- Help patients improve their health and mobility using specialist physical techniques
- Can be quite physically demanding work
- Opportunities to progress into senior roles or specialise in areas such as sports therapy or occupational health
As a physiotherapist, you may work in areas and departments like paediatrics, outpatients, intensive care, women's health, and occupational health. You'll use treatments and techniques like physical manipulation, massage, therapeutic exercise, electrotherapy, ultrasound, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy.
- Help patients with spine and joint problems
- Help patients recovering from accidents, sports injuries and strokes
- Work with children who have mental or physical disabilities
- Help older people with physical problems become more mobile
You'll work closely with other health professionals like nurses, occupational therapists, health visitors and social workers.
You could work at a hospice, at a client's home, at a GP practice, at an adult care home, in an NHS or private hospital, or at a fitness centre.
To be a physiotherapist, you'll need sensitivity and understanding, to enjoy working with other people, customer service skills, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, analytical thinking skills, counselling skills, flexibility and openness to change, and knowledge of psychology.
You can do a physiotherapy degree or postgraduate award approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You may be able to do a 2-year postgraduate course is you've got a degree in a relevant subject like biological science, psychology, or sports science.
You could also do a physiotherapist degree apprenticeship.
If you're a physiotherapy assistant, you may be able to take a part-time degree in physiotherapy while you're working.
Paid or voluntary experience in health or care work would be beneficial before applying for a course. Private physiotherapy clinics, nursing homes or sports clinics may offer work placements.
You'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council.
You'll also need to pass background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
With experience you could become self-employed and set up your own practice. In the NHS, you could progress to senior physiotherapist or move into health service management. You could also specialise in an area like orthopaedics, sports therapy, occupational health, or working with older people or children. You could also move into research or teaching.