Comrades, as you may remember, way back in January, I put up a blog post about jobs for acupuncturists that ended with the following challenge:
Thanks to the suggestion of alert reader
Meaghan, I am pleased to announce a VERY SPECIAL OFFER. To the first
person who sends me evidence of a Real, Relevant, Replicable Job with an
Upper Middle Class Professional Salary, I will send you your very own
TOASTER! To take advantage of this opportunity, you must send, along
with your name and your address, the names of the people who hold this
job, the names of the organization(s) or person(s) who employ them, a
description of the income stream that supports the job, and a short
description of the job’s characteristics (salary, benefits, etc.) But
don’t despair — if you are the second person who sends me evidence of
such a job, I will ALSO send you your very own toaster! Same for the
third, fourth, etc. Plenty of toasters here.
Edited Again: But it can’t be the SAME job. If there is only, say, ONE
Real, Relevant, Replicable Job with an Upper Middle Class Professional
Salary for acupuncturists out there, you do not ALL get toasters for
telling me about it. I mean, come on.
So, just about six months later, I have had TWO people send me information about a Real, Relevant, Replicable Job — and yes, it’s the same job, which means there is just one toaster for two people, which is a problem that we are going to solve, dammit, but I’ll get to that later. First, let’s talk about the job.
Keith Zabik of Tucson Community Acupuncture, justly famous around here as The Googler, found this job posting with Cancer Treatment Centers of America for a staff acupuncturist. Jessica Feltz, with her 1,414 Facebook friends, of course KNOWS someone who actually holds that same position, and was able to confirm that this is an advertisement for an employee position with full benefits (vacation and sick time, malpractice insurance and CEUs paid for), supported not by student loans but by actual revenues from the hospital where the position is located. Keith did a little more digging and was able to confirm that the salary range is between $52-65K.
But. (There had to be a but, right?)
A prerequisite for the position is 3 to 5 years of experience. The actual posting says 5 years required, but based on the emails Keith exchanged with the people who posted the job, and the fact that it was posted on April 25th and is still unfilled, I’m guessing they might take someone with only 3 years.
And though it looks like this job is really replicable — Keith found 8 employees of CTCA nationwide who have acupuncture degrees — fully half of those *also* have ND degrees. Which suggests that a dual degree is more likely to get you an acupuncture job (or it might be a slightly different job, we don’t know).
I’m not sure that $52-65K counts as a truly UPPER middle class professional salary but it is at least middle-middle class, so I’ll give Keith and Jessica the benefit of the doubt, not to mention the toaster, since they managed to locate a grand total of four L.Acs nationwide who are real employees.
Four jobs — OK, five, counting the one that is waiting to be filled — and some 2,000 new graduates of acupuncture schools every year. Four jobs that also require 3-5 years previous experience. Which means, one way or another, new graduates are still looking at some variation on self-employment or starting their own businesses for 3 to 5 years after graduation, many of them burdened with debt loads of over $150K.
Clearly, not just any toaster would do. I had to dig deep.
Ideally, it wouldn’t be JUST a toaster — the way that an acupuncture degree isn’t just a degree, and an acupuncture job isn’t just a job, it’s about being transformed into a healing force and an agent of change — so it better be a toaster that pours forth rose petals, rainbows, and unicorns:
OK, I did the best I could! Just like the acu- schools are doing the best they can! Come on, we’re really trying!
Really, we are.
And since there might not be quite enough toaster to go around…Keith and Jessica, you’re so demanding…we’re going to try really hard to fix that problem, too.