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Occupational Profile

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists help patients improve and maintain their physical performance and ability to function independently; prevent and manage pain, physical impairments, disabilities and limits to participation; and promote fitness, health and wellness.

Related Video(s)
Physiotherapist (6:45)

  • Avg. Salary $76,095.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.73
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 4,300
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Physical Therapist, Therapist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

66%
66%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Physiotherapist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Physiotherapists
NOC code: 3142
METHODICAL

Interest in operating electrotherapeutic and other mechanical equipment; and in implementing programs including therapeutic exercise, manipulations, massage, education, use of electro-therapeutic and other mechanical equipment and and hydro-therapy

INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating, developing and implementing health promotion programs for patients, staff and the community; and in evaluating the effectiveness of and modifying treatment plans; may conduct research in physiotherapy

SOCIAL

Interest in instructing patients in therapeutic procedures to be continued at home; may provide consulting or education services

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another but, in general, physiotherapists:

  • assess the client's level of mobility, strength, endurance and other physical abilities to determine the impact of an illness or injury on physical function at work and play
  • diagnose physical conditions and develop treatment plans to restore movement and function and reduce pain or limitations to mobility
  • establish treatment goals with patients based on physical diagnoses
  • communicate with physicians and other healthcare professionals regarding patients' problems, needs and progress
  • measure clients' progress regularly and adjust treatment accordingly
  • advise clients on how to manage their conditions independently and help them prevent avoidable recurrences or complications
  • help clients understand how the condition affects their ability to function 
  • advise clients on ways to prevent potential health problems.

Physiotherapists may:

  • work with people of all ages or a particular age group (for example, children or seniors)
  • focus on a particular practice area (for example, orthopedics, neurology, cardiorespiratory, women's health, oncology, arthritis, trauma, sports, work injury prevention, cardiac rehabilitation or health promotion)
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Physiotherapists work in a variety of settings. Weekday, evening and weekend work is required in many settings.

Physiotherapists may be required to lift and transfer patients who have limited or little mobility, and lift and adjust equipment that weighs up to 20 kilograms. Providing direct patient care involves bending, stretching, standing and reaching. 

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Physiotherapists need the following characteristics:

  • a genuine interest in helping people
  • the interpersonal skills, patience, empathy and ability to motivate and encourage people
  • good health and physical stamina
  • good co-ordination and manual dexterity
  • analytical and problem solving skills
  • good organizational skills
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • a positive outlook.

They should enjoy developing and implementing innovative health promotion programs and dealing with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Registration as a physiotherapist requires a degree in physiotherapy from an accredited physiotherapy program at a recognized university and successful completion of a national competency exam. 


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist

Physiotherapists assess physical function, and diagnose and treat dysfunction caused by a pain, injury, disease or condition to develop, maintain and maximize independence and prevent dysfunction.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Physical Therapists Professional Regulation, only registered members of the Physiotherapy Alberta - College + Association may call themselves Physiotherapists, Physical Therapists or PTs.

Education

Registration requires successful completion of: (1) an approved program of studies in physiotherapy and (2) an approved examination. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the CPTA website or contact the CPTA.

Working in Alberta

Physiotherapists who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered physiotherapists in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated physical therapists or physiotherapists, see Physical Therapist/Physiotherapist Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

College of Physical Therapists of Alberta
Suite 300, 10357 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5J 1N3
Phone number: 780-438-0338
Toll-free phone number (within North America): 1-800-291-2782
Fax number: 780-436-1908
Website: www.cpta.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Physiotherapists may work in settings such as:

  • child development centres
  • community health centres
  • fitness centres, health clubs or spas
  • government and health planning agencies
  • home care
  • continuing care facilities
  • hospitals and rehabilitation centres
  • physiotherapy clinics and multidisciplinary clinics (for example, pain clinics)
  • schools
  • sport and recreation facilities.

Physiotherapists may advance to supervisory or management positions in large organizations, or move into teaching and research positions.

In Alberta, 93% of people employed as physiotherapists work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 4,300 Albertans are employed in the Physiotherapists occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.9% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 168 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

Physiotherapists
NOC code: 3142

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $28.00 $48.08 $39.35 $36.12
Overall $38.00 $50.59 $43.73 $38.41
Top $38.94 $96.15 $51.62 $48.08

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

66%
66%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

54%
54%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
    • Human and Social Services
    • Recreation Leadership
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) website: www.physiotherapy.ca

Physiotherapy Alberta - College + Association (CPTA) website: www.physiotherapyalberta.ca

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 17, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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