Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Acupuncturist

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Acupuncture is a medical practice that requires years of schooling and then certification by an organization such as the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Students who wish to become acupuncturists with accredited programs may need to complete at least a college certification in a two-year program in a related field.

Prerequisites

  • Not all acupuncture schools require that students have previous college credit. However, some require a bachelor's degree in a related field. All schools accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine require at least a two-year college program before entering. Any candidate who wants certification from the ACAOM or the NCCAOM must graduate from an ACAOM-accredited program.

Graduate from a Program

  • The ACAOM lists many accredited programs (see Resources) To graduate, a student must complete a three-year program, which includes 705 hours of oriental medicine and acupuncture theory; 660 clinic hours; 450 biomedicine hours and 90 hours of counseling, communications, ethics and practice management.

Pass the Test

  • In 40 states, graduates must be certified by passing an NCCAOM test. Candidates have five chances to pass the test.

Check for State Laws

  • Different states have different rules about practicing acupuncture. While graduating from a program and passing the NCCAOM test is sufficient to practice in many states, candidates should check laws in the state in which they intend to practice for other requirements. The website Acupuncture.com lists contact information for state requirements (see Resources).

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  • Photo Credit akupunktur image by Jens Klingebiel from Fotolia.com
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