what is a physiotherapy assistant?

As a physiotherapy assistant, you deliver physiotherapy services to patients and clients. You work with a physiotherapist to develop a therapy program for patients and administer treatments. Your job is to assist people with physical difficulties resulting from disability, injuries, illness and ageing. You are a highly trained individual who helps with treatments and therapies for joints and muscles.

Physiotherapy assistants work in physiotherapy clinics, public and private hospitals and medical or rehabilitation centres. You also work in sports and fitness centres to assist injured players with mobility issues. Some physiotherapy assistants provide services in retirement homes or visit patients in their homes or locations, such as mining communities.

As a physiotherapist, your work is hands-on and may involve performing massage therapies or helping patients with exercises. You recommend exercises to manage pain, improve balance and increase muscle strength. You also educate patients on temporary and permanent changes to their lifestyle to promote wellness.

The role requires empathy and patience to deal with different types of patients. Compassion and empathy help you understand patients' needs and encourage them in their vulnerable state. You also require multitasking skills to handle multiple tasks.

view jobs

average physiotherapy assistant salary

The average remuneration of a physiotherapy assistant in Australia is $61,740 per year. When starting in the role, your earnings begin at $53,000 annually. As your experience increases, your remuneration package rises to $68,000 yearly. Some hospitals may pay a higher hourly rate, depending on the responsibilities you handle.

what factors affect the remuneration of a physiotherapy assistant?

As a physiotherapy assistant, your salary depends on your experience and qualifications. When you have a few years of experience or additional skills, you will earn more than entry-level workers. The remuneration package also depends on the hospital or medical facility you work for. Your earnings could be lower in a public hospital compared to private hospitals with exclusive clients. Working in community centres and rehabilitation facilities also influences your remuneration. For instance, working for sports teams may pay more due to the responsibilities involved and the possibility of handling players needing specialised services.

Want to know what you will earn as a physiotherapy assistant? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

view jobs

types of physiotherapy assistants

Some of the types of physiotherapy assistants include:

  • contract physiotherapy assistant: you don't have to be a full-time employee in a hospital or fitness centre to work as a physiotherapy assistant. As an independent contractor, your hours are more flexible since you have fewer responsibilities.
  • home health physiotherapy assistant: as a home health physiotherapy assistant, you visit patients' homes to implement various treatment procedures as directed by a physical therapist. You help patients with daily activities and encourage them through challenging rehabilitation programs to restore or improve their physical autonomy.
Close up - Smiling female looking away
Close up - Smiling female looking away

working as a physiotherapy assistant

As a physiotherapy assistant, you assist physiotherapists in carrying out their duties. If that interests you, keep reading to discover your typical daily activities in the role.


education and skills

To become a physiotherapy assistant, you require educational qualifications, including:

  • take qualification: in Australia, you should complete a certificate course to become a physiotherapy assistant. Complete Certificate IV in allied health assistance (physiotherapy) to learn the skills required to deliver physiotherapy programs.
  • experience: gaining an educational qualification isn't enough; work experience under the guidance of a physiotherapist qualifies you for the job of physiotherapy assistant.

physiotherapy assistant skills and competencies

Some of the skills and competencies of a physiotherapy assistant include:

  • communication: your job as a physiotherapy assistant relies significantly on your ability to listen and communicate effectively. The physiotherapist will give instructions you convey to your patients, ensuring they understand.
  • compassion: as a physiotherapy assistant, it is essential to derive joy from helping others. This quality is critical as you often work with people in pain. Being empathetic enables you to give the best care.
  • attention to detail: as a physiotherapy assistant, being detail-oriented is crucial. Your role requires you to be systematic, keep accurate records, and follow instructions (oral and written) to the letter to uphold quality care.
  • multitasking: physiotherapy assistants often do multiple tasks simultaneously. Since you'll be dealing with many patients simultaneously, it is crucial to prioritise your duties.
  • dexterity: most of the treatment procedures you administer to patients require dexterity. As a physiotherapy assistant, you use your hands to give therapeutic exercises and manual therapy.
  • interpersonal skills: your job as a physiotherapy assistant involves much interaction with people, including patients, their families or colleagues. Being friendly and courteous enhances positive practice and contributes to patient well-being.
  • physical stamina: a physiotherapy assistant's job requires you to be on your feet, working with patients constantly. You will also be kneeling, bending, stooping and lifting. Since you administer treatments and set up equipment, you need physical strength and stamina.

FAQs about working as a physiotherapy assistant

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a physiotherapy assistant.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.