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Sports physiotherapist

Sports physiotherapists diagnose and treat sports injuries.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £23,000 to £45,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • a physiotherapy degree approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • professional registration as a chartered physiotherapist
  • a relevant master’s degree
  • 1 to 2 years’ work experience as a physiotherapist
  • a good understanding of sports training methods
It may help if you have experience with a local or amateur team in the sport you’re interested in.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • experience in the treatment and management of sports injuries
  • the ability to educate, advise and motivate people
  • good organisational and administration skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll work with top professional sports people, amateurs or people who do sports as a leisure activity. You could specialise in a particular sport, or in a particular aspect of physiotherapy, like rehabilitation.

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

4. Salary

Starter: £23,000 (private sector) to  £26,000 (public sector)

Experienced: £30,000 (private sector) to £32,000 (public sector)

Highly Experienced: £45,000 or more

Sports physiotherapists working with high profile athletes can earn much more.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work evenings and weekends as you’ll need to be at training sessions and competitions in the UK or abroad. You’ll often need to spend time away from home.

When on tour with a team, you may work up to 16 hours a day.

6. 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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Last updated: 07 December 2016