Sports physiotherapist

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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

University

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
  • psychology
  • 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.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a physiotherapist degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

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

More information

Work

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.

More information

Registration

Career tips

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.

Further information

You can find out more about working in sports physiotherapy from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and Physios in Sport.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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:

You’ll need:

  • a good understanding of sports training methods

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

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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