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Can a Felon Become a Chiropractor?

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Most of society seems to turn its back on felons, and opportunities are difficult to come by after being released from prison. There are resources available even though felons may not believe they can find a job.

Often, felons must look at different career path, including returning to school for additional education. While serving their sentence and paying for their crime, some felons might consider a career making a difference for those having medical problems. They could explore a career as a chiropractor.

This blog post will address the issue of whether or not a felon can become a chiropractor.

  • What is a Chiropractor?
  • What Education/Training Does a Chiropractor Need?
  • How Much Does a Chiropractor Earn?
  • An Opportunity for Felons?
  • Recommended Action


What is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a doctor that treats problems with the body’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems. A chiropractor adjusts a patient’s spine to relieve pain and other medical issues. While a chiropractor provides general healthcare some may focus on a specialty like:

  • Orthopedics
  • Sports
  • Pediatrics

A chiropractor typically:

  • Exams a patient’s spine
  • Provides muscular therapy to a patient’s spinal column
  • Gives additional treatments to a patient’s injured areas
  • Advises patients on health and exercise
  • Refers patients to other healthcare professionals

A chiropractor treats:

  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Lower back pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Auto accident injuries
  • Pain from arthritis
  • Neck pain
  • Repetitive injuries

Many skills are necessary in order to be successful as a chiropractor, including:

  • Empathy to be understanding and sympathetic to a patient’s problems
  • Observational skills to examine a patient’s spine and neck
  • Decision-making skills to determine the correct treatment
  • Dexterity to perform adjustments to the spine and joints
  • Interpersonal skills to be able to put a patient at ease
  • Communication skills to inform a patient of treatments
  • Organizational skills to maintain patient records

What Education/Training Does a Chiropractor Need?

A chiropractor must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. A Doctor of Chiropractic program typically takes four years to complete and requires at least three years of undergraduate college education for admission. Most students earn a bachelor’s degree before applying to a chiropractic program.

There are 15 programs accredited by The Council on Chiropractic Education.

A Chiropractic education program includes classwork in:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Spinal assessment
  • Adjustment techniques

The final part of a D.C. program focuses on clinical training with internships to practice under the supervision of an experienced chiropractor.

All states require a chiropractor to be licensed. Although specific requirements vary by state, all require the completion of an accredited Doctor of Chiropractic degree program and passing the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) exam.

How Much Does a Chiropractor Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there are approximately 53,200 chiropractors in the United States. The median annual pay for chiropractors was $75,000 in 2021. Earnings increase with experience and vary by location and subspecialty.

Experience will make a difference in how much a chiropractor earns annually. The area of the country in which a chiropractor works also makes a difference in their earnings. Those on the East or West coast typically earn more than a chiropractor that works elsewhere.

The job outlook for chiropractors is strong, with a growth of 10% expected between 2021 and 2031, which is higher than average as people become interested in integrative healthcare as a way to treat pain and to improve overall wellness.

An Opportunity for Felons?

A felon can pursue any degree he or she wants. Approximately 60% of colleges consider criminal history in their admissions process, although there is no standard policy regarding a background check. Any felon that wants to get a degree in preparation for becoming a chiropractor can find a college that will accept him or her. A felon may have difficulty getting accepted into many chiropractic schools, but there are programs that will accept a felon.

When applying for state licensing as a chiropractor, each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Regarding a felony conviction the board considers the:

  • Nature and severity of the crime
  • How recently the crime was committed
  • Evidence of rehabilitation
  • Other related factors like any prior conviction

The board will make a determination for approval or denial of licensure after evaluating the entire application and supporting evidence of full rehabilitation and an honest life.

After passing the board exam, a candidate will complete the final steps for licensure as required by the state. These steps typically include:

  • Undergoing a criminal background check
  • Passing a state-level exam on the state’s chiropractic regulations
  • Submitting a list of personal references

It is important to be honest in filling out an application when applying for chiropractic school or licensing as a chiropractor. If a felony isn’t disclosed but is found on a background check, this constitutes fraud and is punishable. It is a crime to falsify an application, which could result in being sent back to prison.

In order to be successful as a chiropractor, it is essential for felons to be honest about their background. They are already viewed with negative perceptions of being dishonest, untrustworthy, and unwilling or unable to follow directions from authority figures.

Having their record expunged can give them the chance needed to begin with a clean record and succeed in becoming a chiropractor. Expunging a criminal record allows anyone to honestly state on an application that he or she has not been convicted of a crime.

Recommended Action

It is a big challenge, but it might be worth it for a felon wanting to become a chiropractor. Having his or her record expunged and also documenting any training programs or additional education could make the essential difference in a felon succeeding in becoming a Chiropractor.

Having support from family, friends, or previous employers can make a huge difference. A felon doesn’t have to be defined by his or her crime. We are not defined by our mistakes but by how we recover from them. He or she can begin again and live an honest life no matter how difficult it might seem.

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to become a chiropractor with a felony? What was that like for them, and how did they achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.

1 thought on “Can a Felon Become a Chiropractor?”

  1. If you have felonies you cant get a record expunged, atleast here in florida.
    I’m looking into being a chiropractor I have a feeling I’ll be able to


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