Acupuncturist Salary Facts and Figures

acupuncturist salarySo you are thinking of becoming an acupuncturist. Generally, an acupuncturist’s salary ranges between $75,000 and  $80,000 each year. The underlying tenet in acupuncture is that pain or illness develops when there is an interruption in the body’s energy. Doctors of acupuncture use implements such as herbs and needles to restore the energy flow and relieve injuries and pain in patients. This course on herbs and health can give you an idea about natural medicine to supplement acupuncture. Also, here is a course on the energy and Eastern medicine you might want to check out as it shows you the relationship of energy and health that Eastern medicine practices.

Along with other naturopathic practitioners such as reflexologists and chiropractors, many acupuncturists work in shared physician’s offices which you may want to do as well, as it saves on rent expenses.  You will need to finish a doctorate in this field to begin earning an acupuncturist’s salary.


A doctor of acupuncture has an annual average salary of $76, 000. While some acupuncturists finished a master’s degree in the field, many also have doctorates, which usually take up to an additional 5 years to complete. If you happen to live in one of the 43 legal states where acupuncture is allowed, you will need to obtain a license before you can start earning. Other qualifications important for this field is customer service skills, communication, dexterity and physical stamina.

Widely Varied

The salary of an acupuncturist varies widely according to geographic location, professional experience, entrepreneurial ability and many other factors. Acupuncturists can work in various settings such as addiction rehabilitation centers, hospices, care homes, general practice, cancer treatment units and health clinics. Most acupuncture specialists work with other health care professionals such as chiropractors while some work in the private sector or alone.

Contributing Factors

If you are an acupuncturist that is self-employed, you will earn more as you increase your client base and get more and more repeat customers.  Acupuncture is sometimes offered by chiropractors as part of their list of services to clients. In specialty hospitals, chiropractors earn relatively higher salaries of $81,760 which include acupuncture services. Specialty hospitals sometimes include acupuncture services as well as burn or pain institutions, children’s hospitals and orthopedic hospitals. As an acupuncturist, you may also want to share an office with other practitioners and naturopathic doctors which will help increase your net profit, as it lowers your rental expense. Here is a course on acupressure that you might want to take in order to increase the range of services you are able to offer.

Salaries According to Region

For doctors of acupuncture, average salaries vary greatly.  The lowest salaries of $49,000 were earned by acupuncturists in Hawaii, while in California, the highest acupuncturist salaries were $82,000. Going farther east, Washington DC and Louisiana the salaries were $90,000 and $65,000 respectively, as an example. If you worked as a doctor for acupuncture in New York or Maine, you would earn an average of $ 91,000 or $ 65,000 respectively. In the Midwest you would make about $83,000 in Illinois and $56,000 in South Dakota.

Job Outlook

For acupuncturists, population increase among aging baby boomers and the elderly will most likely result in needing acupuncturist and chiropractic services. If you happen to be self-employed, it will be in areas of high growth such as this one that you will find more business. Remember, more and more people from the West are realizing that Eastern medicine works and are willing to try it. Plus, alternative medicine and health care as a whole is becoming more popular among environmentalists and health-conscious folks these days. For this reason, the job outlook looks pretty good for those who are thinking of seriously pursuing a career in acupuncture. Here is an article about acupuncture that shows you how the human energy and the physical body are united.

Your Career

You will need the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree to begin a career and start earning as an acupuncturist in a regionally accredited college or university. You can major in a subject range as long as you include six hours in your semester for biochemistry, chemistry or biology, which is a prerequisite for Master’s program applications. To become certified, you will need to enroll in a master’s program that the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has accredited. The required curriculum for acupuncture students include courses in ethics and practice management, counseling, biomedical science, treatment and diagnosis techniques and oriental medical theory. Though every state has varied requirements, most states do require certification and licensure from the Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Valid for 4 years, re-certification requires continued education courses.

Did this help? To find out a little bit about acupuncture, you might want to take this course about how acupuncture is able to treat certain conditions like Bell’s Palsy.