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Essential Skills Needed for Physiotherapy

by Marianne Stenger
Posted: May 26, 2020

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Are you looking for a way to make a real difference in people’s lives? Do you enjoy using exercises and movement to improve health and wellbeing, as well as constantly learning and updating your skills? If so, a physiotherapy career could be an excellent fit for you. 

But what exactly does the job entail and what are the skills needed to be a physiotherapist? Here’s a look at what you can expect from a career in physiotherapy as well as some of the most important skills to develop if you would like to enter this profession. 

Is physiotherapy a good job? 

Being a physiotherapist can be extremely rewarding, as you’ll have a chance to help people become healthier, stronger, and reach their fitness goals or simply stay active after a setback. 

Physiotherapy is a large occupation, and according to Job Outlook, the number of people working as physiotherapists in Australia is expected to grow strongly in the coming years. In fact, there are expected to be around 13,000 job openings for physiotherapists in the next five years. 

Earnings may vary depending on physiotherapist qualifications, skills and level of experience, but on average, physiotherapists in Australia can expect to earn an average of AU$1,444 per week. 

What does a physiotherapist do? 

Physiotherapists work to assess, treat and prevent injuries or chronic health conditions that limit a person’s ability to move and stay active. A physiotherapist’s job duties may range from ensuring that athletes perform to the best of their ability to helping people recover and return to their normal day-to-day activities following an injury, accident or surgery. 

What skills are needed to be a physiotherapist? 

In addition to having a strong understanding of the human body and motor skills, physiotherapists must learn to use manual therapy techniques along with other techniques such as electrotherapy, ultrasound, heat and cold, and acupuncture to aid a patient’s recovery. 

Because they work closely with patients as well as other healthcare professionals, physiotherapists must also be empathetic, have good communication and interpersonal skills. The ability to work as part of a team is a must. Some other essential physiotherapist skills include critical and creative thinking. This is important because there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to evaluating different injuries or situations and devising individual treatment plans. 

Physiotherapists are often required to work long hours and deal with a myriad of other tasks in addition to treating patients, from filling out paperwork to briefing and collaborating with other members of a team. With this in mind, it’s also essential to develop good time management and organisational skills, as well as a strong work ethic. 

Want to know more about how you can kickstart your career in physiotherapy? The Open Colleges HLT43015 Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance (Physiotherapy) is designed with flexibility in mind and will introduce you to the ins and outs of physiotherapy, from understanding the workings of the human body to delivering and monitoring physiotherapy programs, and so much more. 


Marianne Stenger

Marianne is a London-based freelance Writer and Journalist with extensive experience covering all things learning and development. Her articles have been featured by the likes of ABC Education, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Psych Central.

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