Now is a great time to get into the field of acupuncture. As the demand for alternative medicine and more natural approaches to health care increases, the industry is expected to continue to grow by as much as 32 percent by 2022, according to HealthCareCareers.com. Government legislation and insurance companies have begun recognizing acupuncture as a viable course of treatment for a variety of health issues on a more consistent basis, making the professional outlook rosy. But you may be wondering, once you earn your degree, how to get a job after acupuncture school.
First things first: Licensing
In order to practice, you'll need to pass the licensing requirements of the state you intend to work in. Research what you need in order to qualify, from academics to training and more. If you haven't yet embarked on a course of study, make sure that the program you plan to enter is accredited and approved by the licensing board of the state you plan to work in. Once you meet the requirements and pass the appropriate exam, you'll be eligible to practice. But what practice setting to work in becomes the next question.
Where you'll work
Many acupuncturists open their own practices, but there are also a variety of other settings where practitioners can find employment: alternative medicine centers, oriental medicine centers, chiropractors’ offices, or cancer centers. Some also partner up with other natural healing professionals like massage therapists and naturopaths. If you're looking for skills you can apply in a range of settings and flexibility in a career path, acupuncture makes a good bet.
Setting a course
Because a spectrum of settings in which to practice acupuncture exist, it helps to explore the options before you find yourself on the job market. Figure out where acupuncturists practice in your community — in addition to the options mentioned, you might find practitioners in settings like holistic health centers, on military bases and more. Consider making an appointment for treatment at the places that interest you (if possible) and talking to the managers there. Discuss the hiring guidelines, the lifestyle and day-to-day experience of the acupuncturists, and anything else that might influence the career choices you make.
Skills you'll need
In addition to the academic and licensing requirements of practicing, certain aptitudes and personal traits will help you succeed as an acupuncture professional. Consider whether the following attributes apply to you:
- A desire to help others
- Good listening and communication skills
- High ethical standards
- Critical thinking skills
- An abiding interest in health and wellness
- A supportive and encouraging nature
- Patience and understanding
If you have what you think it takes to make it in this growing field, you should have no trouble finding a job upon graduation that makes a great fit with your career aspirations. Assuming you attend a reputable, accredited school to earn your degree, that institution will have resources to help you secure a position upon graduation, as well as a network of graduates with whom you can connect to help establish your toehold in the professional world.
To learn more about finding the perfect position after earning your degree in acupuncture, download our free guide.