Acupuncturist Salary

Acupuncturist Salary

Acupuncturist Salary In The United States

Acupuncturists are professionals who specialize in the ancient and well-known art of acupuncture, which has its roots deep into the Chinese medicine. The average annual acupuncturist salary varies from one US state to another, but statistically speaking, the national median wage is of $94,000 per year. An entry-level acupuncturist earns around $37,000 a year, while a skilled, trained and experienced acupuncturist can make as much as $150,000 a year or even more.

Acupuncturist Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States

Some states pay their acupuncturists a lot better than others, and Mississippi is undoubtedly amongst the highest-paying states in that field. Acupuncturists who reside or work here can get a salary of more than $100,000 a year. At the same time, Alabama, Arkansas and California also offer encouraging payments for specialized, trained and licensed acupuncturists who choose to practice here, with an average yearly salary of over $90,000 in each of these states. At the opposite end, there is Utah which is ranked amongst the lowest-paying states when it comes to licensed acupuncturists.

Acupuncturist Job Description

Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that, as mentioned above, originates in the Chinese philosophy of Qi. It is believed that by inserting very thin needles in various areas of the body, you can balance the energy of life that flows through you and you can even treat an illness or another health condition. Acupuncture is said to be efficient for the treatment of various mental, emotional and physical disorders, and acupuncturists usually gather in-depth information about the patient’s overall lifestyle, diet and medical history before he creates a customized treatment plan. 

The acupuncture treatment is not a short-term one, and the treatment can span over a period of several months to several years, depending on the illness that you are trying to address and its severity. Acupuncture can treat common disorders and ailments of the skeletal, muscular, circulatory and digestive systems, and it can also address gynaecological problems and various eating disorders. It is not uncommon for those who specialize in acupuncture to offer additional services as well, such as acupressure which is based on a similar principle to that of acupuncture, the sole difference is that it involves pressure rather than needles.

The job duties of an acupuncturists are many: the acupuncturist needs to prepare different herbal mixtures to treat conditions, maintain standard quality, safety and environmental policies and procedures as well as keep complete and accurate health records of the patients. It is also the responsibility of the acupuncturist to make sure that all the patient files are checked and updated regularly, and they must adhere to all the state and national regulations. Also, the acupuncturist must evaluate the overall health status and well-being of the patient in order to make a diagnosis and to see whether acupuncture is the most suitable treatment option.

How To Become An Acupuncturist

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acupuncture postureIf you have decided to become an acupuncturist, be it because you are driven by the stimulating salary or because you are passionate about alternative medicine and you want to help people, then the first thing you need to do is to make sure that you meet all the standards and requirements. It is important to see if you have the skills necessary for becoming an acupuncturist in the first place, as this profession is not for everybody. 

When it comes to skills, it is essential for the acupuncturist to have steady hands, great communication skills and a flawless hand-eye coordination. Also, given the fact that acupuncturists get into contact with people on a daily basis, it is important for them to have a genuine passion and desire to help people with certain ailments. 

If you have made sure that you have the skills required for becoming an acupuncturist, then the next step is to meet all the educational requirements. In order to work as an acupuncturist, it is recommended to have a Bachelor’s Degree and some knowledge or expertise in fields like biology, psychology, anatomy as well as physiology, as these fields will certainly help you. If you have any degree in either alternative medicine or health care, that will help as well.

The educational requirements for becoming an acupuncturist can vary greatly from one state to another, not to mention that in some states, acupuncture is not even legal. There are currently eight states in the US where acupuncture is illegal, and if you plan to work in this field then you should consider relocating to one of the states mentioned above, where acupuncturists are paid the most. 

The licensing is extremely important, and while some states require you to have a doctor or a medicine degree in order to get your licensure or your certifications, others only require you to complete all the coursework coupled with the supervised training. The American Board of Medical Acupuncture is known to offer a variety of examinations for those who are interested in getting their license and practicing acupuncture in a safe and legal manner. 

The last thing you need to do is to graduate from a specialized acupuncture college, but make sure it is accredited and they offer you a certification in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, commonly referred to as either TCM or AOM. These colleges will put great emphasis on areas like Chinese herbal medicine or in-depth acupuncture and the history of this alternative medicine. On average, these programs take between three to four years to complete, and you will be awarded a degree in either Acupuncture or in Oriental Medicine.  Learn more about acupuncturist schools here.


If you want to get your certification, then you need to pass the exam administered by the National Certification Commission for Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. This is the most common exam and it applies in most states where acupuncture is deemed legal, and after you pass it you are officially a board certified and recognized licensed acupuncturist.

Acupuncturist Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom

Acupuncturists in the United Kingdom can earn on average of 40 pounds per session, although they can charge up to 90 pounds per session in London and all the other major cities. A good acupuncturist has around 40 clients per week. On the other hand, the average monthly salary for an acupuncturist in Australia is of AU$60,000, although this also varies greatly upon location. Last, but not least, Canada pays its acupuncturists with an average yearly salary of C$45,000.

Verdict On Acupuncturist Salary

To conclude, acupuncturist can get high salaries depending on their experience and location, as well as on how popular and known they are. The United Kingdom is undoubtedly one of the best places to be an acupuncturist these days, although these alternative medicine professionals are paid very well in the United States as well.

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