Physiotherapists assess, treat and prevent disorders in human movement caused by injury or disease.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • administering muscle, nerve, joint and functional ability tests to identify and assess physical problems of patients
  • designing treatment programs to address patients' problems
  • treating patients to reduce pain, improve circulation, strengthen muscles, improve cardiothoracic, cardiovascular and respiratory functions, restore joint mobility, and improve balance and coordination
  • using the therapeutic properties of exercise, heat, cold, massage, manipulation, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, ultraviolet and infra-red light and ultrasound in the treatment of patients
  • reviewing, continually monitoring, assessing and evaluating programs and treatments
  • consulting with other Health Professionals as required about patients' problems, needs and progress
  • instructing patients and their families in procedures to be continued at home
  • recording treatments given and patients' responses and progress
  • developing and implementing screening and preventative health promotion programs

Job Titles

  • Physiotherapist, or Physical Therapist
  • Physiotherapist, or Physical Therapist

    Specialisations: Aquatic Physiotherapist, Cardiothoracic Physiotherapist, Continence and Women's Health Physiotherapist, Gerentological Physiotherapist, Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Neurological Physiotherapist, Occupational Health Physiotherapist, Paediatric Physiotherapist, Sports Physiotherapist

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,250 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    very strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    30,300
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    33.0%
  • Female Share

    67.0%
  • Full-Time Share

    66.8%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 30,300 workers. The number of workers has grown very strongly over the past 5 years.
Over the next 5 years (to May 2022) the number of workers is expected to grow very strongly to 39,200. Around 17,000 job openings are likely over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Physiotherapists work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 35.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,250 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 36 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200716800
200816100
200917600
201019600
201116400
201214200
201319000
201420200
201522000
201622600
201730300
202239200

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsPhysiotherapistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings12501230

Hours

Full-Time and Part-Time Status (% Share) and Average Weekly Hours (Full-Time)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPhysiotherapistsAll Jobs Average
Full-time66.868.4
Part-time33.231.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)35.540

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance95.4
Public Administration and Safety1.6
Arts and Recreation Services1.3
Education and Training0.7
Other Industries1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePhysiotherapistsAll Jobs Average
NSW36.331.8
VIC25.825.5
QLD14.119.8
SA9.36.8
WA12.811.2
TAS1.12
NT0.11.1
ACT0.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPhysiotherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-2411.9-9.99.9
25-3434.9-23.423.4
35-4428.2-21.721.7
45-548.5-21.121.1
55-598.7-8.78.7
60-644-5.95.9
65 and Over3.7-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPhysiotherapistsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males33Males53.6
Females67Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationPhysiotherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate37.5-8.68.6
Bachelor degree62.5-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. Registration or licensing is required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Physiotherapists who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and work well in a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Medicine and Dentistry

    93% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    87% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. Psychology

    83% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  4. Therapy and Counseling

    82% Important

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  5. Biology

    79% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1123.00 - Physical Therapists.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Assisting and Caring for Others

    94% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  2. Documenting/Recording Information

    92% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  3. Performing General Physical Activities

    89% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    84% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  5. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    84% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1123.00 - Physical Therapists.

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