Physiotherapy as a Career

Find out what is involved in physiotherapy as a career

Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia (PABC)

  • PABC is the professional association representing physiotherapists in British Columbia, Canada. We advocate for the interests of physiotherapists, promotes the profession, and provides support and resources for its members' professional development.

College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia (CPTBC)

  • CPTBC is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing and regulating the practice of physical therapy in the province of British Columbia. It sets standards, licenses physical therapists, and ensures public safety through the enforcement of professional conduct.

Physiotherapy is a licensed health care profession. 

Physiotherapists are licensed health care professionals who work autonomously and collaboratively alongside physicians and health care teams.  With a patient-centred approach, physiotherapists use evidence informed knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology and physiology to assess, treat, and manage pain, injuries, movement dysfunctions and chronic conditions.

The goal of physiotherapy is to empower, promote independence and improve the quality of life for British Columbians across all ages and abilities. 

Physiotherapists are qualified to:

  • Establish a physical diagnosis and determine a client's movement potential;
  • Plan and implement physiotherapy treatment programs, using specialized knowledge and skills in exercise prescription and hands-on techniques for the prevention and treatment of movement dysfunction*; and:
  • Undertake related professional activities such as research, teaching, administration and consultation

*Movement dysfunction is any alteration in normal body kinetics that limits effective or efficient body performance. It may be due to pain, congenital anomalies, disease processes, accident or injury, enforced inactivity, problems secondary to aging, or psychological or social stress. The dysfunction may be manifested in actual or potential impairment related to neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, respiratory or cardiovascular systems.


Is Physiotherapy the Career Choice for You?

Interested in Rural and Remote practice? Explore the benefits in this PABC produced video highlighting physios in rural areas of BC:

We traveled across the province over the summer—to Prince George, Kimberley and Chase—to get a wide snapshot of the landscape of rural and remote physiotherapy province-wide. We spoke with four physiotherapists about their different experiences and communities, and why they all agree that rural and remote practice is the best kind of practice.


Wondering What a Day in the Life of a Physiotherapist is Like?

Watch a video created by WorkBC. It features Anke Smit, a PABC member and BC physiotherapist from Penticton, who shows how she helps people move better, reduce pain and recover from injuries. She advises her clients on how muscles and joints can become stronger, keeping British Columbians Moving for Life.

Physiotherapists provide services across a variety of different environments while maintaining a set of professional roles.

Professional Roles

Professional roles have been developed for each of the basic elements of the profession: clinical practice, research and education.

  • Clinical practice includes many types of physiotherapeutic care, including preventive, acute, rehabilitative, and maintenance

  • Research is undertaken to try to find ways of improving the quality of care and stimulating development in all aspects of the physiotherapy profession

  • Education is an essential component of the profession at several levels - undergraduate and graduate university programs, as well as continuing education programs


Statistics and Reports

Visit the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) for reports including analysis by various demographic and practice characteristics, such as age and sex, basic and post-basic education in physiotherapy, year and province of graduation, post-basic education in other than physiotherapy, employment status, full-time/part-time status, type of employer, the primary area of practice, total annual hours worked and position of employment.

Canadian Schools Offering Physio Programs

Physio Work Environments

  • Private clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Long-term care
  • Home care programs
  • Schools
  • Child development centres
  • Public health units
  • Recreation centres