Physiotherapy support worker
Physiotherapy assistants help physiotherapists work with patients to restore or improve movement.
Salary range: £17,652 to £23,761
How to become a physiotherapy assistant
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:
- Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
- Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
- Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science
Most health and social care courses include work placements, which is a good way for you to get experience.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You can do an intermediate apprenticeship as a health care support worker, or advanced apprenticeship as a senior healthcare support worker.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You could start as a healthcare assistant and learn on the job, then move into physiotherapy work through further training and promotion.
Volunteering and experience
You’ll find it useful to get some paid or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting or personal care role.
You could also contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for advice about opportunities.
Private physiotherapy clinics, nursing homes and sports clinics may also offer work placements.
You can apply directly for jobs if you’ve got relevant skills and experience from working in a healthcare setting.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to be flexible and open to change
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- 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
- have a first aid certificate
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- talking to patients and preparing them for therapy
- showing patients how to use mobility aids
- demonstrating and working through exercises with patients
- setting up equipment
- keeping records of patients’ progress
- providing reports to physiotherapists
You could work at a health centre, at a client’s home or in an NHS or private hospital.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience and further qualifications, you could become a senior physiotherapy support worker, or assistant practitioner.
You could take an accredited degree to train as a physiotherapist.