Animal Chiropractor Career Profile

Do you want to work as an Animal Chiropractor?

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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08 August 2023

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What is an Animal Chiropractor?

An Animal Chiropractor performs adjustments to the joints and vertebrae of animals to alleviate pain, restore balance, and improve overall performance.

Doggy 1


Very few countries do allow registered Chiropractors 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 chiropractic techniques on animals.

Alternative Names

The career might also be called:

  • Pet Chiropractor
  • Veterinary Chiropractor

Career Categories

The Animal Chiropractor falls within the following Career Categories:

  • Health
  • Business
  • Specialist

What does an Animal Chiropractor do?

Groups of animals an Animal Chiropractor works with

Cats List Icon
Dogs List Icon OZT
Critters List Icon OZT
Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals
Mammals List Icon OZT

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

What does an Animal Chiropractor focus on?

Animal chiropractors treat patients for a variety of reasons that include:

  • Baseline evaluation for a young pet to allow for proper development of its neurologic system
  • Curvature or hunching of the spine
  • Recovery from undergoing anesthesia or sedation for surgery, dental cleaning, or other procedures
  • Athletic animal checkup to ensure optimum performance and be less prone to injury
  • Back pain, including suspicion of disc herniation
  • Arthritis, general weakness, lack of coordination, and organ dysfunction that are common to senior animals


What are the daily tasks of an Animal Chiropractor?

  • Taking an assessment by consulting the owner to learn the animal’s detailed medical history
  • Reviewing x-rays or prior written records provided by the animal’s regular veterinarian
  • Observing the animal both at rest and in motion to determine what adjustments may be necessary
  • Palpating the spine and other areas that seem to be a source of pain or discomfort
  • Performing the necessary adjustments


In which Environment does an Animal Chiropractor work in?

What are the environment and places of employment like?

Environment –

Animal or veterinary Chiropractors work primarily indoors.

Places of Employment –

Most Chiropractors work in their own private practices. Vets may be employed or contracted by hospitals, government agencies, educational institutions, animal sanctuaries and zoos.

What is the Average Yearly Salary for an Animal Chiropractor?

South Africa: Annual salary of R470,000
Australia: Annual salary of AU$65,000
UK: Annual salary of £30,000
USA: Annual salary of $75,000

Can an Animal Chiropractor be promoted?

Promotion to senior levels are available in most careers. The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following for Chiropractors who work for an organization:

Junior Chiropractor > Senior Chiropractor > Head Chiropractor > Department Manager or Director

What difficulties does an Animal Chiropractor face?

Similar to all types of veterinarians, animal Chiropractors do have some difficult moments, and it’s good to know these things before you truly make a decision to pursue this career:

  • Most veterinarians are on call around the clock since emergencies can occur at any time.
  • Schedules may include evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Dealing with sick animals and their distraught owners can be very stressful.
  • Vets may in certain circumstances need to put an animal to sleep, called euthanasia.
  • Sick or frightened animals may bite, kick, or otherwise injure those who are treating them.
  • Working in the wild is exactly what it means.
  • The outdoors can be dangerous and even life threatening.

Future Growth and Possibilities of the Career

Employment of animal chiropractors is projected to grow by 10% annually, one of the highest for an occupation, mainly due to the growth in pet ownership.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills do Animal Chiropractors need?

The skills required for a career as an Animal Chiropractor can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, 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:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
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 sick 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 Chiropractor?

Minimum educational qualification

To become an Animal Chiropractor you will need to study Veterinary Science.

This means that you will need to study towards a Doctoral Degree in Veterinary Sciences, starting out with a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science (BVSc).

To specialize in using Chiropractic techniques requires another 1 or 2 years of intense studies in alternative medicine.

Subject focus

Studying veterinary medicine will automatically indicate the subjects to follow. You will only have a far broader choice as you start to specialize.

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 your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

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

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as an Chiropractor will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more qualified Chiropractor.

Join the Animal Chiropractors Group in the OZT Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

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

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

For example, in the USA an animal chiropractor must be certified through the American Chiropractic Certification Commission (ACCC) of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA).

Learn more about requirements by joining the Community.

Professional Associations

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.

Do you want to Contribute?

Do you have information that you would like to contribute to this career?

My Story




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Join the OZT community and career chat Group

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

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 Chiropractor, 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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