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Physiotherapists work with patients to improve their range of movement and promote health and wellbeing.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll need a physiotherapy degree or postgraduate award approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
You could also gain experience through an apprenticeship.
You'll also need an enhanced background check which your employer will arrange for you.
If you've already got a relevant degree in biological science, psychology or sports science, you may be able to take a CSP approved fast-track postgraduate course.
2. Skills required
- excellent communication skills
- good manual skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to be firm yet encouraging
- organisational and administrative skills
3. What you'll do
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
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.
Starter: around £22,000
Experienced: £28,000 to £35,000 (specialist physiotherapist)
Highly Experienced: up to £41,000 (advanced physiotherapist or team manager)
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
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.
6. Career path and progression
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.
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Last updated: 18 April 2018