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Careers Advice: How To Become a Physiotherapist

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What is a Physiotherapist?

The job of a physiotherapist is to help patients overcome the physical difficulties they experience as a result of disability, illness or injury. This can be in the form of devising new treatment programmes or using a range of therapeutic techniques to amend existing ones.

What does a Physiotherapist do?

Although each patient's needs will be different, typical physiotherapist duties may include:

  • Working with patients over a period of weeks or months

  • Diagnosing physical problems

  • Creating and implementing treatment programmes

  • Educating patients on self-care

  • Writing case notes

  • Communicating with other healthcare professionals to ensure optimum treatment

  • Teaching student physiotherapists

  • Including carers, family or friends in the treatment process

Working hours

Full time physiotherapists can expect to work 37.5 hours a week, with hours spread differently based on the type of physiotherapist you are. For example, NHS workers can expect to work a normal 9 – 5 business day, whereas sports physiotherapists are much more likely to work evenings and weekends.

Work base

Although typically physiotherapists work in healthcare buildings, some may make house calls or work out in the local community

Travel

Travel will generally be limited to local house calls or visiting the local community.

Salary ranges & earning potential

Entry level qualified physiotherapists can expect to earn between £21,000 to £28,500 a year while working for the NHS, which can then increase to between £26,300 to £35,225 a year with experience.

Those who become advance physiotherapist practitioners, who are highly specialised and experience, can expect to earn between £31,000 and £41,000 a year.