Future Work: Physiotherapist
It’s easy to think that all of the most important jobs of the future are going to be robot, AI, or tech-related. However, if you’ve been following our ‘Future Work, series, especially our soft skills pieces, you may already have started to see a pattern that suggests otherwise.Contrary to assumptions, some of the most important roles of the coming decades are actually going to be those that focus on, or emphasise, our humanity. Physiotherapy is one such example.
Five years ago, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy suggested that the UK would need around 4000 more physiotherapists by this year alone. The demand is set to continue, with almost 10,000 new physios required by 2030. There’s already a constantly growing demand for elderly care and health professionals, as we’re all living longer on average, and this will continue to increase.
Below, we’ll look at what you’ll need to get started on the path to being a physiotherapist, as well as where this career could take you.
To get started on the path to physiotherapy, you’ll need the following skills, as you’ll be dealing with people on a daily basis. Essential soft skills are:
- Good communication skills and empathy
- Physically fitness
- A calm and understanding attitude
- Able to listen to people’s issues
- Comfortable being hands-on with patients/clients
Given that you’ll often be looking at patient data and assessing for treatment impacts, these hard skills will be very useful as well:
- Analytic ability and data interpretation
Generally, a degree in biological science or physical education is required to become a physiotherapist, but other applicable degrees include:
- Sports Science
In order to apply for a degree course, you’ll need at least:
- Two to three A-Levels (ideally in Science/Biology and English.
- Five GCSEs including English, Maths, and one Science.
Most courses will also accept candidates who have completed a science-based access course or degree in a related area. Additionally, you may also be accepted with a relevant BTEC, HNC, or HND that includes Biological Science. Most universities have slightly different entry requirements, so it’s worth looking at these in more detail before making your choice about where to study.
A degree apprenticeship is another possible option. The advantage here is that you can gain valuable experience working with patients directly, and study while you do so. although do keep in mind you’ll still need the GCSE and A-Levels mentioned above as a minimum, or the alternative qualifications, to go with this route.
While becoming a physiotherapist in itself is, of course, an option, having the required training also opens up several other career possibilities, including:
Public/Private Health Adviser: If you’re more interested in applying your knowledge on a wider scale, then this role allows you to do just that. More focused on public or private health policymaking and implementation, Health Advisers tend to earn £21,000 on average.
Carer: The UK is currently in the midst of a care crisis, and the demand for qualified carers is greater than ever. It’s highly probable that this need will continue for the next decade, and having the ability to provide physiotherapy will be a valuable and in-demand skill if you’re considering a career in caring.
Sports Therapist: The sports industry is worth billions of pounds, and everyone from sports clubs to national football teams need qualified sports therapists to help players or customers. An experienced Sports Therapist can earn up to £35,000 on average.
Chiropractor: While this discipline is mainly focused on the back, and manipulating the spine to help encourage the proper musculoskeletal alignment, the understanding of the way the body works provided by physiotherapy will be very useful. Chiropractors earn £34,000 per annum generally.
Personal Trainer: Personal trainers have become a popular option for many of us looking to get fitter or stay in good shape. Personal Trainers are employed by a variety of gyms and sports centres across the country, but just as many strike out on their own and freelance. Salaries can be quite varied as a result, ranging from £22 – 29K per year.
Physiotherapists, in general, can expect to earn around £27,000 on average. If you’re on the lookout for physiotherapist or physiotherapy assistant roles right now, then make sure to register with JobLookup and set up a job alert for the latest related roles.