How much does
the normal acupuncture treatment cost?
It varies from practitioner to
practitioner. Generally fees range from $60-120 per treatment. Most practitioner
include other ancillary modalities within the treatment fee, including cupping,
electro stimulation and moxibustion while others charge in an ala carte fashion.
What are the most commonly treated ailments?
The most common ailments presented to an acupuncturist tend to
be pain related conditions. However, as the public becomes more educated about
the efficacies of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, they are seeking treatments
for the following conditions with good results:
Do patients need to be referred by a medical doctor to see
In majority of states, no referral by the medical doctor is
necessary to see an acupuncturist.
Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
Many insurance companies now offer policies that cover
acupuncture and related services performed by an acupuncturist. Check with your
insurance company to find out.
Acupuncture as a Career
How much do acupuncturists make?
A licensed acupuncturist after one year out of school can expect to make
$45,000 a year and up. After five years in practice, one's income should
approach $100,000. More and more acupuncturist are joining group practices that
also include chiropractor and medical doctors.
What is the earning potential for a licensed practitioner of acupuncture
and Oriental medicine?
The earning potential for a licensed practitioner depends on his or her skill
level, ability to communicate and business acumen. $200,000-300,000 a year is
not unrealistic within 10 years in practice.
What is a typical day for an acupuncturist?
A typical day for an acupuncturist would include interfacing and
administering treatments to patients, counseling patient about emotional and
life style issues, teaching patients about diet and nutrition, tai chi and
qigong exercise, and stress release meditations, conferring with other medical
professionals, reviewing and writing patient medical reports, managing the
practice, and still have time to cultivate spiritually.
How many acupuncturists are there?
There are approximately 18,000 licensed acupuncturist in the U.S. Out of that
number, it is estimated that about 12,000 are actively in practice and that over
50% of those practice in the coastal states of California and New York.
Are acupuncturists considered primary care physicians?
Yes, acupuncturist are considered primary care physicians in many states
Once I have graduated from school, what do I have to do to get licensed?
You must graduate from a school that is approved by the licensing board of
the state you intend to practice. Once you fulfill the licensing requirements of
that state, you can then apply and take the licensing exam. There is also a
national certifying exam that is accepted by some states. Check individual state
requirements at www.acupuncture.com and
search "state laws".
What training is required to become an acupuncturist?
You must graduate from an approved and/or accredited school of Oriental
Medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Are there entry requirements for attending school?
In general, 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of accredited college
courses is required to matriculate into any acupuncture school.
Choosing a School
What should I look for in a school?
Some of the factors you may want to consider are: Is the school accredited?
Is the school approved by the licensing board of the state I intend to practice?
Does the school offer financial aid? Does the school have a high board licensing
pass rate? Does the school offer a comprehensive and rigorous program that is at
least 3,000 hours over minimally 3 1/2 years? Does the school truly integrate
body-mind-spirit approach to the medicine or does it merely says it does?
Finally, make sure to visit the school's website and if possible, the physical
facilities to talk to students, faculty and alumni.
How long does it take to graduate?
Programs around the country vary from school to school but generally training
programs range from 3-4 years, including internship.
What degree will I obtain when I graduate?
Accredited schools offer Masters degree as an entry level degree.
Non-accredited schools may offer certificate or other degrees.
Is there a doctorate program for acupuncture and Oriental medicine?
Yes, the accrediting body just released the requirements for a clinical
doctoral degree (DOM) in Oriental Medicine and schools around the country are
just starting to offer such program, which is optional after you complete the
Masters degree programs. For licensure purpose, it is not required to obtain a
doctoral degree however.
Tuition and Financial Aid
What is the tuition cost of school?
Tuition costs vary from school to school and from state to state. However, it
generally ranges from $30,000 to $40,000 for the entire program of training.
Is financial aid available?
Accredited schools can offer federal government-guaranteed student loans that
covers the full tuition and money for living. There are also limited grants
available. Check with the school's financial aid office.
Which colleges are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)?
The following link to the accreditation agency's website will give an updated
list of schools that are currently accredited.
What is the value of attending an accredited school?
Schools are required to meet certain standards and undergo rigorous process
of self-study and examination regularly to maintain accreditation. A school that
is accredited also means it can offer students financial aid from the federal