Definition: Acupuncturist Job Description

What are the missions of the Acupuncturist? What training to follow to exercise this profession? What are his outlets and his salary? The answers are provided to you by this Acupuncturist job description.

Profession of acupuncturist

A specialist in traditional Chinese medicine, the acupuncturist relieves and treats physical and psychological ailments using fine needles. Discover this profession in detail.

What is an acupuncturist?

Traditional Chinese medicine existing for millennia or alternative medicine, acupuncture intervenes in the relief of lower back pain, digestive disorders or pains such as those of rheumatism, tendonitis, sprain or osteoarthritis. The acupuncturist can also help treat stress, anxiety, depression, and pregnant women to combat certain ailments of pregnancy.

To do their job, the acupuncturist uses fine needles that are used to stimulate the subcutaneous tissues and mucous membranes. These needles are supposed to restore smooth circulation. The professional can also use light rays, electric current or heat.

The acupuncture sessions can be done over several weeks, or even over several months and consist in placing, then withdrawing, sterilized needles on the different areas of the body where the diagnosed energy imbalances are concentrated.

Missions of the acupuncturist

  • Study of the medical file to find out about the patient’s health history and habits,
  • Assessment of the patient’s psychological and emotional state, and physical condition;
  • Physical condition assessment,
  • Clinical examinations if necessary,
  • Realization of the patient’s energy balance (according to the teachings of Chinese medicine),
  • Treatment protocol adapted to the patient (number and frequency of sessions),
  • Advice on homeopathic medicines to take, diets to adopt, positions to adopt, rehabilitation to follow…
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Qualities to become an acupuncturist

Good physical condition

The profession of acupuncturist requires good physical condition. Indeed, it is necessary to be able to move the patients who can sometimes be corpulent but also to work in a standing position most of the time.


The health and comfort of patients depends in part on the methodical and rigorous work of the acupuncturist: good command of the instruments, respect for hygiene and safety rules, perfect knowledge of the human body and solid knowledge of osteopathy.

Have good interpersonal skills

A good acupuncturist knows how to listen and understand his patients in order to establish a real relationship of trust, put them at ease and allow them to relax during the various manipulations.

Training to become an acupuncturist

First and foremost, medical training is compulsory to become an acupuncturist. In France, only doctors and midwives are authorized to practice as an acupuncturist and must undergo specific training for this.

Only qualified doctors are the only ones authorized to integrate a course in acupuncture such as the IUD (inter-university diploma) of general acupuncture. This training, which is spread over 3 years, is accessible in most medical universities in France.

Since 2008, also exists the state diploma of “acupuncture ability”.

Private schools are also present and most of them are only accessible to candidates who have already studied medicine. Some training centers provide this training to a wider audience but the candidate will not be able to legally exercise his profession in France.

Salary of an acupuncturist

Like most liberal professions, remuneration will depend on the reputation of the professional. An acupuncturist or a liberal acupuncturist receives an average of 3000 $ gross per month.

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If the acupuncturist works in an acupuncture practice as an employee, his remuneration will generally be lower, around $ 2,300.

Where to work as an acupuncturist?

The acupuncturist can practice liberally or work in an acupuncture practice as an employee. Even if France recognizes this practice in its health care system, reimburses it and offers university medical education, acupuncture is still poorly regarded and does not attract a large patient population. The market is therefore very small.

In addition, the profession is less profitable than other medical specialties and therefore does not attract candidates as much. This is why many acupuncturists keep practicing general medicine in order to be able to live properly.

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