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 workers have a postgraduate qualification.
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
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 42,200 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 63% of people employed as Physiotherapists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is similar to the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,701 per week, this is higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,346
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,296
Median hourly earnings are $45, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Physiotherapists||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Most Physiotherapists work in the Health care and social assistance industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Physiotherapists||All Jobs Average|
Around 69% of Physiotherapists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Melbourne - Inner South
- Adelaide - Central and Hills
- Perth - North West
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Physiotherapists is 35 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 67% of the workforce. This is 19 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Physiotherapists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.0||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in physiotherapy is needed to work as a Physiotherapist. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Physiotherapists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||32.4||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.0||12.5|
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.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Physiotherapists who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Talking to others.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Looking for ways to help people.
54%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
52%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Teaching people how to do something.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
48%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
46%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
71%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
70%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
70%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
59%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
46%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
45%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
39%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
39%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
36%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
35%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
35%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
33%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
24%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Communicate by speaking.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
54%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
46%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
75%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
75%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
73%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
69%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
69%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
69%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
66%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
66%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
63%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
63%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
61%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
60%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
59%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
55%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
55%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
53%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
52%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
49%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
47%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Talk with people face-to-face.
100%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
100%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
92%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
Work with people in a group or team.
Talk on the telephone.
90%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
89%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Work to strict deadlines.
83%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
83%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
82%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
79%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
Use electronic mail.
74%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
74%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
72%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
72%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
68%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
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.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.