Chiropractors and Osteopaths
Chiropractors and Osteopaths diagnose and treat physiological and mechanical disorders of the locomotor system and tissue strain, stress and dysfunction that impede normal neural, vascular and biochemical mechanisms, and provide advice on preventing these disorders.
administering a variety of neurological, musculoskeletal and functional tests to identify and assess physical problems and ailments of patients
planning and discussing effective management of patients' dysfunction
designing, reviewing, monitoring, assessing and evaluating treatment programs
assisting and improving the function of all body systems such as musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine and genitourinary systems
recording detailed patient medical histories, treatments delivered and the patients' responses and progress to treatments
referring patients to specialists and liaising with other Health Professionals in relation to patients' problems, needs and progress
educating patients, their partners, family and friends in therapeutic procedures, such as home exercises and lifestyle changes, to enhance patients' health and wellbeing
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 13,000 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 52% of people employed as Chiropractors and Osteopaths work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 14 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Chiropractors and Osteopaths work in the Health care and social assistance industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Chiropractors and Osteopaths||All Jobs Average|
Around 65% of Chiropractors and Osteopaths live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The region with the largest share of workers is Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Chiropractors and Osteopaths is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 44% of the workforce. This is 4 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Chiropractors and Osteopaths||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.3||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A university degree in chiropractic science or osteopathy is needed to work as a Chiropractor or Osteopath. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
Registration with the Chiropractic Board of Australia or the Osteopathy Board of Australia is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Chiropractors and Osteopaths||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||59.6||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.1||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Chiropractors and Osteopaths who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Looking for ways to help people.
52%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
52%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
48%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
41%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
78%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
66%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
62%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
62%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
61%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
60%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
56%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
55%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
47%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
44%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
39%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
39%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
37%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
35%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
55%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
46%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
80%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
78%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
75%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
70%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
70%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
70%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
69%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
68%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
67%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
67%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
67%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
65%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
64%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
62%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
62%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
61%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
59%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
58%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
53%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
53%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
100%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Talk with people face-to-face.
99%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
99%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
97%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Talk on the telephone.
95%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
92%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
91%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Use electronic mail.
85%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
85%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
81%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Work with people in a group or team.
78%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
74%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
73%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
72%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
Work to strict deadlines.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1011.00 - Chiropractors.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.