Physiotherapists - NOC Code 3142

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If you are interested in working as a Physiotherapist in Canada, you will be pleased to know that the job outlook for your occupation in Canada is extremely positive. You can use this overview of the Canadian employment prospects in your field to start planning your immigration and settlement in Canada.

To find out if you qualify for a Canadian immigration (permanent resident) visa please fill out our free eligibility assessment.

Physiotherapists assess patients and plan and carry out individually designed treatment programs to maintain, improve or restore physical functioning, alleviate pain and prevent physical dysfunction in patients. Physiotherapists are employed in hospitals, clinics, industry, sports organizations, rehabilitation centres and extended care facilities, or they may work in private practice.

(Description from Employment and Social Development Canada's National Occupation Classification, used by Canadian immigration officers, to assess an applicant's work experience.)

  • Assess patients' physical abilities through evaluative procedures such as functional ability tests
  • Establish treatment goals with patients based on physical diagnoses
  • Plan and implement programs of physiotherapy including therapeutic exercise, manipulations, massage, education, the use of electro-therapeutic and other mechanical equipment and hydro-therapy
  • Evaluate effectiveness of treatment plans and modify accordingly
  • Communicate with referring physician and other healthcare professionals regarding patients' problems, needs and progress
  • Maintain clinical and statistical records and confer with other health care professionals
  • Develop and implement health promotion programs for patients, staff and the
  • May conduct research in physiotherapy
  • May provide consulting or education services
  • Physiotherapists may focus their practice in particular clinical areas such as neurology, oncology, rheumatology, orthopedics, obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics, in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disorders, burns or sports injuries or in the field of ergonomics

  • clinical co-ordinator, physical therapy
  • clinical co-ordinator, physiotherapy
  • clinical physical therapist
  • clinical physiotherapist
  • consultant physical therapist
  • consultant physiotherapist
  • physical rehabilitation therapist
  • physical therapist
  • physical therapist, research
  • physical therapy clinical co-ordinator
  • physical therapy clinical specialist
  • physical therapy officer – military
  • physical therapy supervisor
  • physiotherapist
  • physiotherapist, research
  • physiotherapy clinical co-ordinator
  • physiotherapy supervisor
  • registered physical therapist
  • registered physiotherapist
  • research physical therapist
  • research physiotherapist
  • supervisor, physical therapy
  • supervisor, physiotherapy
  • therapist, physical rehabilitation

Why your employment prospects in Canada are excellent:

  • Increasingly, many Physiotherapists are moving towards specialization or the development of advanced expertise in one particular area of the profession.
  • Physiotherapists may develop expertise in areas such as seniors' health, neurosciences, orthopedics, rheumatology, sports physiotherapy and women's health, and there is a growing need for Physiotherapists with specialized expertise across the country.
  • Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced in December 2009 that the Canadian government would be speeding up the recognition of foreign credentials, and foreign credentials in 14 fields will now be assessed within a year. Physiotherapists are included in the first phase, which began in December, and they will know by December 2010 whether their credentials meet Canadian standards.
Find out about the salary ranges for Physiotherapists in different Canadian cities with our Canada Salary Calculator

Some areas of Canada where your occupation is in demand:

While prospects are considered to be very good across the whole country (as there is a national shortage of Physiotherapists), the following cities and provinces listed below have a particularly high demand for Physiotherapists.

British Columbia
  • Physiotherapists are in such demand in this province that organizations with jobs to offer have stopped advertising because they have little or no chance of having the positions filled, says the head of the Physiotherapy Association of B.C.
  • There are 2,500 registered Physiotherapists in B.C., with an average age of 45. A study by the B.C. association found that the vast majority of them want to retire at 55. Analysts are predicting that demand will increase even more in the next 5-10 years with huge number of retirements.

Thompson-Okanagan-Kootenay Area, British Columbia:
  • Employment prospects are considered to be good in the area for Physiotherapists as there is a shortage of qualified workers in this field.
  • The growing elderly population will require more therapeutic services like physiotherapy.
  • With the growing interest in health and safety promotion, employers are increasingly using Physiotherapists to evaluate worksites.

Vancouver Island and Victoria, British Columbia:
  • The employment outlook for Physiotherapists is good in this area, because there is a shortage of qualified workers in this field.
  • According to the Canadian Occupational Projections System (COPS) well over 1,600 expected new jobs will have been created in the ten years leading up to 2013 in this area alone.

  • According to Service Canada, employment prospects for physiotherapists are good in the following Alberta regions: Red Deer, the Lethbridge-Medicine Hat region, the Calgary - Banff –Jasper-Rocky Mountain House region and the Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River region.

  • Employment prospects in this province are good for Physiotherapists
  • There will be many new employment opportunities in the next few years due to retirement or other turnover in the provincial labour market.
  • In addition, there will be an increase in demand for Physiotherapists due to Saskatchewan's aging population that requires more specialized health care.
  • The best opportunities for Physiotherapists are likely to be found in the private sector.

  • There is currently a shortage of Physiotherapists in this province.
  • A growth in demand for the services of physiotherapists is to be expected as the population ages and an increasing number of individuals with disabilities or limited function require therapy.
  • A proportionally greater number of physiotherapists are located in Winnipeg, but opportunities exist in all regions.
  • Physiotherapists are employed exclusively in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector, where the majority work in hospitals, followed by community-based clinics, and nursing and residential care homes.

New Brunswick
  • Employment prospects are considered to be good throughout the province, especially in the areas of Campbellton-Bathurst-Caraquet-Miramichi, Fredericton-Woodstock-Grand-Falls-Edmundston, and Saint John-Sussex-St. Stephen.
  • Traditionally, the majority of jobs for this occupation are found in the healthcare industry (specifically hospitals), however, with the movement away from institutionalized services towards more community care services, private physiotherapy clinics are becoming more common.
  • The increased number of private clinics has played a role in the increased number of new physiotherapy jobs in the province.
  • Employment for Physiotherapists is good year-round with no seasonal fluctuations.

Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The employment outlook for this occupation is considered to be good for the next five years in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Physiotherapists are employed in all areas of the province. However, a larger portion of them are employed in the Eastern region.
  • Virtually all the employment for this occupation in Newfoundland and Labrador is concentrated within the Health and Social Services industry.
  • The shift from institution to community-based care and the re-organization of the Health Care System is expected to create job opportunities for Physiotherapists, especially in the rural areas of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Prince Edward Island
  • There is a critical lack of physiotherapists in Western P.E.I.
  • The shortage is causing problems for people needing in-patient care, according to Andrew MacDougall, administrator of Western Hospital and Maplewood Manor in Alberton.
  • MacDougall said an active recruitment campaign is underway, but the shortage is being felt across the country so all provinces are actively recruiting.

Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia:
  • Employment prospects are considered to be good in this area.
  • The supply of graduates is not enough in relation to the demand.
  • Opportunities should continue to arise due to increased needs from an aging population and an increased focus on health among the population.

Colchester-Cumberland area, Nova Scotia:
  • The employment opportunities for Physiotherapists in this area are good.
  • Many jobs are expected to open over the next few years due to both newly created positions as well as a result of some older workers retiring.
  • Physiotherapists are normally employed at the local hospitals and health care centers, but opportunities also exist for those wishing to set up private clinics.
  • With an aging population and quality of life enhancement continuing to be a focus, the need for qualified Physiotherapists will continue to grow.

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia:
  • The employment outlook is considered to be good in this area, as local sources report a shortage of Physiotherapists.
  • The Annapolis Valley is also being considered by the Department of Health as a possible location for a new multi-disciplinary pain centre which would require more Physiotherapists along with other health care professionals.
  • By 2010, entry level to the physiotherapy profession will require a professional Masters degree, as opposed to the current Bachelors level degree. The limited number of new grads in Nova Scotia will be compounded within the next few years as Dalhousie will have one year of no graduates due to the changeover to the Masters level program, which began in September 2006. As a result, more physiotherapists will need to be brought into the province to satisfy demand.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario:
  • Currently Physiotherapists are enjoying good employment opportunities and opportunities will remain good in the Sault Ste. Marie area.
  • Employment opportunities will be better in private practices outside of the institutional health care sector.

Sudbury, Ontario:
  • Employment prospects are good in this area.
  • The demand for Physiotherapists is related to the ageing population and increased attention to the needs of disabled persons and accident victims.

The London-Woodstock Area, Ontario:
  • Employers feel there is a shortage in this occupation, so opportunities for Physiotherapists are good in this region.
  • Hospitals in smaller communities and physiotherapy clinics have experienced difficulty in finding qualified workers.
  • Small self-employed businesses are very common, which is where most of the employment growth takes place.
  • Other Ontario areas with good prospects include: Thunder Bay, Kingston, Ottawa, Niagara Area, Parry Sounds, Peterborough and the Muskoka District.

    You can start looking for a job in Canada as a Physiotherapist by using our  Canada Job Search Tool.

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