• 21 July 2020
  • 9 min read

What Do Physiotherapists Get Paid In 2020 And How You Earn It

  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk Co-Founder
    • Kirsty Combes
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Matt Farrah
  • 0
  • 436
"The more skills you develop, and the more specialised you become, the more chance you have of improving your income."

Here we take a look at the job of a Physiotherapist, the different roles available and why it can pay to specialise.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

What Is The Average Pay For A Physiotherapist?

What Does A Physiotherapist Do?

How Does The Role Differ Between The NHS And The Private Sector?

How Is Pay Determined In The NHS And How Much Does A Physiotherapist Get Paid?

How Is Pay Determined In The Private Sector And How Much Do Physiotherapists Earn?

What’s Next For Physiotherapy Pay?

How To Get A Pay Rise As A Physiotherapist

What Roles Are Available For Physiotherapists?

What Is The Career Progression For A Physiotherapist?

Find Your Next Physiotherapy Role Today

Introduction

Physiotherapy continues to be a highly sought after and respected profession.

It offers reliable and consistent work that’s skilled, challenging and comparatively well paid.

But how much do Physiotherapists earn?

And what factors affect your pay packet?

This article offers a comprehensive guide to Physiotherapy salaries in 2020.

What Is The Average Pay For A Physiotherapist?

The average salary for a Physiotherapist in the UK in 2020 is roughly somewhere between £33,000 and £37,000 a year.

However, this is best described as an educated guess.

That’s because Physiotherapists work in the NHS, where pay is regulated, as well as in the private sector, where it isn’t.

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And in the private sector, salaries vary much more widely.

The majority of the UK’s approximately 70,000 Physiotherapists do work in the NHS though – and the majority of those are currently operating at Band 6 level.

This equates to a salary that’s between £33,000 and £37,000.

And industry data suggests that relatively experienced private Physiotherapists earn somewhere between £35,000 and £40,000.

What Does A Physiotherapist Do?

To earn this sort of salary, a Physiotherapist offers treatments to patients that help them restore and maintain their mobility, function and wellbeing.

Physiotherapists diagnose problems in relation to movement, which could be caused by neurological, skeletal, cardiovascular or respiratory issues.

Once diagnosed, treatments and exercises are planned and implemented.

Physiotherapists work in a range of settings within the NHS, but also privately in clinics, sports clubs and gyms.

They may work alone or as part of a large, multi-skilled team.

The kind of treatments employed can vary greatly, with some incorporating the latest high-tech equipment, and others using simple exercises.

How Does The Role Differ Between The NHS And The Private Sector?

There are several significant differences between working in the private sector and the NHS.

Firstly, as already referenced, pay is different.

NHS salaries are known in advance and structured around bandings, while for private Physiotherapists pay can be harder to predict.

Indeed, if you run your own practice, salaries essentially depend on what you decide to charge and how successful your practice is.

Hours of work in the NHS are clearly rostered, while privately you may work lots of extra hours if you’re trying to build your reputation.

Benefits, holidays, sick leave and pensions are all guaranteed and clearly structured in the NHS – but privately, there is no obligation for any of this to be provided.

However, many private employers do of course choose to offer comprehensive benefits.

It’s also worth noting that while Continual Professional Development is a key part of working in the NHS, with many courses offered and even funded, training isn’t necessarily on offer at all privately.

How Is Pay Determined In The NHS And How Much Does A Physiotherapist Get Paid?

In the NHS, pay for Physiotherapists is organised through the same, transparent banding system that applies to all other NHS workers.

There are 9 NHS pay bands in total.

Pay increases within each banding, and different roles qualify for each one depending on their skill level, seniority and other qualifying factors.

Physiotherapists start at Band 5, which currently means a starting salary of £24,907 a year.

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This salary rises for each year of experience until you reach the top of your banding.

To reach a higher banding, you have to apply for a new, more senior role – which will normally require further training or study.

The majority of experienced Physiotherapists reach at least Band 6, which means the average NHS Physiotherapist might earn somewhere between £32,000 and £37,000 a year.

The most qualified, consultant-level Physiotherapists who reach the very highest bandings can expect to earn anywhere between £50,000 and £90,000 a year.

How Is Pay Determined In The Private Sector And How Much Do Physiotherapists Earn?

As mentioned, private sector pay is very unpredictable – and there is no overarching body governing pay.

Pay in the private sector is influenced to some extent by NHS pay.

Private sector companies that employ Physiotherapists, like sports clubs or gyms, may look to the NHS to see what they should be paying their staff.

But broadly, earnings are influenced by experience, qualifications and your ability to negotiate the best possible salary.

And where Physiotherapists open their own practice, there really is no hard and fast rule.

You may earn a relatively low income to start with, but if you’re successful you could earn far more than you ever would in the NHS.

In terms of average earnings in the private sector, industry data suggests that Physiotherapists earn somewhere between £35,000 and £40,000 a year.

However, the same data shows that some starting salaries can be as low as £20,000, and top-end pay packets can be as high as £100,000 a year or beyond.

What’s Next For Physiotherapy Pay?

The future of Physiotherapy in the UK is to some extent dictated by the future of the patients requiring it.

And with the UK’s growing, and ageing, population, demand for Physiotherapy is set to soar.

That should see Physiotherapy pay increase in the coming years, both in the NHS and privately.

In the NHS, the so-called New Pay Deal comes to an end in 2021, so everyone is eagerly awaiting what the annual pay increases will look like after that.

There is no guarantee that wages will increase in line with demand – but in the coming years, experienced Physiotherapists will certainly have lots of bargaining power as their services become increasingly precious.

How To Get A Pay Rise As A Physiotherapist

For an NHS Physiotherapist, getting a pay rise beyond anything statutory necessitates entry into a new banding.

That is only possible by applying for a new position. And to make the cut at a higher level, you’ll normally need to acquire new skills, qualifications and experience.

A range of courses will be available, and funding may be possible too.

Privately, the same rules apply for Physiotherapists.

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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The more skills you develop, and the more specialised you become, the more chance you have of improving your income.

Anecdotally it’s often been suggested that certain industries or skillsets can facilitate especially high pay.

Elite sports teams often pay very high salaries to specialist Physiotherapists, and with the UK’s ageing population, any skills in geriatric healthcare could also give you more bargaining power.

What Roles Are Available For Physiotherapists?

Beyond entry level and generalist Physiotherapy roles, a number of different specialist positions or relevant careers are accessible for qualified Physiotherapists.

These include:

• Animal Physiotherapists

• Sports therapists

• Physiotherapy lecturers

• Personal trainers

• Acupuncturists

• Osteopaths

• Health service managers

• Chiropractors

• Exercise physiologists

What Is The Career Progression For A Physiotherapist?

For Physiotherapists who choose to remain within their chosen vocation, there are a number of different career paths – but some are far more common than others.

The majority of Physiotherapists seeking to develop their career become senior Physiotherapists, and perhaps later move into health service management.

It’s also common for Physiotherapists to make a sideways move into areas including Orthopaedics, sports therapy or Occupational Health.

Those Physiotherapists who become particularly knowledgeable in certain subjects can also become researchers or even lecturers.

In the private sector, career progression for Physiotherapists tends to result in building your own practice.

Not only can this be extremely fulfilling, but in the long-term it has the potential to become very lucrative.

Find Your Next Physiotherapy Role Today

To move your Physiotherapy career forward, view our latest roles here.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on Physiotherapy pay grades - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk in 2008. I’m interested in providing a platform that gives a voice to nurses and those working in care and nursing. I'm fascinated by the career choices we make. In the case of those working in care I've discovered that there's a positive, life-affirming common theme.

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  • Matt Farrah
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About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk in 2008. I’m interested in providing a platform that gives a voice to nurses and those working in care and nursing. I'm fascinated by the career choices we make. In the case of those working in care I've discovered that there's a positive, life-affirming common theme.

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