How long does it take to become an acupuncturist?

Through the stimulation of certain points on the body, acupuncture is a distinctive system of procedures that heals disease and enhances health.

 In order to restore equilibrium, acupuncture and associated practices reroute the body’s qi (pronounced “chee”) flow. 

Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,000 years and is one of the safest and most well studied complementary and alternative therapies available today. 

A bigger medical system built from traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture as a crucial component. 

This all-encompassing concept and treatment program takes into account a person’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

A holistic medical procedure, acupuncture is based on conventional and traditional Chinese medicine and traditions.

 At specific locations on the body, tiny, sterile needles are inserted through the skin. The foundation of acupuncture is the idea of “qi,” an energy that is used to treat pain and movement issues. 

Although the procedure is meant to treat pain, it has more recently found utility in the promotion of overall wellness, including stress reduction. 

An acupuncture profession can be very fulfilling. 

You should be aware of all the information if you’re researching how to obtain an acupuncture license. You can find everything you need here:

Acupuncturists are increasingly being included in multidisciplinary care teams and collaborating with conventional medical professionals to provide therapy. 

Acupuncture can treat the pain brought on by a wide range of ailments and conditions, including: 

  • Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
  • Dental pain
  • Labor pain
  • Headaches, including migraines and tension headaches
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Respiratory conditions, such as allergic rhinitis
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Neck pain

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What is an acupuncturist School like?

Visits are the greatest method to get a feel for an acupuncture school. Multiple admissions events for potential students may be held by schools each year. 

Similar to that, you can arrange a private tour to gain a sense of the campus and student life.

Additionally, some institutions provide you the chance to observe a student in class or even alumni working in their fields.

Becoming an acupuncturist requires an intensive college education and practical experience. Most schools require about three years of study to be certified in acupuncture.  A professional acupuncture curriculum typically consists of:   

Minimum 47 semester credits in Oriental Medicine Theory, Diagnostic and Treatment Techniques in Acupuncture and Related Studies  22 semester credits (660 hours) in Clinical Education  30 semester credits (450 hours) in Biomedical Clinical Sciences  Counseling, Communication and Ethics , and 6 semester credits (90 hours) in Practice Management  

You should check directly with the program you are interested in as schools are starting to demand more than these minimums. It is important to remember that schools that require a minimum level of education are usually of poor quality. 

As such, the costs and benefits of each program should be considered individually.

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Is attending an acupuncturist school worth it?

A career in acupuncture might be a good fit for you if you’re passionate about making others feel good and you support natural health care. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to this career route, just as there are with any educational and career decision.

Choosing the best acupuncture school is an essential first step in developing your profession. 

People who want to improve their studies and train to become acupuncturists should look no farther than the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM). 

One of the most prestigious programs in the United States, the program is one of the few available in the Midwest. 

The on-site clinic at AIAM allows students to put what they learn in the classroom to use in the real world, giving them the tools they need to succeed. 

Expect to gain knowledge and abilities that will help you in every facet of your work, such as:

  • Business management
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving

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Pros of a Career in Acupuncture

  • Flexibility 
  • Healing and teaching 
  • High interest 
  • Job satisfaction 
  • Variety of settings and specialty 

Potential Cons of a Career in Acupuncture

  • Weekend work
  • Advanced education 
  • Long lead time

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What schooling do you need to be an  acupuncturist?

Chinese medical philosophy, diagnosis, and treatment methods in acupuncture and allied fields are frequently covered in acupuncture programs. 

Biomedical areas like anatomy and physiology, as well as nutrition, ethics, and practice management, may also be included. 

Examine the acupuncture program’s curriculum to gain a better grasp of the required coursework and the steps you must take to finish your degree. 

Internships and clinical training are also significant components.

The first step to become an acupuncturist in the United States is obtaining a degree from a college or university recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). 

The majority of acupuncture programs have entry requirements that are either a bachelor’s degree or two years of college-level coursework. 

Students may or may not need a science-related educational background in order to be considered for admission, depending on the program. 

The majority of acupuncturists hold master’s or doctoral degrees in the field, however some also hold medical degrees and work as doctors.

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How long does it take to become a licensed acupuncturist ?

Depending on the institution and program you choose, the length of the acupuncture training program will vary.

 The Master of Acupuncture program at NWHSU requires 8 trimesters to complete (about 22 34 years). 

Ask whether a program will work with you to create a timetable that matches your life if you need more flexibility. 

Depending on your circumstances, programs like NWHSU may offer full-time, part-time, and flexible scheduling. 

Be aware that some schools offer multiple acupuncture education programs. 

For more in-depth study and education in Chinese medicine and associated fields, NWHSU offers a Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization (D.Ac) program.

The Master’s in Acupuncture program takes 27 months and 9 quarters to complete. 

To enroll, candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree from a university that is recognized. 

The course focuses on biological science and conventional Chinese medicine. 

Graduates are eligible to take the National Certification 

Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) exam and acquire a Master’s degree in acupuncture. 

You will always be required to complete the following as part of your application as a potential student of acupuncture:

  • Personal tour and admissions representative interview 
  • Complete the form and pay the $100 enrollment fee (can be paid at enrollment) 
  • Fill out the physical examination form. 
  • If necessary, meet with the financial aid office to go over your payment choices. 
  • Complete the enrollment agreement and related documents. 

Students studying acupuncture must have the Hepatitis B vaccine (series of three) or demonstrate physical incapacity. 

proof of proficiency in the English language.

Having taken at least two years (60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits) of English-language studies, having English as your native language.

There are several ways to demonstrate English proficiency, including obtaining a level 6 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, obtaining a score of at least 61 on the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT), which also needs a minimum speaking exam score of 26 and a minimum listening exam score of 22.

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How much does it cost to become a licensed acupuncturist in 2023?

In addition to tuition, fees, and supplies, this inquiry should cover any extra costs associated with attending school. 

How will you travel to school, for instance? And what will those travel-related costs be? 

Make sure to include financial considerations in your search from the beginning. The financial assistance experts at a school are the best place to begin. 

Make careful to look into both external and school-sponsored scholarships. 

Finally, a word of caution: When looking at acupuncture colleges, don’t just focus on price. 

Remember that how effectively a program prepares you to be a successful professional will heavily influence the value you derive from attending it.

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Salary and Job Outlook for an acupuncturist after study

The majority of licensed acupuncturists are Oriental medicine master’s and doctoral degree holders.

 Education, qualification and licensure, work experience, geography, and other factors all affect national income data. 

The average annual wage for 36,070 acupuncturists and healthcare practitioners who diagnose or treat patients was $97,270 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These percentiles were present: 

  • 10% of the population: $43,200 
  • $ 60,680 is the median income. 
  • 50th percentile ($82,420), the median 
  • 75th percentile: $126,070 
  • $ 160,990 is the 90th percentile.

The average job growth in this field should continue as public awareness of and acceptance of acupuncture rises and more insurance companies begin to cover acupuncture services. 

At centers for alternative medicine and in collaborative practices with conventional physicians or chiropractors, there will be demand and job prospects. 

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Is learning acupuncture challenging? 

However, with so much information to learn and comprehend, learning acupuncture and oriental medicine can be difficult at times. There is no requirement for prior medical knowledge because this will be covered in the course. 

What training is required for acupuncture? 

Academic prerequisites. Over 400 hours of acupuncture practice, knowledge of the history of acupuncture, and good mental health are a few of these prerequisites. Students enrolled in BAAB courses must also possess a thorough knowledge of biology, anatomy, and physiology.


More and more independent and self-employed practitioners are expanding their companies through partnerships with other experts in natural health, like massage therapists and naturopaths. 

Most acupuncturists working in the United States improve their employment prospects by joining the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in addition to completing a degree program in acupuncture and oriental medicine and acquiring a state-required license (AAAOM). 

This organization helps its members stay current by providing information on case studies, research, and clinical practice.



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