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Physiotherapist - Sports

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€33k > 59
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€33 - 59
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Works with people who are involved in sports to reach peak performance. Advises and treats sports injuries and assists in achieving fast recovery.

Videos & Interviews header image

The Work header image

As a sports physiotherapist, you could work with top professional sports people, amateurs or people who do sports as a leisure activity. Your work would include:

  • examining and diagnosing injuries
  • planning treatment programmes
  • using methods such as manipulation, massage, heat treatment, electrotherapy and hydrotherapy
  • keeping records of patient's treatment and progress.

If you deal with sports professionals, you would work in a team with coaches, other health care professionals and sports scientists.

You could specialise in a particular sport, or in a particular aspect of physiotherapy, such as rehabilitation.

You need to be able to work calmly under pressure, and to be able to make judgements confidently. You will be expected to give accurate timescales for when players may be able to start playing again, both to coaches and players themselves. There is quite a lot of lifting and carrying involved in this job such as packing kits, packing equipment, carrying equipment and setting up equipment.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Plan, prepare, or carry out individually designed programs of physical treatment to maintain, improve, or restore physical functioning, alleviate pain, or prevent physical dysfunction in patients.


Perform and document an initial exam, evaluating data to identify problems and determine a diagnosis prior to intervention.


Evaluate effects of treatment at various stages and adjust treatments to achieve maximum benefit.


Identify and document goals, anticipated progress, and plans for reevaluation.


Record prognosis, treatment, response, and progress in patient's chart or enter information into computer.


Obtain patients' informed consent to proposed interventions.


Test and measure patient's strength, motor development and function, sensory perception, functional capacity, or respiratory or circulatory efficiency and record data.


Review physician's referral and patient's medical records to help determine diagnosis and physical therapy treatment required.


Discharge patient from physical therapy when goals or projected outcomes have been attained and provide for appropriate follow-up care or referrals.


Instruct patient and family in treatment procedures to be continued at home.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.


Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.


Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Medicine and Dentistry: Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.


Therapy and Counseling: Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.


Biology: Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To become a sports physiotherapist, you will need to have:

  • an interest and ability in health science and sport
  • experience in the treatment and management of sports injuries
  • concern for the health and wellbeing of patients
  • the ability to educate, advise and motivate people
  • the ability to work well as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • good communication skills
  • good organisational and administration skills.

Entry Routesheader image

Sports Physiotherapy is a post-graduate qualification.

  • NUIG offer a 2-year Master's in Sports & Exercise Physiotherapy which is open to chartered physiotherapy graduates (BSc Physiotherapy NUI) or another university deemed acceptable, with a minimum of two years experience post qualification.

You must first become a Chartered Physiotherapist :

1. Complete a recognised three or four year undergraduate university degree course (or a 2 year accelerated entry to practice MSc) which includes at a minimum 1,000 hours of clinical practice

2. Be accepted as a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

3. Undertake continuous professional development.

Undergraduate route

B.Sc. in Physiotherapy Degree Programmes (4-year Level 8) are available to school leavers at:

  • Trinity College Dublin (TR053) 
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RC004) 
  • University of Limerick (LM100) and
  • University College Dublin (DN420)

FE/QQI Route

Coláiste Íde offer a Pre-University Physiotherapy course at QQI/FETAC Level-6.

Postgraduate Route 

There is one postgraduate entry course to physiotherapy in Ireland - the 2-year MSc.Physiotherapy (pre-registration) at UCD. Minimum 2.1 primary degree in a relevant subject area is required for entry. Graduates of this programme are eligible to apply for membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists.

Note for Irish physiotherapy students studying outside the Republic of Ireland

Irish physiotherapy students studying outside the Republic of Ireland should be aware that they find it extremely difficult to obtain a clinical placement in an Irish public health facility as part of their undergraduate training. Please note that the following is HSE policy:

Priority for Placements of undergraduate physiotherapists in Irish Public Health System PROTOCOL Priority will be given for students in the following agreed courses:

  • BSc in Occupational Therapy – TCD, NUIG, UCC
  • MSc in Occupational Therapy – UL
  • BSc in Physiotherapy – UCD, TCD, RCSI, UL
  • BSc in Speech and Language Therapy – TCD, NUIG, UCC
  • MSc in Speech and Language Therapy – UL

Consideration requires to be given to the following:

a. Irish citizens studying outside the Republic of Ireland

b. Additional courses

c. Northern Ireland and UK students

d. Other EU and international requests”

Source: Ruaidhri O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Royal College of Surgeons. March 2016

Physiotherapist v Physical Therapist

What's the difference between a Physiotherapist and a Physical therapist?

Confusion sometimes arises, especially for students trying to choose college courses, between the occupation and professional titles of 'physiotherapist' and 'physical therapist'. In most other countries the terms are interchangeable, however, in Ireland they refer to two different levels of qualification and clinical expertise.

According to The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists, the professional body representing physiotherapists in Ireland,  Chartered Physiotherapists have a four-year full-time degree and 1,000 hours of clinical placement in public health services as part of that degree programme and also have expertise in musculoskeletal, cardio-respiratory and neurological conditions. <a href="http://www.

Last Updated: March, 2016

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Leisure, Sport & Fitness
Medical & Healthcare

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