Therapy

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists work with patients to improve their range of movement and promote health and wellbeing.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £41,000

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

Working hours

37.5

5%
Future employment

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

What's it all about?

You’ll be based in a hospital, health centre, nursing home, GP surgery or fitness centre. You may also visit patients in their own homes. 

Examples of day-to-day tasks may include:

  • helping patients with spine and joint problems
  • helping patients recovering from accidents, sports injuries and strokes
  • working with children who have mental or physical disabilities
  • helping older people with physical problems become more mobile

You’ll work in areas and departments like paediatrics, outpatients, intensive care, women's health and occupational health. In your work you’ll use treatments and techniques like:

  • physical manipulation and massage
  • therapeutic exercise
  • electrotherapy
  • ultrasound
  • acupuncture
  • hydrotherapy

You’ll keep accurate records of patients' treatment and progress. Working closely with other health professionals like nurses, occupational therapists, health visitors and social workers will also be an important part of your role.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You can do a degree in physiotherapy approved by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

You may be able to do a 2-year postgraduate course if you've got a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • biological science
  • psychology
  • sports science

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, including a biological science for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

Apprenticeship

You can do a physiotherapist degree apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, preferably including biology, for a degree apprenticeship

Further Information

You could work as a physiotherapy assistant and study part time for a degree to qualify.

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in health or care work before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for advice about opportunities.

Private physiotherapy clinics, nursing homes or sports clinics may also offer work placements.

You can join the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for professional development and networking opportunities.

You can find out more about physiotherapy careers from Health Careers and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

£22,000 to £41,000

Starter salary: around £22,000

Experienced salary: £28,000 to £35,000 (specialist physiotherapist)

These figures are a guide.

37.5

You’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week. 

It's important to have a good level of personal fitness as the work can be physically tiring.

You may find it useful to become a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

With experience you could become self-employed and set up your own practice.

In the NHS, you could progress to senior physiotherapist or move into health service management. You could also specialise in an area like orthopaedics, sports therapy, occupational health, or working with older people or children.

You could also move into research or teaching.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • good manual skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to be firm yet encouraging
  • organisational and administrative skills
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