Physical Therapist

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.

Essential Skills

(the number in brackets indicates the level of ES)


Program Locations in Alberta

  • University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

Program Contact

Program Description

  • Registration as a physiotherapist requires a degree in physiotherapy from an accredited physiotherapy program at a recognized university and successful completion of a national competency exam.
  • Master of Science – Physical Therapy-
    • The Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSc PT) program is an accredited, graduate, professional, entry-level physical therapy (PT) program, and is one of the largest in Canada. It is a year-round, full-time program and can be completed within 30 months of study. All Canadian entry-level PT programs graduate physiotherapy generalists and are not programs of specialization. National entry-level competencies must be acquired in all practice areas (musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, neurology, oncology, pediatrics, etc.) by the end of the program.
  •  Master of Science – Rehabilitation Science –
    • The MSc in Rehabilitation Science is a two-year thesis program designed for graduate students who want careers as independent scientists in health-related disciplines. It serves as a stepping stone to advanced research training for students planning to pursue a PhD in Rehabilitation Science. Students who possess a recognized clinical practice credential will be able to denote their area of emphasis on their MSc RS degree with specific designations under field of Specialization: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology or Aging. Preliminary contact with individual faculty members is encouraged to establish shared research interests and compatible views of the teaching/learning relationship.
  •  Doctor of Philosophy – Rehabilitation Science-
    • The PhD in Rehabilitation Science (PhD RS) program is designed for future academics, graduate students preparing themselves for teaching and research careers in Rehabilitation Science or related fields. Interested applicants will include clinicians in the professions of rehabilitation medicine (occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and audiology), physical medicine (physiatry and orthopedics), biomechanical and electrical engineers with special interests in rehabilitation technologies and assistive devices; persons interested in health care ethics, clinical service delivery and program management; persons interested in developmental issues across the life span; and individuals with special interest in spinal disorders, to name a few. The program trains doctoral students to understand the theoretical bases of rehabilitation science, to identify areas in which theoretical foundations are still required, and to design and conduct research investigations aimed at answering those theoretical questions. It will provide breadth and depth of knowledge in each student’s chosen area of specialization. Preliminary contact with individual faculty members is encouraged to establish shared research interests and compatible views of the teaching/learning relationship.

Program Length & Cost

(as indicated on Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website)

  • Master of Science – Physical Therapy – 4 Years $6,556.00 + $2,750.00 Books & Supply + $1,800.00 Mandatory Fees ( Year One)
  • Master of Science – Rehabilitation Science – 4 Years 3,744.72   +  $2,000.00  Books & Supplies  + $1,911.63 Mandatory Fees (Year One)
  • Doctor of Philosophy – Rehabilitation Science – 3 Years –$3,744.72   +  $2,000.00  Books & Supplies  + $1,911.63 Mandatory Fees (Year One)

Occupation Outlook

  • Below average is the expected occupational growth for 2013-2017. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions. Physiotherapists may work in settings such as child development centres, community health centres, fitness centres, health clubs or spas, government and health planning agencies, home care, continuing care facilities, hospitals and rehabilitation centres, physiotherapy clinics and multidisciplinary clinics (for example, pain clinics), schools, sport and recreation facilities. Physiotherapists may advance to supervisory or management positions in large organizations, or move into teaching and research positions. In Alberta, 93% of people employed as physiotherapists work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry), location in Alberta, employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions), occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before), size of the occupation. Over 3,400 Albertans are employed in the Physiotherapists occupational group which is expected to have an annual below average growth of 1.7% from 2013 to 2017 in Alberta. It is forecasted that about 58 new positions will be created each year in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.


  • Average Salary: $76,095.00 | Average Wage: $43.73

Resources – ALIS profile, NOC, IAF


  • Certification  required
  • College of Physical Therapists of Alberta- | Bus.: 780-438-0338 | Toll-Free: 1-800-291-2782