How To Become A Licensed Acupuncturist?

Acupuncture therapist applying acupuncture needle to her client's handAcupuncture is a popular Chinese alternative medicine that originated from Ancient China. The said medical practice involves the use of thin sterile needles to stimulate specific points on the body. Acupuncture is based on the concept of energy or “qi.” It is often sought for its pain management effect on the body.

With acupuncture, there will be the involvement of electrical stimulation into the body. Sometimes, though, it can be the application of pressure or heat. Only the practitioners can be entrusted to administer this particular practice because they are the ones who are trained in diagnosing patient issues. They are also capable of choosing the right points on the body.

Acupuncturists can opt to practice independently. He or she may also opt to be one of the practitioners in an integrative medical facility together with the practitioners of modern Western medicine. To become one of the best acupuncturists that people can rely on, here are some of the things that you have to take note of.


There is training that you must complete. One of the recommendations is to go to a school with accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). The said organization is duly recognized as an authority in the field by the Department of Education.

One is required to study at least two years at a baccalaureate level. Other schools require one to complete a bachelor’s degree. Do take note though that most acupuncture programs accept students regardless of their educational backgrounds.

Some of the courses included in the acupuncture program include Oriental medical theories, diagnosis, and treatment techniques, integrated acupuncture, herbal clinical training, Oriental herbal studies, and biomedical clinical sciences.


Depending on the state where you plan to live in, there are certain requirements that you will be required to complete. All but six states within the United States require professionals to have a license before they can practice. If you plan to practice in California, then know that their licensing examination is different from that of the rest of the country. Other than in that particular state, the acupuncturists either need to pass the NCCAOM certification or complete any NCCAOM certification program.


Knowing how long it will take you to become an acupuncturist is essential. This way, you can prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. For those who plan to take a master’s degree program in acupuncture, the completion time is usually three years. Once you reach the final year of the said program, then you can start the process for your NCCAOM certification.

JOB PROSPECTSAcupuncture therapist applying acupuncture needle to her client's hand

The job prospects for acupuncturists are on the rise. After all, there are more and more people who are using acupuncture to relieve their pain or stress. The alternative medicine is very effective in that matter, so there are lots of patients who trust in acupuncturists. There are many clinics that are looking for a fully licensed acupuncturist to begin working in their New York City location. Moreover, the said ancient Chinese remedy doesn’t only relieve pain and stress. There are times when it comes to being used to prevent any severe illnesses. There are lots of uses for acupuncture. As proof of that, acupuncture is only one of the extremely few medical practices that persist from ancient China up until the modern time.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have any data on the earnings and employment of acupuncturists. That is why it can be really difficult to know how much a practitioner annually earns on average. The CCAOM reports though that most certified acupuncturists can earn within the price range of $30,000 to $60,000 a year. However, this is being challenged by other authorities simply because there are reports that majority of the acupuncturists are still unemployed.

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