Job descriptions and industry overviews


22 Jun 2023, 13:18

Acupuncturists possess in-depth knowledge of anatomy and the use of treatments and techniques such as shiatsu, acupressure, tuina and heat or cold therapy.

Blurred image of a person in an office setting with the text "Acupuncturist" overlayed.

Acupuncturists carry out physical examinations of their patients and compare findings with medical history and evaluations of lifestyle in order to diagnose according to Oriental medicine traditions. Many acupuncturists are self-employed; some work for specialist clinics or hospitals.

Work Activities

  • carry out an initial consultation with each client, in order to establish a detailed case history, assess their health and determine a treatment plan
  • conduct subsequent one-to-one treatment sessions, lasting between 45 minutes and an hour
  • explain the diagnosis and treatment to the client and respond to their questions and concerns
  • give treatment by inserting fine needles into the skin at particular locations, to stimulate the energy flow along meridians (energy channels) and the body's own healing response
  • incorporate other treatments, such as moxibustion (burning the moxa herb on or near the skin), electro-acupuncture (stimulating insertion points with small electric currents), acupressure (to loosen and relax muscles) and cupping
  • assess client progress through questioning and examination, reviewing treatment plans if necessary
  • keep client and financial records
  • organise and promote your practice.


An acupuncturist's earnings are related to the success of the practice and may be low during the first three to four years, as it can take time to get established. Salries can also very widely depending on the location of your practice. If located in a city you are likely to earn more than if you are absed in a rural area.

Work conditions

Travel: not usually necessary.
Working hours: mostly regular.
Location: based in clinics and hospitals across Ireland and Northern Ireland, or at home.

Entry requirements

A degree, particularly in a science, is beneficial but not compulsory. The main Acupuncture and TCM qualification is the Licentiate in TCM (Lic.TCM), which is offered by institutions such as The Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

People reading this also searched for roles in these areas:

undefined background image

We've got you

Get the latest jobs, internships, careers advice, courses and graduate events based on what's important to you. Start connecting directly with top employers today.