Sports physiotherapists diagnose and treat sports injuries.
Salary range: £23,000 to £45,000
How to become a sports physiotherapist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working your way into this role
You can do a degree in physiotherapy approved by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
You may be able to do a fast-track postgraduate course if you’ve got a first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject like:
- biological science
- sports science
Competition for places on courses is strong. It will help if you have relevant healthcare experience before applying, for example as a physiotherapy assistant.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- finance for postgraduate courses
- university courses and entry requirements
You can get into this job through a physiotherapist degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, preferably including biology, for a degree apprenticeship
You could start as a physiotherapy assistant and do a part-time degree while you work, to qualify.
Volunteering and experience
You’ll find it useful to get some paid or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting or personal care role.
Private physiotherapy clinics, nursing homes and sports clinics may also offer work placements.
- you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council
Experience of working with a local amateur sports team or club will be helpful.
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:
- a good understanding of sports training methods
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- examining and diagnosing injuries
- planning treatment programmes
- using methods like manipulation, massage and electrotherapy
- giving advice on how to avoid sports injuries
- keeping records of patient’s treatment and progress
- giving accurate timescales for when players may be able to play again
You could work in an NHS or private hospital, on a sports field, at a fitness centre or in a therapy clinic.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time, you’ll travel often and physically demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could teach physiotherapy to university students, or set up your own sports physiotherapy clinic.
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