So you want to become a physiotherapist?
Of course you do! It’s a rewarding, versatile career in a dynamic field. If you love science and like people, why wouldn’t you want to be a physiotherapist?
A day in the life of an Aussie physiotherapist
Physiotherapy is such a varied career that it’s hard to pick just one typical day. It depends greatly on where you work and which clinical area you specialise in. Here are three possible versions of a ‘typical’ day.
- Ben wakes early and goes surfing before arriving at work, a private physiotherapy practice on the Sunshine Coast. He enjoys working in general physiotherapy because he sees a wide variety of patients with a mix of different needs. By the end of his day, Ben has treated a 57-year-old woman with osteoarthritis of the knee, a middle-aged weekend warrior with lower back pain and a 14-year-old with cerebral palsy using an NDIS Plan.
- Amira loves the buzz of city life. She works as a physio in a large tertiary hospital and enjoys using her skills to help patients who are recovering from different surgeries or living with advanced conditions like cancer, cystic fibrosis or heart failure. She plans to do further training as a women’s health physiotherapist to support women preparing for or recovering from birth.
- Lucy is a sports physiotherapist who keeps her state’s cricket team in good shape, helping them to reduce the risk of injury or recover more rapidly so they can keep competing. She loves the team spirit, the drive and commitment of her clients, the travel to other cities and the amazing vibe at a match.
How do you become a physiotherapist?
While Ben, Amira and Lucy use their physiotherapy skills in quite different ways, they each completed the same base training, gained experience and then, in some cases, continued further study to develop a particular area of expertise.
Physiotherapy is a job that requires an extensive understanding of physical, structural and physiological aspects of human form and movement.
To become a physiotherapist you need to:
- Study the right subjects in school such as English, biology, chemistry, physics, health and physical education so that you get into a physio course at uni (contact your preferred uni to find out exactly what prerequisites you need to meet)
- Study physiotherapy at university or complete a relevant degree followed by a postgraduate qualification in physiotherapy.
Once you’ve gained some experience as a graduate physiotherapist, you may wish to specialise in a particular area of physiotherapy, which will require further training.
Physiotherapy is a growing field with a long list of specialisations like:
- Occupational health
- Sports and exercise
- Women’s, men’s and pelvic health physiotherapy.
How much do physiotherapists earn?
This is always a tricky question to answer. The sense of fulfilment you get from practising physiotherapy is completely unrelated to money. But then you also need money – you want to buy a house, raise kids, go on fun holidays and enjoy life.
As you’ve seen, physiotherapists work in widely varying settings. Some work for state health departments, some are in private practice and some work for sports teams. Some are generalists, some are specialists. Some carve out a completely different path.
That makes it hard to give useful guidance on salary expectations. But here goes..here’s a list of the salary expectations that Google delivers.
As you can see, the first three are in the same ballpark. The fourth starts in the same ballpark but extends far beyond it, perhaps reflecting specialist clinical skills or simply more savvy business sense.
Because, if you establish your own private practice, you’re not only a physiotherapist. You’re also a business owner. If you manage your practice well, you have the opportunity to substantially increase your net worth over time.
Physiotherapy careers at The Brisbane Spine Clinic
As a growing business with entrepreneurial leaders, we’re always on the lookout for new talent.
As a physiotherapist at The Brisbane Spine Clinic, you benefit from:
- A supportive, friendly, stimulating team
- Our reputation as leaders in spinal health
- A competitive salary
- A complex and varied caseload
- Professional development pathways
- Mentoring and ongoing support
- Being part of a growing business open to new ideas and opportunities.
If you think you’d be a great fit for us, email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.