what is a physiotherapy assistant?

A physiotherapist assistant is a healthcare worker. As a physiotherapy assistant, you will work under a physiotherapist's supervision to relieve pain and increase mobility in ill, disabled, or injured patients. You will help people ranging from young children to senior citizens. Additionally, you will perform general administrative tasks, check and maintain equipment, and keep the department tidy.

view jobs

average salary of a physiotherapy assistant

The national average salary for a Assistant Psychologist is £22,931 in United Kingdom, according to glassdoor.


types of physiotherapy assistants

A physiotherapy assistant’s job varies from one setting to another. As such, there are various types of physiotherapy assistants. Here are the subtle differences in roles that you will notice.


working as a physiotherapy assistant

Your work as a physiotherapy assistant will be hands-on and significantly patient-based. As mentioned earlier, your primary job will be to care for patients and encourage them to undertake specific treatment plans related to illness, injury, or disability-related physical issues which is similar to a personal support worker. Here's a glimpse of what more to expect when you follow this career path.

physiotherapy assistant job description

Your duties and responsibilities as a physiotherapy assistant will vary depending on your employer and level of experience. However, most physiotherapy assistants undertake the following key tasks at their workplace.

Close up - Smiling female looking away
Close up - Smiling female looking away

work environment

A physiotherapy assistant's work environment varies. However, most physiotherapy assistants work in a healthcare setting like a hospital or physiotherapy clinic. A private office, nursing home, residential care, sports and fitness facility, or rehabilitation center are other possible workplaces. Some of the collegues are sports coach role and organizers as well. This means that you’ll do most of your work indoors although some jobs will have settings like a garden or sports field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these were the largest physiotherapy assistant employers in 2020:

  • Offices of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and audiologists
  • State, local, and private hospitals
  • Physician’s offices
  • Skilled nursing care facilities
  • Government facilities

work schedule

As a physiotherapy assistant, you’ll work full-time, Monday through Friday, although hours will differ depending on your employment status and workplace. For instance, most skilled nursing facilities and hospitals offer reduced coverage on weekends. What’s more, many physiotherapy offices, private clinics, and outpatient facilities have evening and weekend shifts to accommodate their patients' schedules.

job outlook

Physiotherapy assistant is an in-demand occupation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of physiotherapy assistants will grow by a whopping 33% from 2019 to 2029. Over that decade, statisticians predict approximately 15,100 openings for physiotherapy assistants every year. Most of these prospects will arise from the need to replace workers who exit the labor force for whatever reasons.

job opportunities

The health and wellness needs of an aging population will increase the demand for physiotherapy jobs. This is especially true for the baby boomer generation. First, baby boomers are staying more active in their later years than previous generations. Second, the same group is nearing the prime age for mobility-related injuries, strokes, arthritis, diabetes, and heart attacks, spiking the demand for physiotherapy assistant jobs. Moreover, medical and technological advancements will increase the number of surviving newborns with birth defects and trauma victims, increasing the need for therapy and rehabilitation. Finally, in a bid to reduce treatment costs, especially in long-term care situations, physiotherapists will continue relying on the services of physiotherapy assistants.


education and qualifications

According to the NHS, there are no set entry requirements for physiotherapy assistants. Employers expect good numeracy and literacy and some experience or qualifications in health or social care. Employers may ask for GCSEs in English and maths. They may ask for a BTEC or equivalent vocational qualification in health and social care.

Employers often ask for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in health or social care, either in paid employment or voluntary work. Apprenticeships in healthcare can provide you with experience to apply for physiotherapy assistant and other support roles.


NHS states that you will be given the training you need to do the job, including an introduction to the department and its procedures and how to set up and use the equipment.

You may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as

the NCFE CACHE level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services
the NCFE CACHE level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support
Physiotherapy assistants can become associate members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. The Society runs courses, conferences and seminars where physiotherapy assistants can update their skills and network with others doing similar work. 

With experience, you could become a team leader supervising the work of other physiotherapy assistants. You could apply to train as an assistant practitioner or, with the qualifications needed for entry into university, as a physiotherapist.

smiling female looking away
smiling female looking away


Here are the most asked questions about working as a physiotherapy assistant.


working with randstand as a physiotherapy assistant

If you're compassionate, love helping people, and have a good work ethic, working as a physiotherapy assistant is the perfect job for you. You'll get to work with patients with a range of physical issues, from those recovering from an injury to others who have a chronic condition like arthritis. You'll also get to work with other healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, and physical therapists. Working with such a diverse team of professionals is great for your career development, as you'll get the opportunity to learn from their knowledge and experience. Below are some advantages of working as a physiotherapy assistant.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.