Physiotherapists

(NOC 3142)

in All Health

Physiotherapists assess patients and plan and carry out individually designed treatment programs to maintain, improve or restore physical functioning and mobility, alleviate pain, and prevent physical dysfunction in patients. Physiotherapists work in hospitals, clinics, industry, sports organizations, rehabilitation centres and extended care facilities, or they may work in private practice. Physiotherapists may focus their practice in particular clinical areas like neurology, oncology, rheumatology, orthopedics, obstetrics, pediatrics, and geriatrics, or in treating patients with cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disorders, burns or sports injuries, or in the field of ergonomics.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 3550 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 6335 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Physiotherapists most commonly work full-time hours.

Opportunities should continue to arise due to the needs of an aging population and a focus on health, rehabilitation and wellness in general. While most openings are in Halifax, there is typically less competition for rural positions. New graduates often work part-time positions in various specialties to increase their experience, and benefit from developing “soft skills” through interacting with patients. A large percentage of physiotherapists are employed by private health and wellness clinics, though the province-wide authority provides those within the hospital system a wide variety of specialized opportunities.

Hourly Pay

$25.96

Minimum

$36.06

Median

$42.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$15,942

Minimum

$63,535

Median

$81,361

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.70

Minimum

$26.60

Median

$43.30

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Physiotherapists assess patients and plan and carry out individually designed treatment programs to maintain, improve or restore physical functioning and mobility, alleviate pain, and prevent physical dysfunction in patients. Physiotherapists work in hospitals, clinics, industry, sports organizations, rehabilitation centres and extended care facilities, or they may work in private practice. Physiotherapists may focus their practice in particular clinical areas like neurology, oncology, rheumatology, orthopedics, obstetrics, pediatrics, and geriatrics, or in treating patients with cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disorders, burns or sports injuries, or in the field of ergonomics.

Job duties

Physiotherapists:

  • Assess patients' physical abilities through evaluative procedures like functional ability tests.
  • Determine treatment goals with patients based on physical diagnoses.
  • Plan and implement programs of physiotherapy including therapeutic exercise, manipulations, massage, education, the use of electro-therapeutic and other mechanical equipment and hydrotherapy.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of treatment plans and modify accordingly.
  • Communicate with referring physician and other healthcare professionals regarding patients' problems, needs and progress.
  • Maintain clinical and statistical records and consult with other health care professionals.
  • Develop and implement health promotion programs for patients, staff, and the community.
  • May conduct research in physiotherapy.
  • May provide consulting or education services.

Sample job titles

  • clinical physical therapist
  • consultant physiotherapist
  • physical rehabilitation therapist
  • physical therapist
  • physical therapy clinical specialist
  • physical therapy supervisor
  • physiotherapist
  • physiotherapy clinical coordinator
  • physiotherapy supervisor
  • registered physiotherapist

Skills

  • You should have an interest in health and in caring for the special needs of people. Ingenuity, initiative, and imagination are needed to adapt activities to individual needs. You should be patient, self-disciplined, and resourceful. The ability to inspire confidence and to motivate clients is important. A strong sense of responsibility, good judgement, and communication skills are also necessary. Physical stamina may be necessary.

Job requirements

  • A university degree in physiotherapy and a period of supervised practical training are required.
  • A licence or registration with a regulatory body is required to practice physiotherapy in Nova Scotia.
  • Completion of the Physiotherapy National Exam, administered by the Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulatory Boards, may be required.

Other considerations

  • A growing number of people in this group are self-employed. Movement to management positions like director of physiotherapy is possible through experience and additional training.

By the numbers

Quick look

655

employed in 2016

78.8%

employed full-time

16.7%

self employed

80.3%
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19.7%
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41.8

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

56.8%

Halifax

$58,088 median annual income
13.6%

Southern

$63,911 median annual income
12.1%

North Shore

$73,252 median annual income
10.6%

Cape Breton

$73,694 median annual income
6.8%

Annapolis Valley

$72,483 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

100.0%

Health care and social assistance

What is the age of Employment?

31.0%

35-44

27.0%

25-34

23.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

2.0%

65+

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

47.0%

Bachelor

$72,557 median annual income
36.4%

Master

$60,408 median annual income
9.1%

Diploma Above Bachelor

$54,975 median annual income
3.0%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A
3.0%

College Diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College Diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Physical Therapy

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to alleviate physical and functional impairments and limitations caused by injury or disease through the design and implementation of therapeutic interventions to promote fitness and health. They include courses in functional anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, neuroscience, pathological physiology, analysis of dysfunction, movement dynamics, physical growth process, management of musculoskeletal disorders, clinical evaluation and measurement, client assessment and supervision, care plan development and documentation, physical therapy modalities, rehabilitation psychology, physical therapy administration, and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Physiotherapist

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists
Dartmouth, NS

Contacts

Nova Scotia Physiotherapy Association
Halifax, NS
Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators
Toronto, ON
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
Bedford, NS
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Ottawa, ON