Animal Acupuncturist Career Profile

Do you want to work as an Animal Acupuncturist?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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13 February 2024

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What is an Animal Acupuncturist?

An Animal Acupuncturist is a qualified Veterinarian that uses additional knowledge and skills to insert specially designed needles into points on an animal’s body to produce a healing response.

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Very few countries do allow registered acupunturists who studied to work on humans to also work on animals. BUT, most countries DO NOT allow this. You must be a fully qualified veterinary doctor to use acupuncture on animals.

Alternative Names

Alternative names for an animal acupuncturist might include:

  • Veterinary acupuncturist
  • Animal acupuncture practitioner
  • Animal acupuncture therapist
  • Animal acupuncture specialist
  • Animal holistic healer
  • Integrative veterinary practitioner
  • Traditional Chinese veterinary practitioner
  • Animal wellness acupuncturist

Career Categories

The Animal Acupuncturist falls within the following Career Categories:

  • Health
  • Business
  • Specialist

What does an Animal Acupuncturist do?

Groups of animals an Animal Acupuncturist works with

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Dogs List Icon OZT
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Farm Animals
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An animal acupuncturist can work with a wide range of animals, including:

  • Domestic pets such as dogs, cats, and rabbits
  • Horses and other equines
  • Livestock like cows, sheep, and goats
  • Exotic pets including birds, reptiles, and small mammals
  • Zoo animals such as elephants, big cats, primates, and birds
  • Farm animals like pigs and chickens

In essence, animal acupuncturists may work with any animal species that can benefit from acupuncture therapy. However, the specific animals they treat can vary depending on the practitioner’s training, expertise, and the needs of their clientele.

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

What does an Animal Acupuncturist focus on?

The goal of an animal/veterinary acupuncturist is to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and promote overall health and wellness in animals.

With whom does an animal acupuncturist work?

An animal acupuncturist typically works with a variety of individuals and entities involved in the care and well-being of animals. These may include:

Pet owners:

Animal acupuncturists often work directly with pet owners who seek acupuncture treatments for their animals to address specific health concerns or improve overall well-being.

Veterinary clinics and hospitals:

Many animal acupuncturists collaborate with traditional veterinary practices, either as part of a veterinary clinic or through referral arrangements, to provide complementary therapies alongside conventional veterinary care.

Animal shelters and rescue organisations:

Animal acupuncturists may volunteer or work with shelters and rescue organisations to provide acupuncture treatments to animals in need, such as those recovering from injuries or undergoing rehabilitation.

Animal trainers and behaviourists:

In some cases, animal acupuncturists may collaborate with animal trainers and behaviourists to address behavioural issues or enhance performance in working animals through acupuncture therapy.

Zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centres:

Animal acupuncturists may work with zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centres to provide acupuncture treatments to captive animals or those undergoing rehabilitation to help manage pain, promote healing, and improve overall health.

Overall, animal acupuncturists collaborate with a diverse range of individuals and organisations involved in animal care to provide holistic and integrative approaches to health and well-being.

What are the daily tasks of an Animal Acupuncturist?

The daily tasks of an animal acupuncturist can vary depending on factors such as their work setting, the types of animals they treat, and their individual practice preferences. However, common tasks for an animal acupuncturist may include:


Meeting with clients (pet owners, veterinarians, etc.) to discuss the animal’s health concerns, medical history, and treatment goals.


Conducting physical examinations and assessments of animals to determine appropriate acupuncture treatment plans.

Acupuncture treatments:

Performing acupuncture sessions by inserting thin needles into specific acupuncture points on the animal’s body to stimulate healing and alleviate symptoms.


Monitoring the animal’s response to acupuncture treatments and adjusting treatment plans as necessary.


Maintaining detailed records of each animal’s medical history, treatments, and progress.

Client communication:

Providing education and guidance to clients on animal care, treatment options, and home care practices to support the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy.


Collaborating with other veterinary professionals, such as veterinarians, physical therapists, and alternative medicine practitioners, to provide comprehensive care for animals.

Business management:

Handling administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing finances, and marketing the practice to attract clients.

Continuing education:

Staying updated on the latest developments in veterinary acupuncture techniques, research, and regulations through ongoing education and professional development activities.

Overall, the daily tasks of an animal acupuncturist involve a combination of clinical care, client communication, record-keeping, and business management to provide effective acupuncture therapy and support the health and well-being of animals.

With what kind of tools and technology (if any) does an animal acupuncturist work?

Animal acupuncturists primarily work with specialised acupuncture needles and may also use certain tools and technologies to enhance their practice. Some common tools and technologies used by animal acupuncturists include:

Acupuncture needles:

Thin, sterile needles of various lengths and gauges are used to stimulate specific acupuncture points on an animal’s body. These needles may be disposable or reusable, and they come in different styles to suit various techniques and treatment goals.

Electroacupuncture devices:

Some animal acupuncturists may use electroacupuncture, which involves applying a small electric current to acupuncture needles to enhance stimulation of acupuncture points. Electroacupuncture devices typically include a power source, electrodes, and adjustable settings to control the intensity and frequency of the electrical stimulation.

Laser acupuncture devices:

Laser acupuncture uses low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to stimulate acupuncture points without the use of needles. Animal acupuncturists may use handheld laser devices to apply targeted laser light to specific acupuncture points on an animal’s body.

Acupuncture charts and maps:

Charts and maps illustrating the location of acupuncture points on different animal species are valuable tools for animal acupuncturists to reference during treatments. These visual aids help practitioners accurately locate and target acupuncture points based on anatomical landmarks.

Diagnostic equipment:

While not exclusive to acupuncture practice, diagnostic tools such as thermography cameras, ultrasound machines, and digital radiography may be used by animal acupuncturists to assess an animal’s condition, identify areas of dysfunction, and monitor treatment progress.

Computer software:

Some animal acupuncturists may use specialised software for managing client records, scheduling appointments, and tracking treatment plans. Electronic medical record (EMR) systems designed for veterinary practices may include features specific to acupuncture treatments, such as acupuncture point charts and treatment protocols.

Overall, while the primary tool of an animal acupuncturist is the acupuncture needle, advancements in technology have provided additional tools and resources to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of acupuncture therapy for animals.

In which Environment does an Animal Acupuncturist work in?

What are the environment and places of employment like?

The indoor and outdoor working environments for an animal acupuncturist can vary depending on their specific practice settings and the types of animals they treat. Here’s an overview of potential indoor and outdoor working environments and places of employment for animal acupuncturists:

Veterinary clinics and hospitals:

Many animal acupuncturists work in traditional veterinary clinics or hospitals, either as independent practitioners or as part of a larger veterinary team. These indoor environments typically include examination rooms, treatment areas, and surgical suites, where acupuncture treatments may be performed on various animals, including pets, livestock, and exotic species.

Animal rehabilitation centres:

Animal acupuncturists may work in rehabilitation centres that specialise in providing physical therapy, acupuncture, and other alternative treatments for animals recovering from injuries, surgeries, or chronic health conditions. These facilities may have indoor treatment areas equipped with therapy equipment, exercise mats, and hydrotherapy pools.

Mobile practices:

Some animal acupuncturists operate mobile practices, travelling to clients’ homes, barns, or stables to provide acupuncture treatments on-site. This allows them to work in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments, depending on the location of their clients’ animals.

Zoos and wildlife sanctuaries:

Animal acupuncturists may work in zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centres, or sanctuaries that house captive exotic animals. In these environments, they may perform acupuncture treatments on animals in indoor enclosures or outdoor habitats, depending on the specific needs of the animals and the facility’s infrastructure.

Farm settings:

Animal acupuncturists may provide acupuncture services to farm animals such as horses, cows, and goats in rural farm settings. This could involve working indoors in barns or stables, as well as outdoors in pastures or paddocks where the animals are housed.

Research institutions:

Some animal acupuncturists may work in research institutions or academic settings, conducting studies on the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy for animals or teaching veterinary acupuncture techniques to students. These indoor environments may include laboratories, classrooms, and research facilities.

Overall, the indoor and outdoor working environments for animal acupuncturists can vary widely depending on factors such as the types of animals they treat, their practice settings, and the preferences of their clients.

What is the Average Yearly Salary for an Animal Acupuncturist?

Salaries for animal acupuncturists can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, experience, level of education, and type of employment (e.g., self-employed vs. employed by a clinic or institution). Additionally, the availability and demand for alternative therapies like acupuncture may differ between countries and regions, impacting potential earnings.

Here is an estimated range of annual salaries for animal acupuncturists. Also, salaries can vary greatly within each country and region:

  • USA: $40,000 to $100,000+
  • Canada: $40,000 to $90,000+
  • UK: £25,000 to £60,000+
  • India: ₹300,000 to ₹800,000+
  • Australia: AU$50,000 to AU$100,000+
  • New Zealand: NZ$50,000 to NZ$90,000+
  • Nigeria: ₦2,000,000 to ₦5,000,000+
  • Kenya: KSh 500,000 to KSh 1,500,000+
  • South Africa: R200,000 to R500,000+

For regions:

  • South America: $20,000 to $60,000+
  • Europe: €25,000 to €70,000+
  • Southeast Asia: $15,000 to $40,000+

Can an Animal Acupuncturist be promoted?

Promotion levels for an animal acupuncturist may vary depending on the organization, the practitioner’s career goals, and the specific opportunities available. However, here are three potential promotion levels with associated headings under each level:

Entry-Level Practitioner


Completion of a formal education programme in veterinary acupuncture, such as a certification course or postgraduate degree in veterinary acupuncture.


Performing acupuncture treatments on animals under the supervision of a licenced veterinarian or experienced acupuncturist. Responsibilities may include conducting client consultations, administering treatments, and maintaining treatment records.


Obtaining certification in veterinary acupuncture from a recognised accrediting body, such as the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) or the Chi Institute.

Senior Practitioner


Continuing education and advanced training in veterinary acupuncture techniques, including specialised courses or workshops in areas such as electroacupuncture or herbal medicine.


Assuming greater autonomy and responsibility in managing client cases, including developing treatment plans, monitoring progress, and providing guidance to junior practitioners or support staff.


Achieving advanced certification or diplomate status in veterinary acupuncture through professional organisations or specialty boards, demonstrating expertise and proficiency in the field.

Clinical Supervisor or Practice Manager


Pursuing additional education or training in veterinary practice management, leadership, or business administration to develop skills in managing a veterinary acupuncture clinic or practice.


Overseeing the day-to-day operations of a veterinary acupuncture practice, including staffing, scheduling, budgeting, and marketing. Providing mentorship and guidance to junior practitioners and support staff.


Obtaining certification or credentials in veterinary practice management or business administration, if applicable. This may include certification programmes offered by professional organisations or universities.

Director or Specialist


Pursuing advanced degrees or specialised training in areas related to animal acupuncture, such as integrative veterinary medicine, research, or academia.


Assuming leadership roles in the field of animal acupuncture, such as directing a research programme, leading a specialty clinic, or teaching at a veterinary school. Contributing to the advancement of veterinary acupuncture through research, publication, and education.


Obtaining board certification or diplomate status in a specialised area of veterinary medicine, such as integrative medicine or acupuncture, and maintaining credentials through ongoing professional development and scholarly activities.

What difficulties does an Animal Acupuncturist face?

Animal acupuncturists may encounter a variety of challenges in their profession, including:

Physical demands:

Performing acupuncture treatments on animals can be physically demanding, requiring practitioners to maintain awkward positions for extended periods and exert physical effort to handle and restrain animals during treatments.

Safety concerns:

Animal acupuncturists may face safety risks from working closely with animals, including the potential for bites, scratches, and other injuries. Practitioners must take precautions to ensure their own safety and the safety of the animals they treat.

Variability in working conditions:

Animal acupuncturists may work in a wide range of environments, including veterinary clinics, rehabilitation centres, farms, and outdoor settings. Each environment presents unique challenges and considerations, such as climate, cleanliness, and access to equipment and facilities.

Emotional challenges:

Working with animals in pain or distress can be emotionally challenging for animal acupuncturists, especially when treating animals with serious health conditions or injuries. Practitioners may need to develop coping strategies to manage their emotions and provide compassionate care to their animal patients.

Business management:

Running a successful animal acupuncture practice requires business acumen and management skills, including marketing, budgeting, scheduling, and client communication. Practitioners may face challenges in managing the administrative and financial aspects of their practice while also providing quality care to their animal patients.

Regulatory compliance:

Animal acupuncturists must adhere to regulatory requirements and licencing standards governing the practice of veterinary medicine and alternative therapies in their jurisdiction. Compliance with regulations may involve obtaining appropriate licences, certifications, and continuing education credits, as well as maintaining accurate medical records and client communication.

Continuing education:

To stay current with advancements in veterinary acupuncture and maintain their professional credentials, animal acupuncturists must participate in ongoing continuing education and training activities. Finding time and resources for continuing education while balancing clinical responsibilities and other commitments can be challenging.

Unpredictable work hours:

Animal acupuncturists may have irregular or unpredictable work hours, especially if they operate mobile practices or provide emergency services. Balancing work schedules with personal and family commitments can be challenging for practitioners, particularly during busy periods or emergencies.

Interdisciplinary collaboration:

Collaborating with other veterinary professionals, such as veterinarians, physical therapists, and alternative medicine practitioners, is essential for providing comprehensive care to animal patients. Effective communication and teamwork are key to successful interdisciplinary collaboration but can present challenges due to differences in training, expertise, and practice philosophies.

Overall, animal acupuncturists face a diverse array of challenges in their profession, ranging from physical demands and safety concerns to business management and regulatory compliance. By addressing these challenges proactively and seeking support from colleagues, mentors, and professional organisations, animal acupuncturists can navigate the complexities of their profession and provide high-quality care to their animal patients.

Future Growth and Possibilities of the Career

The projected annual growth of the animal acupuncturist job market can vary depending on factors such as the demand for alternative veterinary therapies, changes in regulations governing the practice of veterinary acupuncture, and advancements in veterinary medicine and holistic healthcare. Here are some current trends and possibilities that may influence the future of the industry:

Increasing demand for holistic and integrative veterinary care:

As pet owners seek alternative and complementary therapies to conventional veterinary treatments, there is growing interest in holistic approaches such as acupuncture for managing pain, promoting healing, and improving overall well-being in animals. This increased demand may drive job growth opportunities for animal acupuncturists in veterinary clinics, rehabilitation centres, and private practices.

Recognition and acceptance within the veterinary community:

Veterinary acupuncture is becoming increasingly recognised and accepted within the veterinary community as a valuable therapeutic modality. As more veterinarians incorporate acupuncture into their practice or refer clients to certified animal acupuncturists, job opportunities for practitioners may expand.

Research and evidence-based practice:

The field of veterinary acupuncture continues to evolve with ongoing research and scientific inquiry into its mechanisms of action, efficacy, and clinical applications. As evidence-based research continues to validate the benefits of acupuncture for animals, it may further enhance the credibility and acceptance of acupuncture within the veterinary community and among pet owners.

Regulatory developments and professional standards:

Regulatory bodies and professional organisations may establish guidelines, standards, and certification requirements for the practice of veterinary acupuncture, which could impact job prospects and practice opportunities for animal acupuncturists. Compliance with regulatory standards and participation in professional development activities may become increasingly important for practitioners seeking to maintain their credentials and stay competitive in the job market.

Technological advancements and telemedicine:

Advancements in technology, including telemedicine platforms and remote monitoring devices, may provide new opportunities for animal acupuncturists to deliver virtual consultations, monitor patient progress, and provide remote support to clients. Integrating technology into acupuncture practice may enhance accessibility, convenience, and efficiency of care delivery, particularly in underserved or remote areas.

Overall, while specific projections for the annual growth of the animal acupuncturist job market may vary, the industry is likely to continue evolving in response to changing consumer preferences, advancements in veterinary medicine, and regulatory developments. Practitioners who stay informed about current trends, maintain their professional credentials, and adapt to emerging opportunities may be well-positioned to succeed in the dynamic field of veterinary acupuncture.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills and Personality Traits do Animal Acupuncturists need?

The skills required for a career as an animal acupuncturist can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills and personality traits, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills and Personality Traits:

People who are employed as animal acupuncturists often possess a combination of specific personality traits that enable them to excel in their profession. While individual traits can vary, some common personality traits among animal acupuncturists may include:


Animal acupuncturists typically have a strong sense of empathy and compassion for animals, which drives their desire to alleviate pain and promote healing through acupuncture therapy.


Working with animals requires patience and understanding, as animals may exhibit fear, anxiety, or resistance during acupuncture treatments. Animal acupuncturists must be patient and gentle when handling and treating their animal patients.


Animal acupuncturists often work in diverse environments and with various species of animals, each with its own unique needs and challenges. Being adaptable and flexible allows practitioners to adjust their approach and treatment strategies based on individual animal patients and working conditions.

Communication skills:

Effective communication skills are essential for animal acupuncturists to build rapport with clients, educate pet owners about acupuncture therapy, and collaborate with other veterinary professionals as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Observation skills:

Animal acupuncturists must be skilled observers, capable of assessing an animal’s physical condition, behaviour, and response to treatment. Attention to detail and keen observational skills help practitioners identify patterns, symptoms, and changes in an animal’s health status.


Animal acupuncturists understand the emotional bond between pets and their owners and recognise the importance of providing emotional support to both animals and their human caregivers during the healing process.

Dedication to learning:

Veterinary acupuncture is a specialised field that requires ongoing learning and professional development to stay updated on the latest techniques, research findings, and best practices. Animal acupuncturists demonstrate a dedication to lifelong learning and seek opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills.

Respect for cultural beliefs:

Acupuncture is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, and animal acupuncturists often have respect for cultural beliefs and traditions associated with holistic healing practices. They may incorporate principles of Eastern and Western medicine into their practice to provide comprehensive care to their animal patients.

Ethical integrity:

Animal acupuncturists adhere to high ethical standards and prioritise the welfare and best interests of their animal patients. They uphold professional integrity, maintain confidentiality, and ensure the humane treatment of animals under their care.


Like any healthcare profession, animal acupuncture can be emotionally demanding, requiring practitioners to cope with the challenges of treating animals with serious health conditions or injuries. Resilience and self-care practices help animal acupuncturists maintain their well-being and continue to provide quality care to their patients.

Overall, animal acupuncturists possess a unique blend of personality traits that enable them to connect with animals, provide compassionate care, and promote healing through holistic therapy.

Life Skills

Career Skills:

  • compassion for animals
  • a steady and patient nature
  • ​interest in the biological sciences
  • good powers of observation
  • have respect and love for animals and the ability to work with them
  • good coordination to handle instruments
  • good vision, hearing, stamina and health
    able to think and act quickly and calmly in response to wild animals​
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to help me prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become an Animal Acupuncturist?

Minimum educational qualification

While not always mandatory, completing a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as biology, pre-veterinary studies, or animal science can provide a strong foundation for advanced studies in veterinary medicine or acupuncture.

Subject focus

Subjects for Further Study:

Veterinary Medicine:

Pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from an accredited veterinary school is typically the primary educational path for becoming an animal acupuncturist. Courses in veterinary medicine cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and clinical skills.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):

Studying traditional Chinese medicine principles, theories, and diagnostic techniques is essential to understanding the philosophical basis of acupuncture therapy. Courses in TCM may include acupuncture theory, meridian theory, herbal medicine, and diagnostics.

Acupuncture Training:

After completing veterinary school, additional training in acupuncture is necessary to become proficient in animal acupuncture techniques. This may involve completing a certification programme or postgraduate course in veterinary acupuncture from a recognised institution, such as the Chi Institute or the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS).

Advanced Studies (if necessary):

Advanced Certification:

While not always required, some animal acupuncturists may pursue advanced certification or diplomate status in veterinary acupuncture through professional organisations or specialty boards. Advanced certification demonstrates expertise and proficiency in the field and may enhance career opportunities and credibility.

Master’s Degree or PhD (Optional):

For individuals interested in research, teaching, or advanced clinical practice, pursuing a master’s degree or PhD in veterinary acupuncture, integrative medicine, or a related field may be beneficial. Advanced degrees can provide opportunities for specialisation, research, and leadership roles within the field.

Optional Short Courses:

Continuing Education:

Participating in short courses, workshops, and seminars on specific topics related to veterinary acupuncture, such as advanced acupuncture techniques, electroacupuncture, or herbal medicine, can help practitioners stay updated on the latest developments and enhance their skills.

Business Management and Ethics:

Short courses or workshops on business management, ethics, and professional standards can provide valuable guidance for animal acupuncturists in managing their practice, communicating with clients, and navigating ethical dilemmas.

Study duration

The duration of a Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 4 years, and another 4 years for a Doctorate. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

​Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Here’s a possible career preparation path for a high school student interested in pursuing a career as an animal acupuncturist:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions at school or community organisations to learn about various career options and pathways in the field of veterinary medicine and alternative therapies.

2. Research all possible careers:

Conduct research to explore different career options within veterinary medicine, including traditional veterinary practice, animal acupuncture, rehabilitation therapy, and holistic healthcare.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Explore educational programmes and pathways for becoming an animal acupuncturist, including undergraduate studies in pre-veterinary science or biology, followed by specialised training in veterinary acupuncture.

4. Align high school subjects with the educational path:

Choose high school subjects that align with the prerequisites for admission to veterinary medicine or related programmes, such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Focus on academic excellence and obtain a high school diploma or equivalent qualification to meet the minimum educational requirements for further studies in veterinary medicine or animal acupuncture.

6. Learn about the animals you will work with:

Gain knowledge and understanding of different animal species, their behaviour, anatomy, and physiology through self-study, coursework, and hands-on experiences.

7. Align post-school path with either entering a career/job directly, studying further, or starting a business:

Decide on a post-school path, whether it involves pursuing further studies in veterinary medicine or acupuncture, gaining work experience through internships or apprenticeships, or launching a business in the field.

8. Gain experience through volunteering, internships, mentorship, etc:

Seek opportunities to gain hands-on experience working with animals through volunteering at animal shelters, veterinary clinics, or rehabilitation centers, and participating in internships or mentorship programmes.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Participate in extracurricular activities related to animal care, healthcare, or holistic therapies to develop skills, leadership qualities, and a well-rounded background.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Join professional associations or societies for veterinary medicine or animal acupuncture to connect with professionals in the field, access resources, and stay updated on industry developments.

11. Gain specialised Skills:

Pursue specialised training or certifications in animal acupuncture, such as courses offered by accredited institutions or professional organisations.

12. Network with Professionals:

Network with veterinarians, animal acupuncturists, and other professionals in the field through conferences, workshops, and professional events to build relationships and seek mentorship opportunities.

13. Enter the job market, finish tertiary studies, or launch a business:

Upon completing education and gaining relevant experience, enter the job market as an animal acupuncturist, pursue further studies in veterinary medicine or holistic healthcare, or consider launching a business offering acupuncture services for animals.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Commit to lifelong learning and professional development by staying updated on advancements in veterinary acupuncture, pursuing continuing education courses, and maintaining certifications or licences in the field.

By following this career preparation path, a high school student can lay the groundwork for a successful career as an animal acupuncturist, equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of animals.

Possible Combined career paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Training and Apprenticeship

On-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities for individuals entering an animal acupuncturist career may vary depending on factors such as the individual’s educational background, prior experience, and the requirements of their jurisdiction. Here are some general guidelines and considerations for on-the-job training and apprenticeship in animal acupuncture:

Veterinary Education:

Before pursuing on-the-job training in animal acupuncture, individuals typically need to complete a veterinary education programme and obtain a veterinary degree (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or equivalent). This foundational education provides essential knowledge and skills in animal anatomy, physiology, pathology, and clinical practice.

Formal Acupuncture Training:

Following completion of a veterinary degree, individuals interested in animal acupuncture typically pursue specialised training in veterinary acupuncture through accredited programmes or institutions. These training programmes may offer a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on practical experience, and clinical rotations supervised by experienced veterinary acupuncturists.

Apprenticeship Opportunities:

Some animal acupuncturists may offer apprenticeship or mentorship opportunities for individuals seeking practical training and experience in animal acupuncture. Apprenticeships allow aspiring acupuncturists to observe and assist experienced practitioners, gain hands-on experience performing acupuncture treatments under supervision, and develop clinical skills in a real-world setting.

Continuing Education and Professional Development:

Even after completing formal training programmes or apprenticeships, ongoing continuing education and professional development are essential for animal acupuncturists to stay updated on the latest techniques, research findings, and best practices in veterinary acupuncture. Attending workshops, seminars, and conferences and pursuing advanced certification or diplomate status can further enhance skills and credentials in the field.

Licencing and Certification:

Depending on the jurisdiction, animal acupuncturists may be required to obtain licensure or certification to practice veterinary acupuncture legally. Requirements for licensure or certification vary by region but may include completing a specified number of training hours, passing examinations, and meeting other eligibility criteria established by regulatory bodies or professional organisations.

Practical Experience:

On-the-job training in animal acupuncture involves gaining practical experience working with a variety of animal species and clinical conditions. Acupuncturists may start by treating animals under supervision and gradually assume greater autonomy as they gain experience and confidence in their abilities.

Overall, on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities play a crucial role in preparing individuals for a career as an animal acupuncturist, providing practical experience, mentorship, and guidance to develop clinical skills and competencies in veterinary acupuncture. By combining formal education with hands-on training and continuing education, aspiring animal acupuncturists can build a solid foundation for success in the field.

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certifications, Registrations and Professional Associations

The specific requirements for licences, certificates, and legal registration to become an animal acupuncturist can vary depending on the country, state, province, or jurisdiction where the individual intends to practice. Here are some general guidelines and considerations for licensure, certification, and legal registration in animal acupuncture:

Veterinary Licence:

In many jurisdictions, individuals must hold a valid veterinary licence to practice animal acupuncture legally. To obtain a veterinary licence, individuals typically need to complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent degree from an accredited veterinary school, pass national and/or state/provincial licencing examinations, and meet other eligibility requirements established by regulatory authorities.

Veterinary Acupuncture Certification:

While veterinary licensure permits individuals to practice general veterinary medicine, certification in veterinary acupuncture is often required to perform acupuncture therapy specifically. Certification programs in veterinary acupuncture are offered by accredited institutions and professional organizations, such as the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) or the Chi Institute. Requirements for certification may include completing a specified number of training hours, passing written and practical examinations, and meeting continuing education requirements.

Continuing Education:

Animal acupuncturists are typically required to participate in ongoing continuing education and professional development activities to maintain their licences and certifications and stay updated on the latest developments in veterinary acupuncture. Continuing education requirements may vary depending on the jurisdiction and accrediting organization but often involve completing a specified number of hours of approved coursework or training periodically.

Legal Registration:

Some jurisdictions may require animal acupuncturists to register with a regulatory or licencing board or professional association to practice legally. Registration requirements may include submitting an application, providing proof of education and training, passing examinations or assessments, and paying registration fees. Regulatory bodies or professional associations may also establish codes of ethics, standards of practice, and guidelines for professional conduct that registered practitioners must adhere to.

Liability Insurance:

Animal acupuncturists are often required to carry professional liability insurance to protect themselves and their clients in the event of malpractice claims or lawsuits. Liability insurance policies tailored to the needs of veterinary professionals and alternative medicine practitioners can provide coverage for legal expenses, damages, and other liabilities arising from professional services.

It’s important for individuals considering a career in animal acupuncture to research and familiarise themselves with the specific requirements for licensure, certification, and legal registration in their jurisdiction. Consulting with regulatory authorities, professional organisations, and experienced practitioners can provide valuable guidance and support in navigating the licencing and certification process.

Professional Associations

Here are some regional and international professional associations and societies for animal acupuncturists:

  • International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS):

IVAS is a global organisation dedicated to promoting veterinary acupuncture and providing education, certification, and support to veterinary professionals practicing acupuncture.

IVAS Website

  • American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (AAVA):

AAVA is a professional organisation for veterinary acupuncturists in the United States, offering education, certification, and advocacy for the practice of veterinary acupuncture.

AAVA Website

  • Chi Institute:

The Chi Institute offers veterinary acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) training programmes, including certification courses, continuing education seminars, and advanced training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other TCVM modalities.

Chi Institute Website

  • British Veterinary Acupuncture Society (BVAs):

BVAs is a professional association for veterinary acupuncturists in the United Kingdom, providing education, training, and support for veterinary professionals practicing acupuncture.

BVAs Website

  • Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group (AVAG):

AVAG is a professional organisation for veterinary acupuncturists in Australia, offering education, training, and networking opportunities for veterinary professionals practicing acupuncture.

AVAG Website

  • International Association of Veterinary Acupuncture and TCVM (IAVAT):

IAVAT is an international organisation dedicated to advancing veterinary acupuncture and TCVM worldwide, promoting collaboration, education, and research in the field.

IAVAT Website

  • Canadian Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (CAVA):

CAVA is a professional organisation for veterinary acupuncturists in Canada, offering certification programmes, continuing education, and support for veterinary professionals practicing acupuncture.

CAVA Website

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care and health.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in gaining knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you thousands of FREE short courses.

A. You can access the specialised study guide that fits in with the above preparation path

B.  If you are still uncertain about choosing this career, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses. They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while and after school, and even how to start your own business.

C.  Or, join OZT as a member to access easy-to-use lists of courses to make your career preparation as smooth as possible! And yes, membership is always free.

Join the OZT online community for special access to more tools!

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an Animal Acupuncturist.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being an Animal Acupuncturist, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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Some of the best websites to help you decide on a career are:

  1. International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS):

    • Website:
    • Description: IVAS is a global organisation dedicated to promoting veterinary acupuncture and providing education, certification, and support to veterinary professionals practicing acupuncture. Their website offers information on certification programmes, continuing education courses, research resources, and membership benefits for veterinary acupuncturists.
  2. Chi Institute:

    • Website:
    • Description: The Chi Institute offers veterinary acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) training programmes, including certification courses, continuing education seminars, and advanced training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other TCVM modalities. Their website provides information on courses, faculty, research, and resources for veterinary professionals interested in TCVM.
  3. American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (AAVA):

    • Website:
    • Description: AAVA is a professional organization for veterinary acupuncturists in the United States, offering education, certification, and advocacy for the practice of veterinary acupuncture. Their website features information on membership, certification programs, continuing education opportunities, and resources for veterinary professionals practicing acupuncture.

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