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

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 85 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all 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 moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some 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. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 58% of Physiotherapists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $72,361. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$22.00

Minimum

$34.87

Median

$43.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$15,942

Minimum

$63,535

Median

$81,361

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

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%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
19.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
41.8

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

56.8%

Halifax

13.6%

Southern

12.1%

North Shore

10.6%

Cape Breton

6.8%

Annapolis Valley

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%

College Diploma

N/A
3.0%

Diploma Below Bachelor

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
PO Box 309, Station Main
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 3Y5
(866) 225-1060
(902) 245-3134

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