The California Department of Consumer Affairs Acupuncture Board that certifies acupuncturists in the state. There is a large number of acupuncturists in California. In the most recent count, there were about 8500 licensees in this category.
California has a state written acupuncture exam. But you can’t just go straight to taking the test and become certified. There are qualifications that must be met before challenging the exam. I will discuss each one in this article.
You must complete an acupuncture and Oriental medicine training program that is approved by the Board. If you enrolled before January 1, 2015, the required hours of the program need to have only been 2348. But for anyone who enrolled after that date, the new standard is 3000 hours. This requirements is just one way to satisfy the education/training component.
Another way to qualify is an approved tutorial program focusing on acupuncture. This option requires a total of 3798 hours.
Starting January 1, 2017, the law states the Board will determine whether education and training in a different country is sufficient to qualify the applicant for the California exam. So at the time of this post, it is not clear yet exactly what the standards will be. Also, the standards above may change over time. So check with the Board before starting any training program and make sure it is approved.
There is an NCCAOM national acupuncture exam. This is not sufficient to replace the California state test. No reciprocity exists for anyone who has not taken the state exam. Those moving to California who took the NCCAOM will have to pass the California test first before getting certification.
As of May 2016, you can take the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam in either English, Korean, or Mandarin. There is an application fee of $75 and a test fee of $550.
As of May 2016, there were 38 acupuncture schools approved by the Board.
Use the Examination Forms page on the Board’s website to apply for the test and certification if you pass.