Job Prospects... At a glance
In general, job prospects for physiotherapists are good. Physiotherapists are in demand to treat a growing and ageing population.
Physiotherapists work to maintain and promote people’s health, particularly when there is a disability or problem related to movement caused by some kind of physical or other disorder. Their work covers all ages from premature babies to the elderly.
According to the latest information from the New Zealand and Australian online job ads, some of the top skills employers look for include:
Source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight™ Real-time Labor Market Information tool
To practise as a physiotherapist, you will need:
|Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)|
|$29,000 over four years|
Average costs in 2018 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. First time students may be eligible for fees-free
tertiary education for their first year of study, which will reduce the total cost. For more information about fees-free eligibility, go to feesfree.govt.nz. Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.
The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.
Physiotherapy courses are available at:
University of Auckland University of Technology (AUT): www.aut.ac.nz/study-at-aut/study-areas/health-sciences/physiotherapy
University of Otago: www.otago.ac.nz/physio/index.html
Practising physiotherapists need to be registered with the Physiotherapy Board, and have a current annual practising certificate. For more information, see the Board’s website.
New Zealand Physiotherapists Board: www.physioboard.org.nz
The number of students completing a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy has varied since 2011.
Qualification completions chart
Source: Ministry of Education
In 2017, the average salary of physiotherapists was estimated to be around $55,000.
|Estimated Average Income|
Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index
A physiotherapist’s income varies with their experience and level of responsibility. New physiotherapists earn about $46,000 a year. Fully qualified physiotherapists usually earn about $66,000 a year. With additional duties and responsibilities, physiotherapists can earn from $69,000 to $95,000 a year. Some physiotherapists own a physiotherapy practice and their income depends on the profitability of the practice.
Source: Physiotherapy Board New Zealand Annual Report 2014-2015 and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Growth projections are for the broader category “Health Therapy Professionals”.
The number of physiotherapists with annual practising certificates has grown steadily over the last several years, and is expected to continue, with more than 2 % annual growth projected out to 2026.
Source: Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand
|Overseas||In further study||Receiving a benefit||In employment||Median Salary|
Source: Tertiary Education Commission
*Two years after completion of Bachelor Degree - Rehabilitation Therapies (Physiotherapy).
Three years after completing a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy, a majority of graduates were in employment. A relatively high proportion were overseas, any relatively few were in further study. The median salary was around $56,000 three years after qualification completion.
Demand for physiotherapists is greater than the current supply. Physiotherapists appear on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. If a job appears on the list, it means the government is actively encouraging skilled people in these jobs to come and work in New Zealand. A full list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz
The number of online job vacancies for physiotherapists has increased very quickly over the last few years. In April 2016, the number of ads was around doubled from April 2011
Jobs advertised chart
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Physiotherapist vacancies are advertised through public media such as the Trade Me Jobs, Seek, and Kiwi Health Jobs websites.
Physiotherapists can do postgraduate training and go on to specialise in many different fields of physiotherapy. They can also move into teaching and research roles, management positions, or set up their own clinics.
Physiotherapists may specialise in a specific area of physiotherapy, such as:
Physiotherapists who meet particular criteria can apply to the Physiotherapy Board for registration as a Physiotherapy Specialist in a defined area of practice.
The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level physiotherapists.
More information on physiotherapists is available on the Careers New Zealand website and through the "Just the Job" video.
Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz
Just the Job video clip: A Career in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.
The occupation of physiotherapists has been coded to the following ANZSCO code for the purpose of this report:
2525 – Physiotherapists