Career outlook for dramatherapist

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would use role play, group work and movement to help people come to terms with feelings and emotions. You’d help them bring about positive change in their lives.

Dramatherapy is a creative way for groups and individuals to deal with personal and social problems.

You would work with people who have:

  • A physical disability
  • A learning disability
  • Emotional or behavioural problems

Other clients might:

  • Experience mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety
  • Have problems with an addiction or eating disorder

You’d guide people to use imagination and the creative side of their personalities to explore past traumas. You’d need to do this sensitively because people might find the process distressing.

Your aim is to help them heal psychologically. You’d try to increase their confidence and self-esteem.

You’d use a range of methods in your work, and would encourage people to:

  • Work as part of a group
  • Form one-to-one relationships
  • Express what they feel and think about the world around them
  • Act out situations in a safe and supportive environment

You would use different methods, including the creative use of voices, movement, storytelling, mime, puppetry and masks.

You would work closely with other professionals such as psychologists, social workers, teachers and other therapy specialists.

You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Dramatherapist page on the NHSScotland Careers website

Working conditions


Your typical working hours would be between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, although some jobs may involve evening or weekend sessions. Part-time and freelance work is common.


You could work in a variety of places such as schools, hospitals, prisons and day centres, depending on your client group.


You may need to travel to different locations throughout your working day.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Reflecting
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Creative
  • Researching
  • Empathising
  • Developing a plan
  • Self esteem
  • Time management
  • Mentoring

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.


You'll need a postgraduate qualification (SCQF Level 11) in drama therapy, recognised by the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth).

To enter a postgraduate course, you need an honours degree (SCQF Level 10) in a related subject. This could include a degree in drama or psychology or a professional qualification in teaching or nursing. 

If you're an adult without the right qualifications, you may be able to get into a one year course to help you access a degree. The Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) has more information.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • Drama(required by many courses)
  • Maths (required by many courses)
  • Science subjects (required by many courses)
  • Care
  • Social studies such as psychology. 

You will also need

You will need practical experience in drama and counselling.

When you complete your postgraduate course, you will become a member of the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth).

You must register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work in the National Health Service (NHS) or with a local authority.

You'll often be working with children or vulnerable adults. You may need to pass a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) Disclosure check for some jobs.

Helpful to have

A driving licence may be useful.