Alternative titles for this job include

Osteopaths massage, move and stretch clients' muscles and joints to improve wellbeing or help with a health issue.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 variable

You could work

in your own business managing your own hours

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an osteopath

You can get into this job through a university course or professional development training.


To become an osteopath, you'll need to complete a degree or postgraduate master's degree approved by the General Osteopathic Council.

Courses usually take 4 years full time, or you might be able to study part time over 5 years.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including a science, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You'll find it helpful to get some work experience in healthcare with an osteopath before you apply for a course.

Other Routes

If you're already medically qualified, for example as a doctor or physiotherapist, you might be able to do a shorter postgraduate training programme.

More Information


Career tips

When applying for courses and jobs, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how the NHS values apply in your work.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an osteopath from the General Osteopathic Council and Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and how the body works
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • 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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

Before you can register with the General Osteopathic Council, you'll need to give health and personal character references.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an osteopath you could:

  • ask clients about their health and medical history
  • look at their posture and how they walk, paying attention to their muscles, bones and joints
  • use X-rays to help with your diagnosis and plan a course of treatment 
  • use gentle techniques like stretching, movement and massage 
  • give clients advice on exercises to do at home, lifestyle and diet

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, in a therapy clinic, at a client's home or from home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • set up your your own osteopathy practice
  • do further training and move into teaching osteopathy students
  • move into osteopathic research

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an osteopath right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to HE: Science

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Ipswich

Access to HE (Science)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Cambridge

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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