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An acupuncturist is a licensed health care professional who, based on the concepts of oriental medicine, maintains the health of patients and evaluates and treats their illness and pain.

Licensing Requirements

A licensed acupuncturist has completed a three-year professional training program in acupuncture after a minimum of two years of college education. This three-year program includes both theory and hands-on clinical practice. In addition, a licensed acupuncturist must pass a State-approved licensing examination before becoming licensed.

  • Be of good moral character
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Meet educational and examination requirements; and
  • demonstrate proficiency in English if you are a candidate whose application is based upon credit granted for the completion of courses of study in a country where English is not the principal language spoken.

The practice of acupuncture or the use of the title "licensed acupuncturist" within New York State requires licensure as an acupuncturist, unless otherwise exempt under the law. The latest information and requirements for licensure are available on the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions website at

Education Requirements

To satisfy the education requirements for licensure as an acupuncturist, you must present evidence of the following:

Preprofessional College/University Education
Satisfactory completion of at least 60 semester hours at an accredited college or university, including nine semester hours in the biosciences. Biosciences are defined as biological sciences and do not include chemistry or physics. Coursework completed to satisfy your professional education requirement cannot be used to also satisfy the biosciences requirement.

Professional Acupuncture Education
Satisfactory completion of an approved professional acupuncture program registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure qualifying or accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) or another accrediting agency accepted by the Department as a reliable authority, or the equivalent.

Examinations Requirements

You must successfully complete the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's (NCCAOM) Acupuncture with Point Location exam and Foundations of Oriental Medicine exam. If you successfully completed NCCAOM's Acupuncture Written examination, Point Location examination, and Clean Needle Technique course prior to June 2004, you meet the examination requirement for licensure.


The fee for licensure is $788.
The fee for a limited permit is $70.

Licenses Issued and Active

In 2018, 338 registered licenses were issued for this occupation.
In 2019, 231 registered licenses were issued for this occupation.

As of July 14, 2020, there are 3,986 active licenses for this occupation.

Licensing Authority

New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
Bureau of Comparative Education
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3817 Press 1 then ext. 300
Fax: (518) 486-2966
E-mail: [email protected]

Standard Occupational Classification

29-1199.01 - Acupuncturists
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).

Additional Information

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
2001 K Street, NW, 3rd Floor North
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 888-381-1140
Fax: 202-381-1141
E-mail: [email protected]


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 11/2/20.

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