How to become a physiotherapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You can do a degree in physiotherapy approved by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

You may be able to do a 2-year postgraduate course if you've got a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • biological science
  • psychology
  • sports science

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

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Apprenticeship

You can do a physiotherapist degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, preferably including biology, for a degree apprenticeship

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Work

You could work as a physiotherapy assistant and study part time for a degree to qualify.

Volunteering

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in health or care work before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for advice about opportunities.

Private physiotherapy clinics, nursing homes or sports clinics may also offer work placements.

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Registration

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for professional development and networking opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about physiotherapy careers from Health Careers and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • 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
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Examples of day-to-day tasks, you could do:

  • help patients with spine and joint problems
  • help patients recover from accidents, sports injuries and strokes
  • work with children who have mental or physical disabilities
  • help older people with physical problems become more mobile

Working environment

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.

Career path and progression

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.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a physiotherapist 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

Are you interested in becoming a physiotherapist?

Search for training courses near you.

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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