Chiropractors have the best job security in the country, according to an analysis done by financial company 24/7 Wall Street and publicized in late March.
The company used 2014 unemployment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare just shy of 600 careers. Chiropractic services had the lowest unemployment rate of any field, at just 0.1%. The median annual pay (calculated from 2012 data), was $66,160.
Dr. Kevin Cunningham, vice chancellor for student affairs at Palmer College of Chiropractic, said that’s not surprising given the growing demand for alternative healthcare options. His institution boasts a 95% placement rate for graduates, he told local media in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer is the founding college of the chiropractic profession.
According to federal data, employment in the chiropractic field is expected to grow 14.6% in the decade between 2012 and 2022.
Chiropractic is somewhat uniquely placed in the American healthcare system in that it sets itself up as an alternative to mainstream medical treatment — using manual adjustments as opposed to surgeries and drug therapies — and yet requires that practitioners hold doctoral degrees and is integrated into the healthcare system to some extent (even being covered by most insurance plans).
Both patients and insurance companies have financial reasons to turn to chiropractors, as well; one recent study found that treatment for low back pain cost up to 20% less when it was initiated by a D.C., a doctor of chiropractic, than when it was initiated by an M.D.
Quite a few healthcare jobs made 24/7 Wall Street’s top 10 list. Dentists and physician assistants came in tied for second with 0.2% unemployment. They earned a median pay of $149,310 and $90,930, respectively. Physician assistants can expect to see their field grow by a whopping 38.4% before 2022, as well.
Physicians and surgeons, medical lab techs, and speech-language pathologists also made the list.
Postal carriers (0.9% unemployment) and farmers (1% unemployment) rounded out the bottom end of the rankings. Out of the 10 most secure professions, seven require bachelor’s degrees at minimum, with many requiring advanced degrees.
The news comes just as the latest unemployment numbers show that American economic growth is weakening and employers in nearly half of U.S. states cut jobs in March.