Physiotherapist jobs are available in almost every medical setting. Hospitals often employ teams of the therapists to assist patients in recovery from a variety of conditions. Physiotherapists may also be employed by corporations to assure optimum ergonomics and prevent injuries within the workplace. In general, job opportunities exist in almost any industry that involves physical movement.
Many physiotherapist jobs involve helping patients recover from injury. Trauma centers, wound care facilities, and orthopedic groups often hire or refer their patients to independent therapists. Services to these clients can range from education in the use of prosthetic devices to direct, intense physical therapy.
Sports physiotherapist jobs tend to focus on athletic injuries. These therapists are usually very knowledgeable about specific injuries that occur commonly within each sport. For example, a physiotherapist working with a professional football team would likely have developed expertise in treating knee injuries. In contrast, those working with tennis players would generally know more about shoulder and elbow injuries.
Likewise, some physiotherapist jobs specialize in treatment of certain medical conditions. Both medical clinics and nonprofit organizations can have very specific concerns. Arthritis, muscular dystrophy, and stroke are examples.
It is not uncommon for a physiotherapist to provide home-based care. Many conditions that require physical therapy may not require hospitalization but are disabling enough to make travel to an office difficult. As these patients often require frequent sessions, it can make sense for a therapist to provide services in a patient’s home.
Early intervention programs can offer rewarding physiotherapist jobs. These programs focus on children, typically ranging in age from newborn to five years, who have developmental delays or atypical development. Physiotherapists may be added to the treatment team of children when problems with their movement interferes with their ability to play or learn normally. Often, physical therapists in this role also work within the children’s homes, offering both direct care and caretaker education.
Advanced knowledge of human anatomy, especially concerning the movement of bones and muscles, is essential to a physiotherapist. As such, most physiotherapist jobs require a four-year degree in a related field. A degree in physiotherapy is required by some employers, but degrees in medicine, nursing, or science may be also acceptable to others.
Many governments require licensing for those working in physiotherapist positions. Licensing requirements vary widely from region to region, but most require both a related degree and continuing education in the field. The successful completion of standardized testing is also a common prerequisite to licensure. In addition, some areas require up to two years of employment as a junior or assistant physiotherapist before unsupervised practice is permitted.