Therapy

Acupuncturist

Acupuncturists insert needles into pressure points on clients’ bodies to help relieve everyday stresses, and improve their wellbeing.

Annual Salary

Variable

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

Variable

5%
Future employment

There will be 5% more Acupuncturist jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • taking a detailed history from clients
  • talking about issues surrounding a client's symptoms, like lifestyle, diet and emotions
  • diagnosing problems and deciding what action to take
  • selecting points on the body to be treated
  • inserting needles
  • keeping records
  • referring clients to medical practitioners

You can get into this job through:

  • specialist courses run by professional bodies

Other routes

You'll need to do a qualification that is recognised by one of the professional organisations for acupuncture, for example:

The British Acupuncture Accreditation Board is an independent accreditation body, and has approved several courses that lead to membership of the British Acupuncture Council.

Courses are offered at different levels, with some going up to degree. Each body sets its own course entry requirements.

If you're a qualified healthcare professional, like a doctor or nurse, you could train in acupuncture through the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS).

Members of the BMAS are regulated healthcare professionals who practise acupuncture in their professional practice.

You'll need to pass background checks

Variable

Your salary will depend on the hours you work and the number of clients you see. 

You’ll usually charge £40 to £100 an hour.

With experience and a good reputation, you may see up to 30 clients per week.

These figures are a guide.

Variable

You’ll usually be self-employed. You may have to offer evening and weekend appointments to meet the needs of your patients.

You could work from home, at a hospice, in a therapy clinic, at a GP practice or in an NHS or private hospital.

You may need a driving licence.

With experience you could move into teaching or research.

You may find it useful to join organisations like the British Acupuncture Council and Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

You can find out more about acupuncture careers from the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board and the British Acupuncture Council.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • knowledge of psychology
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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