In this article we will look at the good, the bad, the ugly and even one avenue you may not have thought of that has been shown to generate up to 10% MORE revenue for your practice.
When we talk about chiropractic salaries, it's important to keep in mind that over 70% of the chiropractic profession are "sole proprietors." So it's not an actual salary that is taken. Most chiropractors take home whatever money is left after expenses. This equation is (top line revenue- expenses = take home pay) That take-home pay is what many chiropractors call their salary, even though by textbook definition it might not be an actual salary.
Chiropractic salaries- how much can you expect to make if you are a doc?
Total Revenue - Total Expenses = Most Chiropractors Take Home Pay (aka- salary)
So what does all that jargon mean?
Well, number one it says if you are not taking an actual salary. Think of an accountant at a grocery store. Their salary may be $65,000 per year, paid every two weeks. This amount stays the same every two weeks, regardless of if they took a vacation, or if the company made or lost money over those two weeks. A salary is defined as a fixed amount of pay over a certain amount of time.
So, you can probably already start to see that for many chiropractors there can be fluctuation. If you are taking home the amount of between the top line revenue and expenses, it can be variable from year to year, month to month, or even week to week. So unlike our accountant with a fixed salary in a corporation that might be $65,000 with a two percent raise each year; as a chiropractor to have the opportunity to make a lot more money OR a lot less money. So understanding the salary for many chiropractors is continually changing is critical to know as we start to look at the numbers.
Now let's start at the bottom of the barrel. What the research has shown is that the bottom 10% of a chiropractor's salary is around $30,000 per year. Not exactly a good return on investment for eight years of schooling and upwards of $200,000 in debt.
So that is important to keep in mind with your planning. As a new chiropractor, it's unlikely you are going to be out purchasing your first sports car when you start your practice. As a new doc, unless you are bringing a big audience, a unique skill set, or you have found a fantastic opportunity, the starting point for your salary is often going to be quite low. The good news is that chiropractic salaries tend to rise the longer you are in practice. So while the first few years can be very tough, often there is light at the end of the tunnel!
As we get up towards the middle of the curve, we see two different sets of numbers emerge. Chiropractic Economics runs an annual, and the self-reported median salary is right around $100,000. However, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics pegs the middle closer to $80,000.
So the question is when self-reporting are a lot of chiropractors inflating their salaries? Or is it maybe just an incomplete data set?
Either way, it seems as though $80,000-100,000 is a good median point for a chiropractic income or salary. Now interestingly, as I mentioned earlier the data shows that salaries tend to increase as time goes on. So the longer you are around your community, the more that you have built a brand, and the more past patients you've seen, the more money you will statistically make.
At the highest end, there is not a salary cap. In many cities, there are practices where the chiropractic owner can take home over $1,000,000 per year. Typically these practices have incorporated associate doctors across multiple locations that help grow the revenue.
And finally, the data has shown retail services can increase your top line revenue by 10% or more. This could consist of DME (durable medical equipment), nutritional supplements, pillows, and more.
More recently this type of "retail" has expanded into group coaching, clinic-gym hybrids, cross-fit classes, and other services. These new service lines have the opportunity to sit in the perfect sweet spot- lucrative for the provider and extremely beneficial for the patients.
So there you have it. Feel free to comment down below with any questions that you may have!