Physiotherapists work with patients to improve their range of movement, and promote health and wellbeing.
Salary range: £24,214 to £43,772
How to become a physiotherapist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
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
- sports science
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can do a physiotherapist degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, preferably including biology, for a degree apprenticeship
You could work as a physiotherapy assistant and study part time for a degree to qualify.
Volunteering and experience
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’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for professional development and networking opportunities.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- to enjoy working with other people
- customer service skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- analytical thinking skills
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- to be flexible and open to change
- knowledge of psychology
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults
What you’ll do
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 could work at a hospice, at a client’s home, at a GP practice, at an adult care home, in an NHS or private hospital or at a fitness centre.
Career path and progression
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.