There is so much happening in the profession. That means there is no shortage of things to write about. Usually one of the bees in my bonnet buzzes so loudly that, after a night of begging it to please settle down, I wake up in the wee hours and write a post. These days, I’ve got a regular hive up there. No one bee has established dominance. It doesn’t make for better sleep. It does make it difficult to get a post written.
So, I spent the wee hours of this morning figuring out how to put a poll in this blog, and, if I’ve done it right, you can vote on my next post topic below. Please do.
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I have always been fascinated by statements about the incomes of acupuncturists like the one below.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) latest salary updates, health diagnosing and treating practitioners, such as an acupuncturist, earn a median annual salary of $72,710. From: http://www.naturalhealers.com/natural-health-careers/acupuncture/salary
I would love to hear what you think.
I think it isn’t accurate for acupuncturists! BLS doesn’t have a separate category for LAcs. Not sure who all is included in “health diagnosing and treating practitioners.” Remarkably (or is it?) most acupuncture groups (the exception being POCA) don’t seem all that interested in finding out what most of us are making. The NCCAOM 2008 Job Task Analysis indicated on page 19 that about 70% of respondents (no idea how representative that sample is) had a gross annual income of less than 60K. If they repeated the question in later years I have not been able to find the results.
I suspect the BLS statistics also expect that along with a salary practitioners might also be getting things like health insurance, sick days, paid vacation, etc. Most acupuncturists don’t get any of those things, and are also like to be paying self-employment taxes.
All in all, not a pretty picture. Especially when the same document showed median student loan debt for LAcs was something like 50K.
I read the 2013 NCCAOM Job Task Analysis carefully, looking for the acupuncturist income data, which they had included in the 2008 report. It is not there. On the NCCAOM JTA webpage, it says, “The NCCAOM plans to provide updated demographic and clinical practice characteristics information from its most recent 2013 JA in by the end of 2013, which will be featured on this page.” Perhaps that will include income, but maybe not. And of course the end of 2013 has come and gone.
The other issue with income data is that most reports don’t specify if we are talking about gross income or net income, which is very different. The BLS statistics above are reporting “salary.”
After I left my last comment I began wondering, if you really looked at salaried jobs for LAcs, it might be that the median income was something like 70K. I believe that is what some of the VA and Army jobs are advertising at. But there are few LAcs working in those positions. (And, on Facebook, the salary range got a lot of complaints. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised — we seem to be a dissatisfied group.)
I think I’ll contact NCCAOM and ask when we might see those 2013 figures 🙂