Jobs In The Role Of Sports – Sports Physiotherapists

You might have recently graduated with a sports science degree and are looking to make your first steps into the working world but are unsure how to do so and if your qualification allows access to these opportunities.  This article, focusing on the role of a sports physiotherapist, is part of a series outlining top sport science job roles, avenues to get into them, and any other relevant information for students looking to progress in their careers.

Sports Physiotherapist

Sports physiotherapists are responsible for the recovery of an athlete post-injury and design rehab programs that help to tackle current injuries as well as aid injury prevention. The job involves making an assessment of injuries, speaking with other health care professionals, designing health care plans, taping and massaging, traveling with teams or athletes, and educating players and coaches.  

There is no set career path with sports physiotherapy. Straight out of graduation it is common for physiotherapists to work for the NHS or facilities such as leisure centers or private sports clinics. Many sports physiotherapists work as freelancers for multiple organizations or alternately may be employed by a singular sporting clinic or team. With experience, physiotherapists can work with professional athletes at the highest level of sports. There is also an opportunity for physiotherapists to open their own practices and also become educators.  

Physiotherapy jobs can vary in salary. Within physiotherapy, there are lots of opportunities for career progression. For example, senior physiotherapists can make £37,000, clinical specialists/team leads can make £44,000, clinical lead physiotherapist £51,000, consultant physiotherapist £62,000, and management roles in excess of £63,000.  

To become a physiotherapist, students must acquire a degree accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). At undergraduate level, students will require at least CCC at A-level, with the inclusion of biological science in order to get onto the three-year course. Courses are linked below. To get onto a 2 years master’s course, students are required to have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a relevant subject e.g., sports science. It is also often the case that programs will require some kind of work experience whether it be volunteering in a clinic or shadowing a physiotherapist. 

Undergraduate degree programs  

Mr Justin Faulkner is the lead physiotherapist for Hong Kongs rugby 7s team. He studied in the English school system and went on to set up his own practice. A link is posted below. 

Mr Justin Faulkner  

 Entry level earnings Average salary Ultimate earning potential 
Sports Physiotherapist £24,000 to 30,000 £37,000 £100,000 (Premier league professional)  

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