In this career guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about physiotherapy as a career, from roles and responsibilities, to work environment and roadmap to becoming a Physiotherapist.

Who's a Physiotherapist?

Would you like to help people recover from injury? Want to help them rehabilitate to normal life after an injury? If so consider a career in physiotherapy! While doctors treat the actual injury, physiotherapists take over for the rest and recovery period.

As a physiotherapist, you will help people cope with their injuries and find ways to regain their strength and confidence after a mishap. Be it a simple ligament tear or coping with the loss of a limb, you will help your patients get back to their normal lives. You would do this through massages, exercise routines, and use special techniques such as electrotherapy. Seems like something you want to do? Click here to read more.

Are you passionate about physiotherapy? Want to pursue it as a future career option? Explore a day in the life of a Physiotherapist – Dr. Meghna Matange

What will you do?

Identifying your patients’ problems.

You will deal with patients of all age groups with a host of injuries. You would have to get to know them, identify the problem they are facing and accordingly decide on the best treatment options based on their strengths and limitations.

Example: A patient may come to you after surgery for a fracture in their foot. You will have to help them recover post-surgery and they help them start walking and putting pressure onto the foot gradually.

Advising your patients on self-care.

Your treatment method, while effective, will only take the patient so far. There are a number of things that the patient will have to take upon themselves to ensure a speedy and full recovery. You must help them identify and practice these activities.

Example: You may ask your patient to lose some weight through a diet in order to reduce the pressure put onto their injured limb.

Using different healing techniques.

While exercises and self-care go a long way, sometimes the injure calls for specialist treatment. You may have to use other techniques and instruments to help the patient.

Example: You may use heat – electrotherapy – to reduce the pain a person is feeling in their injured limbs or joints.

Keeping a check on progress.

Through the course of your treatment you will have to keep track of your patient’s progess. This will help you decide how fast they will recover, whether they need more sessions or alternative methods.

Example: You will check a patient with a knee injury for how much they can bend their knees on their own. Whether it is 50% compared to a well-functioning body or more.

Working with others from healthcare.

You will be working closely with other professionals from healthcare. Especially doctors who need you for their patients or diagnosticians to check the progress or issues with your patients.

Example: You will work closely with surgeons, orthopaedics, radiologists, pathologists, etc.

Doing a lot of paperwork.

Your role doesn’t end at helping a patient with their recovery. It also involves making detailed reports about their condition, progress rate, particulars and statistics. This will help you create a detailed case history that will come handy during follow-up visits or if the injury recurs.

Example: If a person with a torn ligament ends up tearing it again, you could use your notes to see which treatment option worked best the last time and follow the same routine.

Staying up-to-date with new techniques.

As a medical professional, it is vital for you to know the latest developments in the industry. You must constantly update yourself if you want to remain relevant in the industry, even after considerable experience.

Example: You will have to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest advances in techniques such as electro and ultrasound.

Take the Mentoria career assessment, to find out how well-suited you are as a Physiotherapist.

Where will you work?


You will most likely be associated with a hospital or a clinic. Here you will see patients on an appointment-basis or you will be assigned to an in-house patient admitted at the hospital. You will most-likely see patients for electrotherapy and ultrasound.

Fitness/Sports Centres

You can associate with sports teams and fitness centres where you will work with players and athletes. You will be working with them after game injuries to help them rehabilitate. 


You can pretty much work anywhere as a physiotherapist. You can work with your patientsa at parks, the patient’s home, etc.

How do you get there?

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field

STEP 1: XI-XII/ Junior College

Opt for science in junior college as you will need subjects such as biology, chemistry, etc for your graduation course. Score at least 50% marks to be eligible to appear for the CET exam.

STEP 2: Entrance Exam

Clear the Common Entrance Exam (CET) to pursue your graduation in the field of physiotherapy. To apply for the entrance exam, you should be at least 17 years of age. And score at least 55% marks in the exam to study further.

STEP 3: Graduation

Pursue a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy. It is a four-and-a-half-year course that guides you on subjects such as human anatomy, pharmacology, biomechanics, rehabilitation and others. You will have to complete a six-month internship to finish the course. Top institutes to pursue BSc in physiotherapy include Madras Medical College, Shri Ramchandra University, Government Medical College, etc.

Alternatively, pursue a four-year Bachelor of Physiotherapy. You will have to complete a six-month internship to finish the course. Top institutes to pursue BSc in physiotherapy include Madras Medical College, Manipal University, etc.

You could also pursue a one-year Bachelor of Physiotherapy diploma after your BSc Physiotherapy graduation. This will qualify you to assist physiotherapists.


STEP 4: Land a Job

Once you graduate and complete your internship, you are ready for a job! Congratulations, you are officially a physiotherapist! You may begin as an assistant physiotherapist at a hospital, health club, private clinic or fitness centre based on your interests.

STEP 6: Post-graduation

Once you have worked for a while, you can choose in which field you want to specialise and pursue a postgraduate degree in physiotherapy with a Master’s in Physiotherapy (MPT) or Master of Science (MSc) in Physiotherapy from colleges like Manipal University, Madras College, etc.


Thinking of a career as a Physiotherapist? Take the Mentoria assessment & talk to our career counsellors to get personalized step-by-step guidance for your future career path.

What skills would you need?

Critical thinking

Critical thinking

Marketing strategies involve a lot of trial and error. You will come up with a lot of ideas that sound great on paper. When you analyse them, you might learn that they can’t be executed as per the budget. You should be able to look at an idea practically and see if it will serve its purpose.

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Scientific Skills

Scientific Skills

A logical mind can reason well, and reasoning before reaching any conclusions is very important in any scientific field. You must, therefore, have a scientific bent of mind along with an interest in life sciences.

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Time Management

Time Management

The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.

Communication Skills

Communication Skills

It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.

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How do you make it to the top ranks?

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Assistant Physiotherapist

At an entry level, you will be working with senior physiotherapists, helping them with their patients. This is the best time to enrol in short courses and learn more about the latest treatments.

Junior Physiotherapist

By this stage, you will be working directly with patients, identifying their problems and finding the best treatment options for them from manual therapy to exercise-related therapy. You will also be learning and applying new tech-based therapies.

Senior Physiotherapist

At a senior physiotherapist level, you will be handling more responsibility and looking at more complicated cases. Your role would also involve working with doctors and surgeons from other departments. You will also be responsible for guiding your juniors.

Physiotherapy Superintendent

As a superintendent, you will manage your team of physiotherapists and divide tasks. This role involves more managerial responsibility.

Chief Physiotherapist

As a chief physiotherapist, you will be the head of the department. You will maintain the quality standards of your department and everyone will report to you. This is a completely supervisory role. If you choose to have your own clinic, you will be required to simultaneously perform a number of roles, including that of a senior physiotherapist and a superintendent.

Thinking about building your career as a Physiotherapist? Take the Mentoria assessment and talk to our career counsellors to get personalised step-by-step guidance for your future career path.

Pursuing your career locally VS abroad

There are three ways to pursue physiotherapy as a career. Students mostly prefer to get a BSc in Physiotherapy degree or take up a professional Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) course. BSc involves a four-and-a-half-year-course, while a BPT goes on for four years with a six-month internship. Both of these courses would cost you about INR 1,00,000 – INR 5,00,000. The cost of university fees for the physiotherapy degree in a government organisation may cost around INR 60,000 – INR 1,00,000, while for a private college, it could range between INR 3,00,000 – INR 6,00,000. The third option is a one-year diploma course, which can give you the opportunity to pursue an internship as an assistant physiotherapist and work your way up from there, on the basis of experience. However, it is not enough to land a job with a major hospital.

Professionals with a PhD have plenty of opportunities abroad for research and development in pharmaceutical companies and institutional laboratories. The USA, UK, Canada and some other European countries are hotspots for this career. Additionally, professionals can choose to teach physiotherapy for mentally and physically disabled children at defence medical establishments and rehabilitation centres abroad, where the scope of work is better than that of India. If you wish to study abroad, many colleges offer the combined Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Physiotherapy programme of four years or a Bachelor of Science degree with a specialisation. Students can follow this up with the Doctorate of Physical Therapy and upon completion, qualify for the physical therapy licensure examination.

How much would you get paid?

The exact number depends on where you’re working, your education, skill-set and experience. But we can give you a general idea.

What are your career options?

Neurology Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy professionals in neurology deal with patients suffering from neurological damages, diseases or disorders. This includes a range of illnesses from multiple sclerosis to Parkinson’s disease or even cerebral palsy, which affects the patient’s functional dependence on the brain or spinal cord. You will help them reduce their motor defects and regain their normal functions.

Cardiovascular Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy professionals in this field deal with patients who have suffered heart attacks or have a disorder or disease of the cardiovascular or cardiopulmonary system. This could range from disorders like cystic fibrosis, COPD, or any other kind of heart disease. You will help these patients with cardiac rehabilitation, helping them build endurance through exercise and finding ways to reduce stress.

Orthopaedic Physiotherapy

This is one of the most common branches of physiotherapy. You will deal with patients suffering from musculoskeletal injuries like a sprain, fracture, back or joint pain, arthritis, ligament tear, or have recently had surgery for the same. Rehabilitation for these patients includes exercise, stretching, muscle stimulation and basic strength training.

Paediatrics Physiotherapy

As the name suggests, physiotherapy professionals in this field deal with patients under the age of 16 or 18. You will work with children who have congenital birth defects or other kinds of developmental delays. This could range from cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, scoliosis or a kind of brain injury. You may work at a hospital, rehabilitation centre, school, or even on a personal basis, helping families in the care and assistance of the patients.

Geriatrics Physiotherapy

Just like paediatrics physiotherapists, these professionals work only with a certain age group, which mostly includes patients above the age of 60. Your main task is to ensure that your patients stay mobile and lead a healthy lifestyle, while also helping them cope with any disease or disorder they might be suffering from, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, joint stiffness and soreness.

Women’s Physiotherapy

There are physiotherapists who excel on all issues related to women’s health. This could be related to a specific condition like disorders of the pelvis or just the treatment of women across different life stages, such as prenatal or post-natal care. Since common disorders or diseases affect women differently than they do to men, you would help them cope with these issues and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Sports Physiotherapy

This is a special branch of physiotherapy where professionals work with athletes. Most sports clubs and sports organisations hire in-house physiotherapists or keep one on retainer for any sports-related or other injuries their athletes are likely to suffer from. You will not only be trained in physiotherapy but also have vast knowledge about the sport, the kind of injuries a player is likely to suffer from, and work on treating the same.

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