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

  • $1,250 Weekly Pay
  • 25,000 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 70.6% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.4 hours Average full-time
  • 31 years Average age
  • 65.4% female Gender Share

The number of Physiotherapists grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 25,000 in 2018 to 31,200 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 13,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 2,600 a year).

  • Size: This is a large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Physiotherapists work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (70.6%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.4 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 31 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 65.4% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200816100
200917600
201019600
201116500
201214300
201319500
201420300
201521700
201621500
201729200
201825000
202331200

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Assistance95.6
Public Administration and Safety1.9
Education and Training1.5
Arts and Recreation Services0.9
Other Industries0.1

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 2017, 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
NSW29.431.6
VIC25.926.2
QLD18.819.7
SA4.96.7
WA16.010.8
TAS1.92.0
NT0.41.1
ACT2.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-2414.3-9.99.9
25-3443.2-23.623.6
35-4420.0-21.721.7
45-5413.5-20.820.8
55-595.4-8.88.8
60-643.1-6.06.0
65 and Over0.4-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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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