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The Definitive Guide: How To Become A Physiotherapist

Published on: 23 Oct 2018
physiotherapist hero

If you have an interest in human anatomy and are interested in the health and well being of others, then you could be a great physiotherapist.

What is a physiotherapist?

  • Job Description

    This is a very rewarding job, as you will be helping with the recovery of people in need. You could be helping people with back pain, arthritis, problems with posture, sport injuries, and rehabilitation after surgery. You will make a noticeable difference to your patients’ lives by performing many different practices on your patients such as massage, therapeutic exercise and electrotherapy.

    You can work with a range of clients including the elderly, disabled people, children, adults and sportsmen or women to improve their health and quality of life. Regardless of who you work with, your primary duty would be to diagnose and treat injuries.

  • Hours of Work

    As a full time physiotherapist you will most likely be working between 37 and 40 hours per week. Evening and weekends are common, as you will need to be available when your patients are available to make appointments. You could either work for the NHS or for a private company or sports team.

  • Main Responsibilities

    So, what will your main responsibilities be as a Physiotherapist?

    Duties typically include:

    • Diagnose, assess and treat patients with a range of conditions
    • Creating treatment plans to address client conditions
    • Keeping patient records up to date
    • Educate patients about their condition
    • Refer patients to the appropriate medical professional
    • Liaise with other healthcare professionals such as GP’s
    • Keep up to date with the latest technologies and techniques

Key Physiotherapist qualifications

Do you have the qualifications to get the job?

It is essential in this job role to be educated to degree level. You can qualify to study physiotherapy at university usually with 3 A levels, including a Science and perhaps PE.

Once you have completed your undergraduate degree you could further your education by completing a postgraduate degree in physiotherapy. This will set you aside from other candidates when applying for jobs.

physiotherapist education

Vital Physiotherapist Skills

Want to know if you’ve got what it takes? These are the skills you’ll need for the role

  • Communication skills
  • Organisation
  • Patience
  • Teamwork
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Sensitivity
  • Good physical health and fitness
  • Time management

What is a Physiotherapist’s salary?

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty…

As a newly qualified physiotherapist, you can expect to earn between £20,000 and £30,000. Once you have more experience your salary can go up to £35,000 and even further down the line when you have reached a specialist level you can earn up t £55,000.


How to become a Physiotherapist

Now that you know what a Physiotherapist does, how do you become one?

It is extremely necessary to complete work placements whilst studying to develop competence and give you practical experience. In most cases, students are required to pass a certain number of hours of practical work before advancing on to the next level of study. Placements are often in an NHS setting under the supervision of experienced physiotherapists.

You can use your feedback from your work placements when applying for jobs to show that you have potential and are hardworking.

How to develop your Physiotherapist career

So, imagine for a second that you’ve been a Physiotherapist for some time – what next?

The next step in your career is to progress to a senior position. As a senior physiotherapist you will usually be required to have at least 5 years’ experience and you will be working closely with other managers within the workplace.

You could also consider going into teaching by picking up the textbook once more and gaining a teaching qualification. You can combine your physiotherapy degree with a teaching qualification to inspire others to become a physiotherapist and improve people’s quality of life.

If you are interested in changing your career completely, you could look into becoming a personal trainer. You will already have the knowledge you need about the human body to give health and fitness advice and to train people safely and effectively. You may need to take extra courses.

Career Opportunities