How to get graduate physiotherapy jobs in the UK

By Rachel Lamb . 06/01/2023 · 7 Minute read

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Starting out as a graduate Physiotherapist can feel daunting, to say the least. After years of hard work and study, you’re finally ready to take those first tentative steps into a professional career. But where to start? 

To give you a helping hand, we’ve asked two of Your World’s specialist Physiotherapy Recruitment Consultants, Ed Whitton and Lee Potter, to provide some valuable tips on what you’ll need to successfully land your first official physiotherapy jobs.

Let’s start out by discussing what you’ll need before applying for jobs.

Ed says:

Before you can even think about applying for employed work, you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC is the official regulator for UK health and care professionals, so it’s a legal requirement to be registered with them if you want to work as a physio in the United Kingdom. 

Find out more about getting on the HCPC register

Lee says:

You might also want to consider applying for membership with The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. This is a trade union body providing advice and support to Physiotherapists around the country. 

You don’t have to wait for your professional career to start before joining - they accept physiotherapy students as members too. 

Here’s a link to join the CSP

Next, we’ll talk about how to find the best jobs for you.

Lee says:

It’s easy to get caught up in ‘doom scroll’ mode, where you can scroll through pages and pages of job adverts and come out hours later feeling overwhelmed and flustered. 

Jobs will vary from employer to employer. They will all have different ways of working, have different entry requirements, and require different hours. Finding the right one for you, especially as a graduate, might feel really pressured. You can eliminate that stress and confusion by signing up with a recruitment agency. 

Ed says:

Exactly. A recruitment agency takes the hard work out of job hunting and can really kickstart your career. 

However, you want to make sure you’re using a reputable, responsible agency with high-quality jobs and a supportive team. That’s where Your World really shines. Our team will really get to know you and your career needs before matching you with a suitable role for your experience level, skill set, and personal requirements. 

We’re here for you if you have any questions about joining Your World as a graduate Physiotherapist. 

Now we’ll move onto what types of jobs you can apply for.

Ed says:

Physio jobs are varied, so finding the right type for you will really depend on your personal goals and needs. 

Firstly, they differ in hours. Full time Physiotherapists typically work 37.5 hours per week. Part time hours are closer to 14 hours per week. 

Next, consider what specialty you want to work in and whether you’d prefer to work in an NHS or private setting. You may choose to work as a specialist sports physio, for example, where you’ll treat patients with sports injuries. Sports Physiotherapists tend to work in private practice hospitals and clinics. If you choose to work in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, an NHS hospital role might be best for you. 

If you like to move from place to place, community physiotherapy could be a great option for you. This is an NHS role, which could have you visiting prisons, nursing homes, and patients’ own homes.

Whichever area or setting you choose, one thing’s for certain - you’ll always be working to improve your patients’ quality of life.

Lee says:

You may already know what type of physiotherapy setting you prefer from the work experience you completed during your higher education course. If so, that’s a great place to start when speaking with your recruitment agency.

For this next section, we’ll talk about work-life balance.

Lee says:

These days, finding a good balance between work and personal life is more important than ever. Most healthcare students and graduates believe that finding a balance will be impossible for their chosen career paths, but that’s simply not the case. 

For the best work-life balance, I highly recommend locum work. Instead of working a permanent contract for one employer, you take on pro-rata jobs for multiple employers. 

As a locum, you have full control over your career. It’s up to you to decide which jobs to accept and how many hours you take on. Plus, you have the option to explore different areas of your field before focusing on one long-term.

You’ll also gain plenty of experience with different physiotherapy teams and really hone your skills. 

Ed says:

Because it’s so versatile, you’ll never get bored as a locum. Each day is different, which is great if you’re someone who thrives on challenges and trying new things.

Locums may also work with a wide variety of people from different cultures and backgrounds, which gives you the chance to develop your interpersonal skills. Of course, if you prefer a stronger routine, you’ll still have that option, as you can choose where you work and when. 

Pay is another appealing aspect of locum work because it’s typically higher than permanent roles. Locums rates are based on experience and skill set. 

Despite pay being higher, locums don’t receive the same benefits as permanent employees, such as maternity leave, annual leave, or sick pay. These are important lifestyle allowances to take into account before choosing a locum career. 

Finally, let’s make sure you know who to contact if you’re looking for graduate physiotherapy jobs.

Hopefully, this article has boosted your confidence for finding your first physio job in the UK. At Your World, we get how hard you’ve worked for your qualifications, and we’d love to help you take your first steps into the professional world. 

Join our community of healthcare heroes today and speak to one of our physio recruitment specialists about your professional goals. We’re here to support, advise, and guide you into a long and happy physiotherapy career. 

You got this! 

                                                                                                                                                                               Connect with Ed on LinkedIn                                           Connect with Lee on LinkedIn

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