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Physiotherapy assistant

Physiotherapy assistants help physiotherapists work with patients to restore or improve movement.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £22,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need to have a good standard of general education, like 4 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English, maths and science.

Paid or unpaid experience in a healthcare setting or personal care role would be useful. 

A first aid certificate may also be helpful.

You could take a college course in health and social care, but this isn’t essential. Many colleges also offer pre-employment programmes for people looking to move into healthcare work. 

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has more information about becoming a physiotherapy assistant.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • patience, sensitivity, tolerance and tact
  • the ability to encourage and motivate patients to complete their treatment programme
  • an understanding and caring attitude

3. What you'll do

You’ll work with patients of all ages and with a range of conditions. Your patients may have an injury or an illness or disease that has caused lack of movement. You’ll support patients and work with them to improve their mobility. 

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

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £18,000

Experienced: up to £22,000 (senior physiotherapy assistants)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work between 37.5 and 40 hours a week. This may involve a rota or shift pattern including weekends, evenings and nights.

You could be based at a hospital physiotherapy department, or work in the community visiting people in health centres or in their own homes. Some physiotherapy assistants work at private clinics, voluntary organisations or charities.

6. 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. 

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Last updated: 18 August 2017