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

Also known as: 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.

A bachelor degree in physiotherapy is needed to work as a Physiotherapist. Many Physiotherapists complete postgraduate studies.

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

All Physiotherapists

  • $1,444 Weekly Pay
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 25,000 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 63% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42 hours Average full-time
  • 35 years Average age
  • 67% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Physiotherapists (in their main job) 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 2018.
  • Location: Physiotherapists work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,444 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (63%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 35 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 67% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Physiotherapists in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Physiotherapists.

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
200816100.0
200917600
201019600
201116500
201214300
201319500
201420300
201521700
201621500
201729200
201825000
202331200

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings14441460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance95.2
Public Administration and Safety2.0
Education and Training1.3
Arts and Recreation Services0.6
Other Industries0.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePhysiotherapistsAll Jobs Average
NSW30.531.6
VIC25.325.6
QLD19.720.0
SA8.67.0
WA11.810.8
TAS1.82.0
NT0.61.0
ACT1.81.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPhysiotherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.1-5.05.0
20-249.6-9.39.3
25-3439.8-22.922.9
35-4422.4-22.022.0
45-5415.7-21.621.6
55-596.6-9.09.0
60-643.7-6.06.0
65 and Over2.0-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate32.4-10.110.1
Bachelor degree63.8-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.6-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV0.2-21.121.1
Year 120.9-18.118.1
Year 110.0-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.0-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in physiotherapy is needed to work as a Physiotherapist. Many Physiotherapists complete postgraduate studies.

You must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • national police check
  • working with vulnerable people and children check

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Education and training

    71% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  2. Customer and personal service

    70% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. Therapy and counselling

    70% Skill level

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

  4. Psychology

    68% Skill level

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  5. Medicine and dentistry

    59% Skill level

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Face-to-face discussions

    100% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  2. Physically close to people

    100% Important

    Work physically close to other people.

  3. Contact with people

    100% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  4. Contact with the public

    92% Important

    Work with customers or the public.

  5. Teamwork

    92% Important

    Work with people in a group or team.

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

go to top