Home > Diagnostics & Research > How to Become a Physiotherapist

How to Become a Physiotherapist

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 9 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Career Health Sports Injury Personal

It can be easy for a person to take their body for granted but when personal injury occurs or they suffer from pain and lose mobility for other reasons, the role of a physiotherapist becomes an important one.

Physiotherapists help people to overcome the barriers that result from physical problems. Whether a patient has suffered from an accident, sports injury, personal injury in the home or has physical problems related to ageing or illness, a physiotherapist will help the patient to reduce their pain and improve their mobility and functioning each day.

Choosing Physiotherapy As A Health Care Career

Physiotherapy is a very hands-on profession that involves interaction with a broad range of clients of all ages and backgrounds. In this career, your focus will be on improving your client's movement to maximise their health and mobility. Through a combination of health promotion and prevention tips to encourage a safe and healthy lifestyle, you would provide tailored treatment and rehabilitation for your clients. Through training, you would learn how to manually treat patients, often using props and various pieces of medical equipment and devices for their sports injury or personal injury. You would also use electrical devices and you would ensure that your client's lifestyle and cultural background were respected when formulating a treatment plan.

One of the exciting aspects of physiotherapy is that you can choose to specialise further by working in areas such as women's health, sports injuries, elderly care, learning disabilities, occupational health or paediatrics. You can also choose to work within a hospital or private practice. Some physiotherapists will work in integrated health practices while others may work independently. Physical fitness is an important part of physiotherapy and most physiotherapy practices will have a special gym and hydrotherapy options to ensure that clients can receive the best kind of specialised equipment available for their health and medical needs.

Personal Qualities Of A Physiotherapist

Given the integral importance of movement, physiotherapists will find work in non-traditional career settings such as schools, nursing homes and general community health centres. To succeed as a physiotherapist, you need to have a very team oriented approach, particularly since many clients will be referred from their general practitioner and you will be communicating back and forth with other health professionals. You should have a warm and friendly personality because you will need to put patients at ease and build up a good rapport with each one. You also need a good patience level because it can take time for patients to make progress. Your patients will sometimes feel frustrated and they will need reassurance and gentle encouragement along with your compassion.

Education To Become A Physiotherapist

To train for a career as a physiotherapist, you will need to complete an undergraduate degree in physiotherapy and then you must register within the United Kingdom (UK) to work. Most physiotherapists will work for the National Health Service (NHS) but some will still work independently or in community health practices. After graduation, you can fine-tune your career and choose to specialise in various areas. In fact, you can even complete graduate studies and then go on to teach at a university or work in the research sector. Physiotherapist wages start at around £19,600 to £25,500 and with experience, you can earn £32,000 or more. Senior positions can bring in earnings of more than £40,000.

Future Of Physiotherapy

The outlook for jobs in this medical sector are excellent, primarily because society has recognised the importance of non-pharmaceutical forms of therapy to help patients regain their health and mobility following an illness, injury or ageing related disorders and problems. If you enjoy working with people and want to work in a hands-on role that allows you to help patients improve their health, then consider a career in physiotherapy.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Maz - Your Question:
I am doing my GCSE and want to go into physiotherapy what do I need to do

Our Response:
In addition to the information in the article, you can find out more via the gov.uk link here. I hope this helps.
AHealthCareer - 10-May-17 @ 12:00 PM
I am doing my GCSE and want to go into physiotherapy what do I need to do
Maz - 9-May-17 @ 9:32 PM
Hi What's the unemployment rate in UK for pt?
Sol - 19-Mar-17 @ 9:25 AM
I am passionate about being physiotherapist. I am studying Level 3 Sports Exercise science. I am work at D*D*D*. I am apply for university but none universities have given me any offer yet. I have done over 104 hours of shadowing a physio.
lia - 16-Jan-17 @ 11:59 PM
Hi I have a sports science degree, PT, level 4 sports massage therapy, Dry Needling and medical acupuncture and have attended a course called be activated by Douglas heel. Planning to do FST and IASTM in the near future too :) and potentially s&c Is there a way I can get on to a masters without doing undergrad ? Thanks
Lauren - 21-Dec-16 @ 9:23 AM
I study in 11th science A group in gujarat can i do physiotherapy after 12th
NILU - 2-Dec-16 @ 2:19 PM
Hi .I was physiotherapist nurse in my country and I have tried to register with HCPC as a physiotherapist. Unfortunately I have to do more courses for covering allthe requirements from them . Could you pleasehelp with an advice? Many thanks
Dana - 15-Nov-16 @ 2:29 PM
@Susie - if you have 36 years working in the US, then of course your skills will be transferable, as long as you can provide references. You have a great track record! Best of luck, Angie.
ABG77 - 2-Nov-16 @ 1:39 PM
I have been educated and practiced in the USA for 36 years as a registered Physical Therapist. I am English by nationality and hold an EU passport. I have family I the UK and potentially Beowulf like to return. I have extensive experience in acute care acute rehab and home care services. Would it be possible to translate my qualifications to practice I. The UK
Susie - 1-Nov-16 @ 5:38 PM
Please i am a graduate of international relations, can i go into physiotherapy for msc or do i have to do another bsc for physiotherapy?
dami - 16-Sep-16 @ 6:55 PM
Hi I left school without any qualifications but have always wanted to be a physio, which subjects would I need to study to get into university?
hayleyb - 19-Aug-16 @ 8:56 AM
I am a 3rd year general nursing student at the university of Stirling and was wondering with my degree can I further go on to study a MSc programme in pre-regiestry physiotherapy ??
John - 18-Aug-16 @ 10:48 PM
Hi I'm a nursery nurse and have been for 2 years. I'm level 2 health and social care qualified and and looking for a carer change. What steps should I take to becoming a physiotherapist?
Zoe - 13-Jul-16 @ 9:41 PM
Hi I'm currently fifteen and in grade 9.I would like to become a physiotherapists once i'm done with school but we need to choose subjects soon and i am not sure what subjects I would have to take to be a physiotherapists and i was wondering if you could give me advice on what to take in grade 10
Sav - 22-Apr-16 @ 7:20 PM
I have completed my BSc psychology degree and was wondering if I can go down the physiotherapy pathway...
Poppy - 22-Apr-16 @ 4:01 PM
Me-Mo - Your Question:
Hi I've got 2:1 Honour in Health and Social Welfare also 2 years experience as a physiotherapist/occupational therapist assistant. I am in a process of putting an application together for 2016 in take for Msc Pre-Reg Physiotherapisy but, I am a bit relactuntent because I don't have sience in my GCSE I only have maths and English. Please advice so that I don't waste my time on this, as submission procedures involves enclosed of two references, which is very time consuming.

Our Response:
In this case I can only suggest you speak directly to the admissions team directly as they can inform you of the stricter criteria of the establishment you are applying to.
AHealthCareer - 18-Apr-16 @ 10:22 AM
Hi I've got 2:1 Honour in Health and Social Welfare also 2 years experience as a physiotherapist/occupational therapist assistant. I am in a process of putting an application together for 2016 in take for Msc Pre-Reg Physiotherapisy but, I am a bit relactuntent because I don't have sience in my GCSE I only have maths and English. Please advice so that I don't waste my time on this, as submission procedures involves enclosed of two references, which is very time consuming.
Me-Mo - 17-Apr-16 @ 1:34 AM
Trace - Your Question:
Hi there I'm a beauty therapist with over 10 years experience qualified to nvq level 3 I would like to become a physiotherapist and wondered if I could get onto it by being trained in this or whether I would need to take further education to get into it?

Our Response:
Because physiotherapy is quite specialised, in order to become a qualified physiotherapist you need a physiotherapy degree or postgraduate award approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. Please see link here for more information.
AHealthCareer - 15-Apr-16 @ 1:46 PM
Hello, I am a high school student considering a career in physical therapy, i have Biology, English, and Maths. Would that be sufficient to be successful once i begin my studies in Pre-Physical Therapyat university?
TheDarkSoul - 14-Apr-16 @ 10:58 PM
Hi there I'm a beauty therapist with over 10 years experience qualified to nvq level 3 I would like to become a physiotherapist and wondered if I could get onto it by being trained in this or whether I would need to take further education to get into it?
Trace - 14-Apr-16 @ 3:44 PM
Rachy - Your Question:
Hi, I am currently in the process of changing my career pathway, and hoping to develop a career in physiotherapy. I intend to gain qualifications to become a physiotherapists. I have already attained a second upper class degree in sports science, gained 3 A-levels and 11 GSCE's all grades C and above. I was wondering if it was possible for you to point me in the right direction? How do I go about becoming a physiotherapist - do I have to study an undergraduate degree again, or are there courses/ classes in college that are available to me? Currently I am in full-time work and would like to still be employed during my studies if this was a possibility. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards, Rachel.

Our Response:
I can only point you in the direction of the National Careers website here and which will tell you that if you have a first class or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject (such as a biological science, psychology or sports science) you could qualify as a physiotherapist by taking a fast-track postgraduate course. Of course, as you will also be aware an easy transition for you would be to move into sports physiotherapy. I hope this helps and good luck.
AHealthCareer - 16-Mar-16 @ 11:20 AM
Hi, I am currently in the process of changing my career pathway, and hoping to develop a career in physiotherapy. I intend to gain qualifications to become a physiotherapists. I have already attaineda second upper class degree in sports science, gained 3 A-levels and 11 GSCE's all grades C and above. I was wondering if it was possible for you to point me in the right direction? How do I go about becoming a physiotherapist - do I have to study an undergraduate degree again, or are there courses/ classes in college that are available to me? Currently I am in full-time work and would like to still be employed during my studies if this was a possibility. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards, Rachel.
Rachy - 15-Mar-16 @ 1:10 PM
Charlotte- Your Question:
I'm 21 and have a maths and English gcse which I'm in the process of retaking ,I would like to become a physiotherapist but only have 2 gcse and at this present moment do not have A levels ,could I get into uni with just the 2 gcse and the A levels when I do them. Many thanks

Our Response:
If you do not attain your qualifications another route to consider further down the line would be to complete an access to university course, please see link here. I hope this helps.
AHealthCareer - 11-Mar-16 @ 1:46 PM
I'm 21 and have a maths and English gcse which I'm in the process of retaking,I would like to become a physiotherapist but only have 2 gcse and at this present moment do not have A levels ,could I get into uni with just the 2 gcse and the A levels when I do them. Many thanks
Charlotte - 10-Mar-16 @ 11:59 PM
emmap33 - Your Question:
Hi,My partner is currently in the armed forces, but wants to become a physiotherapist. He wants to do this whilst still in the army, however he cannot find any online course. Is there any way he can get the qualification without leaving the army?

Our Response:
The Open University is works closely with the British Army to provide in-Service qualifications that can help a person progress their career. Depending on length of service, the Army allows time/money to train for life outside the Army. Your partner should have a word with Army Careers Advice who can advise him further. I hope this helps.
AHealthCareer - 11-Jan-16 @ 2:43 PM
Hi, My partner is currently in the armed forces, but wants to become a physiotherapist. He wants to do this whilst still in the army, however he cannot find any online course. Is there any way he can get the qualification without leaving the army?
emmap33 - 10-Jan-16 @ 8:04 PM
Beth - Your Question:
Hi I'm a beauty therapist and am a level 3 graduate and a masseuse also, I've been working in this industry for 20yrs.I am very interested in becoming a physio therapist and enjoy working with the general public, I'm very aware about the anatomy and physiology for need to know all about the body in my job.What qualifications would I need to train as a physiotherapist and would my qualifications be able to help in that?

Our Response:
Please see National Careers link here which should helps anwser your question in more detail.
AHealthCareer - 8-Jan-16 @ 1:59 PM
Hi I'm a beauty therapist and am a level 3 graduate and a masseuse also, I've been working in this industry for 20yrs..I am very interested in becoming a physio therapist and enjoy working with the general public, I'm very aware about the anatomy and physiology for need to know all about the body in my job. What qualifications would I need to train as a physiotherapist and would my qualifications be able to help in that?
Beth - 7-Jan-16 @ 9:24 PM
Hi, i want to know canbe a physiotherapist without a/levels ? Because one ofmy frndinteresting in this subject and he is a PT instructor now and also he had followed psychology course too..
Mayomi Perera - 28-Dec-15 @ 2:38 PM
ken - Your Question:
Hi im 43 have a background of personal training no prior Education at present just finished care certificate plus doing level 2 health & social care my goal is to be a physiotherapist. wondering if my journey should start as a physiotherapy-assistant ?? and what my best next direction should be??Thanks in advance.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we can't advise you on what your course of action should be. You should seek some independent careers advice for this. However, if you decided to take this route according to the National Careers website, you will usually receive training on the job, and may be encouraged to work towards the Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support Services or Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support. These contain several options and you would pick the ones relevant to your work duties. With the right experience and qualifications, you could become a senior physiotherapy support worker, or assistant practitioner, which could eventually lead on to training to qualify as a physiotherapist by taking an accredited degree, please see the National Careers link here.
AHealthCareer - 12-Nov-15 @ 11:43 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Amy
    Re: A Camouflage Cosmetician Career
    Hi there, I was born with a port wine stain birthmark on my face and self taught myself to cover it and make up is a huge…
    16 May 2017
  • AHealthCareer
    Re: How to Become a Midwife
    tyla275 - Your Question:I am 16 years old and I leave school in a month and I'm moving on to collage and I want to be a midwife and I…
    12 May 2017
  • tyla275
    Re: How to Become a Midwife
    I am 16 years old and I leave school in a month and I'm moving on to collage and I want to be a midwife and I have no idea what the very…
    12 May 2017
  • NewBeginnings
    Re: Unions for Health Workers
    I was shocked to see you recommending Unison as a union. I have been severely let down by them and wonder what was the point of paying…
    12 May 2017
  • AHealthCareer
    Re: How to Become a Physiotherapist
    Maz - Your Question:I am doing my GCSE and want to go into physiotherapy what do I need to doOur Respo
    10 May 2017
  • Maz
    Re: How to Become a Physiotherapist
    I am doing my GCSE and want to go into physiotherapy what do I need to do
    9 May 2017
  • AHealthCareer
    Re: How to Become a Midwife
    Nickyl - Your Question:Hi, I'm 29 years old and all I can think about is how much I want to be a midwife and how good I know I'd be at it…
    8 May 2017
  • Nickyl
    Re: How to Become a Midwife
    Hi, I'm 29 years old and all I can think about is how much I want to be a midwife and how good I know I'd be at it bit I don't have a…
    7 May 2017
  • Beth
    Re: How to Become a Midwife
    When I leave school in year 11 what college / uni course will I have to take to start of as a basic and become advanced
    27 April 2017
  • AHealthCareer
    Re: How to Become a Midwife
    Rachel - Your Question:Hi I'm currently working in social care and have done so for over 20years I'm qualified up to a level 5 in health…
    10 April 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the AHealthCareer website. Please read our Disclaimer.