So, you wanna be a physiotherapist? What you'll need and what it pays
Being a physiotherapist cracked our list of the most sought-after professionals in healthcare right now. Physiotherapy isn't just one specific role, but a far ranging and varied career path with numerous opportunities for working in different areas, and with lots of prospects for career growth.
Physiotherapists are employed in hospitals, clinics, industry, sports organizations, rehabilitation centres and extended care facilities, or they may work in private practice. (In Canada, 26 per cent of workers in this occupation are self-employed, while the average for all occupations is 14 per cent.)
Careers in physiotherapy often begin by working in a supporting role in areas such as administration or being a physiotherapist assistant. This gives newcomers to the sector the chance to see what the field is like and how the day-to-day work looks - before committing to becoming a registered physiotherapist.
Not only does physiotherapy help people get relief from complex ailments and injuries, it is also becoming a more crucial element of overall healthcare and preventative medicine. It is now a common practice for medical practitioners to prescribe physiotherapy to patients with various ailments along with other aspects of modern medicine.
In general job duties include:
Assess patients' physical abilities through evaluative procedures such as functional ability tests
Establish treatment goals with patients based on physical diagnoses
Plan and implement programs of physiotherapy including therapeutic exercise, manipulations, massage, education, the use of electro-therapeutic and other mechanical equipment and hydro-therapy
Communicate with referring physician and other healthcare professionals regarding patients' problems, needs and progress
May conduct research in physiotherapy
May provide consulting or education services
Physiotherapists may focus their practice in particular clinical areas such as neurology, oncology, rheumatology, orthopedics, obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics, in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disorders, burns or sports injuries or in the field of ergonomics
In Canada, the outlook for these professionals is balanced. Statistics Canada sees a steady demand for workers, and the employment outlook and new physiotherapists entering the profession are fairly equal. Over the period 2015-2024, new job openings are expected to total 10,900, while 11,000 new job seekers are expected to be available to fill them.
You can see regional variations in outlook and demand here.
What you'll need to be a Physiotherapist in Canada:
A university degree in physiotherapy and a period of supervised practical training are required.
A licence or registration with a regulatory body is required to practise physiotherapy in all provinces.
Completion of the Physiotherapy National Exam, administered by the Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulatory Boards, may be required.
You may also need to acquire a certification from a regulatory authority before you start working. Here are the provincial and territorial regulations.
The median salary for physiotherapists in Canada is $36.00/hour. That translates to an annual wage of roughly $75,000. At the higher end, these professionals make closer to $95,000 according to Statistics Canada.