You’ll help people improve their mobility and regain their independence after an injury or operation, or as a result of ageing or a disability.
Training and qualifications requiredYou need to study for an approved degree level programme in physiotherapy - either through a full-time or part-time university degree or a degree apprenticeship in physiotherapy. There are also two-year accelerated MSc courses available to people who already have a BSc degree in a relevant subject. To get onto a physiotherapy degree course you usually need two or three A levels (or equivalent qualifications), including a biological science and/or PE, along with five GCSEs (grades 9-4/A-C), including English language, maths and at least one science. You'll need similar level 3 qualifications to get onto a degree apprenticeship. Each university and employer sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully.
Expected working hours and salary rangePhysiotherapists in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. They may work shifts, including evenings, nights and weekends. They start at band 5 of the Agenda for Change pay scale. Elsewhere, a physiotherapist’s hours will depend on where they work. For example, a sports physiotherapist is likely to work at weekends. In private practice, physiotherapists’ hours depend on client needs. They may work evenings and weekends to suit private clients.
Desirable skills and valuesPhysiotherapists need to be happy to be hands-on with patients, good listeners, caring, able to motivate people and normally physically fit as the work can be strenuous. They also need good manual (hand) skills good organisation and communication skills and an ability to explain treatment to patients.
ProspectsYou may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice such as sports injuries, critical care, care of the elderly or working with children or cancer patients. Teaching and research are also options. You could also move into management, either within physiotherapy services or general management. As head of a local physiotherapy service you would be responsible both for a team of staff and for managing a budget. Some physiotherapists set up their own clinics, on their own or with other professionals.
Compare roles in health
Not sure where to start with the hundreds of NHS careers? Use our compare roles section to get bite-size information on the entry requirements and training, pay and conditions, prospects and skills needed of up to three roles. If there is something that you think you could do, then get more in-depth information on the role.
Don't forget, you can also save your role comparisons by registering with us.