is a major asset. Start by interviewing at least one experienced acupuncturist while you’re still in school. Pick their brain about how they started out, what steps they recommend – learn everything you can from them.
- Find work at an acupuncture clinic while you’re still in school. Even if it’s in an administrative position, working in an acupuncture clinic while you’re still in school enables you to make connections with experienced professionals and get a better feel for what it’s like to work in acupuncture and alternative medicine. It will help you establish good relationships with fellow acupuncturists, and possibly help secure a job upon graduation.
- Reach out to your school’s career services department. This department is there for a reason and can offer great advice for soon-to-be or recent graduates. Often times they’ll be able to steer you in the right direction, and maybe even link with you with some alumni to help you get started on the right path for your future.
- Be persistent. While industry trends point to growth for acupuncture in the future, the job market is never 100% predictable. Be prepared to face rejection, but try your best to learn from it and move forward.
For many people, a passion for healing is the motivating force behind seeking a career in acupuncture. Passion alone won’t get you the job that you want, but it can go a long way when it’s backed up with education, experience, and positive professional relationships in your chosen field.