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Natural Health Careers: Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an extremely popular form of Chinese medicine that stimulates pivotal points on the body to balance the functions of the body, mind and spirit and restore health.

Using Chinese medical theory of excess and deficiency, external and internal pathogenic factors and biomedical concepts, acupuncturists develop a diagnosis regarding the specific pathology at work and its underlying cause.

Based on the diagnosis, various acupuncture points are stimulated with fine needles, heat, gentle electrical stimulation, laser, suction or physical pressure.

Career snapshot

41% of acupuncturists surveyed by Endeavour College of Natural Health in 2013 earned more than $50,000, with 12% earning more than $150,000 per year.

Employment prospects are tipped to grow very strongly up to 2017, according to respected federal government employment initiative Job Outlook.

The average salary for an acupuncture practitioner is $85,000, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

77% of acupuncturists surveyed by Endeavour are currently working in clinical practice, with 41% owning and operating their own clinic.

Job hotspots

Clinical practitioner

Many acupuncturists treat clients in their own clinic or work from a multi modality clinic or hospital in consultation with other registered health care providers. Acupuncture practitioners work with clients to provide care plans and treatment which typically incorporates needling, moxibustion, dietary advice, Chinese herbs and lifestyle advice. Practitioners may choose to focus on particular areas of interest such as women’s medicine, sports medicine, men’s medicine or chronic disease.

Education roles

Qualified acupuncturists are in great demand as lecturers, supervisors and academics with leading education institutions around the world. This can involve writing course curriculum for vocational and higher education institutions, guiding students through the academic process, evaluating assessments and exams and presenting seminars and workshops.

Media positions

Many Endeavour acupuncturists have gone on to find great success in the media through securing employment in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, industry publications or popular blogs where they can share their expertise with the public. This could be in the form of regular opinion pieces, columns or feature stories.

Product development roles

Some acupuncturists are employed in product development roles, which can involve consulting with nutraceutical brands to develop Chinese Medicine herbal lines for health care practitioners or over-the-counter herbal remedies for the public.

Safety and compliance roles

There is a demand for qualified acupuncturists in the area of safety and compliance, with the Federal Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration hiring acupuncture graduates to apply their skills to areas such as health care reform and regulatory issues.

Herb farmers or product manufacturer

Acupuncturists can have great success growing Chinese herbs in Australia or manufacturing their own products to export or sell to acupuncture practitioners.

Specialist roles in retreats and day spas

Some acupuncturists enjoy the environment a wellness retreat or a day spa offers, and prefer to treat clients in that setting on a casual or permanent basis.

Gender

The percentage of males and females working full time and part time as acupuncturists are:

  • Male Full Time: 26%
  • Male Part Time: 9%
  • Female Full Time: 13%
  • Female Part Time: 53%

Average weekly hours

Average weekly hours worked for a full time acupuncturist is 39.8 hours per week. (ABS statistics)

Clients per week

Most acupuncturists surveyed by Endeavour consult with between 11 and 30 clients per week.

Professional associations

Case study

Rod Martin - Founder, Go2 Human Performance

As one of Australia’s most highly decorated karate instructors in the JKF Goju Kai Australia and a successful business owner, the Endeavour College alumnus and experienced acupuncturist now runs several rapidly growing multi-modality clinics that attract wide attention from conventional and complementary healthcare professionals for achieving exceptional patient outcomes through an effective, integrated healthcare model.


This page was last updated on Friday 23 September 2016.