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Summary of occupation

Physiotherapists identify and treat disorders affecting movement in order to maximise a patient's mobility and physical independence. Physiotherapists may treat a wide range of disorders affecting the musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems. In addition to treating existing injuries or disorders, physiotherapists may also educate clients on the best way to carry out physical activities in order to minimise the chances of causing injury.

ANZSCO description: Assesses, treats and prevents disorders in  human movement caused by injury or disease. Registration or licensing  is required.
Alternative names: Physical Therapist
Specialisations: Aquatic Physiotherapist, Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapist, Cardiothoracic Physiotherapist, Continence and Women's Health Physiotherapist, Gerentological Physiotherapist, Maori Physiotherapist (NZ), Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Neurological Physiotherapist, Occupational Health Physiotherapist, Paediatric Physiotherapist, Sports Physiotherapist
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A physiotherapist needs:

  • a high level of physical fitness
  • good communication skills
  • patience
  • to be supportive and firm with patients
  • good problem solving skills
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Working conditions

Many physiotherapists work in hospitals or physiotherapy clinics, though some may visit clients at their homes or workplace. Professional sporting teams also employ physiotherapists, though entry to these positions is highly competitive.

Most physiotherapists work regular hours during the week. Those working with sporting teams will have to work during the team's training sessions and games, which usually means working evenings and weekends.

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Salary details

On average, physiotherapists can expect to earn between $1 250 and $1 499 per week ($65 000 and $77 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a physiotherapist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase. 

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Tools and technologies

Physiotherapists use a wide range of equipment when treating patients, including strapping tape, heat packs, gym equipment and mobility aids. Some treatments also require more specialised tools, such as hydrotherapy pools, ultrasound and electrotherapeutic equipment.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become physiotherapist you must complete a recognised degree in physiotherapy and be registered with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.

Curtin University offers a four year Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy). 

The University of Notre Dame also offers a four year Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

​To work as a physiotherapist in Western Australia, you must obtain professional registration with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia, and hold a current Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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