Physiotherapy assistant


Career outlook for physiotherapy assistant

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 support people who have physical problems and help them improve their ability to move.

You’d work with people who have mobility problems caused by injury, illness or a disability.

Your patients could range from very young children to older people. You’d help them to work through a therapy programme created by a physiotherapist.

You would:

  • Talk to patients and prepare them for therapy
  • Show patients how to use mobility aids
  • Demonstrate and work through exercises with them
  • Set up equipment
  • Keep records of patients' progress
  • Give reports to physiotherapists

You could also check and maintain equipment, do general administration and keep the department tidy.

You would usually be based at a hospital physiotherapy department, but could also work at private clinics.

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

Working conditions


You would usually work 37.5 hours, Monday to Friday. There may also be opportunities for part-time work.


This work can be physically demanding, as you would often have to help patients move and give them physical support.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Supporting
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Empathising
  • Social conscience
  • Time management
  • Motivating others

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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.

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Employers may look for qualifications in subjects that relate to health or social care. Some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

It helps to have some relevant experience, perhaps through voluntary work. Some employers require experience of working with the public. 

Useful subjects

  • English 
  • Maths
  • Science-based subjects such as human biology.
  • Care
  • Physical education
  • Health and food technology

You will also need

  • To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland
  • To be able to swim, for some jobs
  • To be fit, as you may need to help lift patients and move equipment

Some employers require experience of working with the public.

Helpful to have

  • Relevant experience, perhaps through voluntary work. 
  • Qualifications that show understanding of health and fitness and experience helping others such as Skills for Work Health & Social Care Sector (SCQF level 6) or a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Healthcare Support (SVQ level 2/3).

Once in work you may have the opportunity to gain a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) in Allied Health Professions: Physiotherapy Support.