Demand for chiropractors

The chiropractic profession in the UK is a relatively small profession with a low growth rate. There are some 3,200 chiropractors on the GCC’s register.  After accounting for foreign students returning home on graduation, as well as retirements from the profession, new graduates boost this figure by less than 100 annually.

The profession is small, even within the MSK community. The 3,200 chiropractors compared with some 5,000 osteopaths and 50,000 physiotherapists. In Canada there is one chiropractor for every 4000 people. In the UK that figure is one for every 22,000.

The demand for MSK healthcare is huge and, with an ageing population, it is growing. It is the fourth largest area of spending in the NHS accounting for over £6 billion annually even without accounting for the impact on associated co-morbidities including obesity and depression. The economy loses 11.6 million working days each year. Every year 20% of the population consults a GP about an MSK disorder. The NHS is increasingly looking to chiropractors and osteopaths to cope with this demand.

Most chiropractors work in private practice and 95% of graduates find a job within six months of graduation. Patient satisfaction with chiropractic care remains high and that contributes to excellent job prospects

Newly qualified chiropractors have good prospects and average earnings are approximately £35,000 per annum. This compares favourably with the £22,000 earned by a newly qualified doctor. Established chiropractors have upper quartile earnings amongst healthcare professionals generally.