How much do UK physiotherapists earn?

16 May 2021  •  Locum
How much do UK physiotherapists earn?

Physiotherapy is a rewarding, respected, and highly sought-after career in the UK. As a physiotherapist, you can expect to find reliable, consistent work which requires skill, offers a challenge, and pays comparatively well. The amount a physiotherapist can expect to earn in the United Kingdom is dependent on several variables. In this article, we’re going to focus on how much physiotherapists earn UK-wide and what factors can affect earning potential.

Locum physio jobs: how much do physiotherapists earn UK-wide?

In 2021, the average salary for a physiotherapist is between £33,000 and £37,000 per annum. The reason for this variation is that the UK is home to both a national health service (NHS) and a private healthcare sector. In the NHS, pay is regulated and generally remains level throughout the country, whereas the scope for earning is greater in the private sector, dependent on skills, qualifications, and experience.

The majority of physiotherapists in the UK work within the NHS, where they receive a Band 6 level salary. The band system is designed to ensure fair pay rates throughout the NHS while also allowing for workers to progress to better pay scales via development and further training.

Entry-level physiotherapists working in the private sector can expect to earn around the same as an NHS Band 6 worker, although skilled and experienced physiotherapists can earn up to £40,000 per annum when working privately.

While there is no overarching body that governs pay for private sector physiotherapists in the UK, the salary is somewhat influenced by the average NHS pay for the same role. If you’re temporarily looking for work as a physiotherapist in the UK while traveling or visiting on an extended stay, you may want to take a look at what the NHS is currently paying to gauge the sort of wage you can expect to receive when working privately at a sports club or gym.

Is UK physiotherapist pay likely to change in the future?

The demand for physiotherapists in the UK - and the amount they are paid - is dictated by the number of patients requiring physiotherapy. At present, the population of the UK is currently growing, and with an increasing number of people living to old age, demand for physiotherapy is on the increase.

This means that UK physiotherapists should expect wages to increase over the forthcoming decade, both privately and within the NHS. While the NHS pay deal is currently locked until the end of 2021, government officials have hinted at increases in line with inflation in the future.

The role of a physiotherapist

Physiotherapy can be a varied and rewarding role, and usually involves working with a diverse set of patients in a multitude of different settings. The primary role of a physiotherapist is to provide treatments that help restore the mobility, function and wellbeing of patients.

Physiotherapists also diagnose movement-related issues, which can be caused by neurological, cardiovascular, skeletal or respiratory problems, or a combination of one or more of the aforementioned.

The role is important in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic heart disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Back pain
  • Whiplash
  • Arthritis
  • Assorted sports injuries

UK physiotherapists work with a mixture of people each day to recommend exercise, provide tissue massage, use ultrasound equipment to diagnose issues and use hydrotherapy to benefit patients.

When movement problems have been diagnosed, a physiotherapist will then work alongside the patient to develop a treatment timetable and plan. During this period, the physiotherapist will also promote good health and provide advice on how to avoid future injuries.

Where do physiotherapists work in the UK?

Physiotherapists are expected to work within a range of settings, from rehabilitation centres and hospitals to GP surgeries and in the homes of patients. Private locum physiotherapists often work within private clinics, gyms and sports clubs, and may work independently or as part of a team of multi-skilled individuals.

The sorts of treatments a physiotherapist may offer will vary depending on the employer. Some physiotherapists have a focus on improving the health of their patients via simple exercises, whereas others may incorporate specialist high-tech equipment (this is more common when physiotherapy is used for rehabilitative purposes).

Physiotherapy roles in the UK

There are plenty of entry-level physiotherapy roles available in the UK, both in the NHS and within the private sector via a physio locum agency. In addition to this, there are also several specialist positions available for qualified physiotherapists looking to expand upon their existing skill sets. Examples of these physio jobs include:

  • Personal trainers
  • Sports therapists
  • Lecturers
  • Chiropractors
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Health service management
  • Acupuncturists
  • Hydrotherapists
  • Animal physiotherapists

It’s not uncommon for physiotherapists to make sideways moves into these areas, or to supplement their work as a physiotherapist by taking on one or more of these roles on an ad-hoc or locum basis.

Physiotherapists who are skilled or knowledgeable in a particular area of expertise might find themselves focusing on these areas, whereas newly-qualified physiotherapists might take on a variety of different roles in entry-level physiotherapy jobs.

Regardless of your skills or experience level, working as a physiotherapist in the United Kingdom can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. It can also be incredibly lucrative from a financial perspective.

Find UK physiotherapy jobs today

If you’re in the UK and looking to progress in your physiotherapy career, or are intending on visiting the country and are looking for locum physiotherapy jobs, why not check out our latest available roles?

Globe Locums is an approved, clinician-led physiotherapy locum agency based in London, with strong links throughout the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. We are proud to offer global reach, and we liaise with medical professionals around the world, which we dispatch for both short and long-term contracts.

For further information, or to apply for UK physio jobs, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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