How to become a Physiotherapist in Canada in 3 Steps

Working in Canada as a physiotherapist is one of the most rewarding jobs!

According to research, physiotherapy is on the upward trend in Canada. Physiotherapy is the fifth most popular profession in the country and we will be showing you how to become a physiotherapist in Canada.

Working in Canada as a physiotherapist is one of the most rewarding jobs, especially for those who love to help others.

Interestingly, anyone can be a physiotherapist but he needs to understand the responsibilities of a physiotherapist and the requirements for becoming a physiotherapist in Canada.

Who is a physiotherapist?

A Physiotherapist is a highly-educated health care professional focusing on both the management and prevention of pain, injury, disability, and impairment.

Responsibilities of a Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists treat patients with physical difficulties resulting from illness, injury, disability, or aging. They treat people of all ages including children, the elderly, stroke patients, and people with sports injuries.

Physiotherapists work with patients to identify and improve their movement and function. They help promote their patients’ health and wellbeing and assist the rehabilitation process by developing and restoring body systems, in particular the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems.

They devise and review treatment programs, comprising manual therapy, movement, therapeutic exercise, and the application of technological equipment, e.g. ultrasound.

Physiotherapists also provide advice on how to avoid injury. Physiotherapists work in a range of settings, including hospitals, health centers, industry, private practices, and sports clubs.

This Physiotherapist job description example includes the list of most important Physiotherapist duties and responsibilities as shown below. It can be modified to fit the specific Physiotherapist profile you are trying to fill as a recruiter or job seeker.

Additionally, the responsibilities of a physiotherapist should contain a variety of functions and roles such as:

  • Evaluate patients to determine whether physiotherapy interventions are necessary
  • Assess patients per the professional practice guidelines and standards
  • Treat patients with movement disorders that were acquired through injury or have been present since birth
  • Regularly measure patient progress by looking for signs of decreased stiffness, pain, and discomfort
  • Refer patients to other specialists for massages, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, or other specialized treatments
  • Recommend new tools and equipment to assist patients with regular exercise
  • Evaluate effects of therapy treatment and communicate patients’ progress
  • Record and document patient care services
  • Collaborate with other team personnel to achieve well-rounded care

How to Become a Physiotherapist in Canada

Physiotherapy is a controlled profession in Canada, meaning that it’s regulated by the government through licensing laws.

To legally practice physical therapy or use the PT designation in Canada, you must meet those requirements, which include education and practical work elements.

Certain provinces have additional requirements, so the location in which you plan to practice impacts the specific requirements you need to complete.

Step 1: Complete the Physiotherapist Education Requirements

The first step in your journey toward becoming a physiotherapist is completing a master’s degree in Physiotherapy (MPT) from an accredited college or university.

Most programs include a mix of lectures, labs, and clinical work to give you a comprehensive education in the field. You can expect your physiotherapy program to require you to complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours.

You can choose from one of 15 universities in Canada that offer physiotherapy programs.

Step 2: Take the Physiotherapy Competency Examination

After completing a physiotherapy program, you need to register as a physiotherapist in the province in which you intend to practice.

Most provinces also require that you pass the national Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) after completing a physiotherapy program but before you start practicing.

The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) administers exams for competency on behalf of most of the provincial and territorial regulators.

The purpose of the exam is to ensure you know necessary to safely treat patients. It tests your competence in knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the field and covers neuromusculoskeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary-vascular, and multisystem areas.

The test includes a written portion and a clinical component to test your communication skills and professional behaviour. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, you can apply to retake it.

Step 3. Physiotherapist Licence

Each provincial and territorial regulator may also have additional requirements before you can practice. Check with the provincial physiotherapy regulator in the province where you wish to practice to determine if you need to complete additional requirements.

The CAPR also evaluates your credentials if you’ve been licensed in another country and wish to move to Canada. CAPR provides information to the regulators on credentials and qualifications, and the regulators decide whether to grant an applicant a license to practice.

Once you receive your license, you need to show that you can continue providing safe, competent care by maintaining your current knowledge and skills throughout your career.

You can accomplish this by enrolling in continuing education programs, which help you become a  lifelong learner while staying current on developments in the field.

Becoming a physiotherapist in Canada comes with several specific education and licensing requirements, but once you complete the list, you can practice in your desired field.

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Best 10 Physiotherapy Schools in Canada

If you’re looking for a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy in Canada, check out the list below to find the best physiotherapy school to study physiotherapy in Canada.

1. University of Toronto

The first on the list is the University of Toronto. They offer one of Canada’s best physiotherapy courses and offer a Bachelor of Science Assistant (BScPA) available through the University of Toronto Medicine faculty, Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM).

This course is intended for both full-time professionals and undergraduates to improve their Physiotherapy Careers in Canada.

2. University of British Columbia

Next on our list is the University of British Columbia. The University is another major institution in the field of Canadian physiotherapy programs.

With state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories, UBC’s picturesque Point Gray Campus in Vancouver and Prince George Campus at UNBC are excellent learning environments for both international and local students.

3. McGill University

Those studying at this top physiotherapy college in Canada use physical modality, exercise, AIDS, manual therapy, and lifestyle management to help people achieve their maximum functional potential. McGill University does not offer anything less than that.

McGill University’s physiotherapy program is designed to provide students with basic health science foundations and undergraduate-level courses designed specifically to tackle physiotherapy practices.

4. McMaster University

Fourth on the list of Best 10 Physiotherapy Schools in Canada is McMaster University. Known for its reputation, the institution also offers physiotherapy courses offered using small groups, problem-oriented, and self-directed learning methods.

In addition, McMaster’s program is strong in providing all students in the institution with plausible, innovative, and excellent educational opportunities in line with the mission of the institution’s Faculty of Health Sciences, which oversees physiotherapy

5. University of Alberta

The University of Alberta is another major Canadian university offering physiotherapy. Undergraduate students at the University of Alberta, who participate in physiotherapy programs, have always been at the heart of the large rehabilitation medicine (FRM) community.

6. University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is another institution that ranks in the top 10 physiotherapy schools in Canada. It is one of Canada’s best physiotherapy schools. The University of Ottawa’s physiotherapy program is very powerful and scholars are world-renowned.

The department is proud to hire professional physiotherapists with the skills and knowledge to help them advance their careers.

7. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo trains students to become innovative and adaptable learners ready to meet the functional and healthy needs of current and future Canadians.

To achieve this, the University of Waterloo prepares students to acquire the core competencies needed to enter the practice of physiotherapy in Canada, collaborative experience-based learning and cases.

As a result, graduates tend to grow personally and professionally and become leaders in the communities they serve as they carry out their Physiotherapy Careers in Canada.

8. Western University

At Western University, physiotherapy study and research focus on either contributing to the elements of physiotherapy, or the basic knowledge of physiotherapy practice that evaluates the mechanism of physical mobility. It also includes prognosis, diagnosis, measurement of results, treatment, and risk prevention.

9. Queen’s University

Queen’s University offers a four-year program that will lead to a fulfilling career in physiotherapy. As one of Canada’s leading physiotherapy schools, the institution aims to provide an excellent learning environment for training and educating future physiotherapists.

By using core research and evidence-based practices as the basis for Queen’s University physiotherapy courses, the program has been enhanced with the acquisition of skills, advanced academic behavior, and advanced academic practices that are important to Canada and other physiotherapy practices. It helped to develop academic skills. the whole world.

10. Dalhousie University

If you are still thinking about how to become a physiotherapist in Canada or beyond? You need to consider Dalhousie University, which is ranked among the 10 best physiotherapy schools in Canada.

The Dalhousie University Physical Therapy Course provides students with the preparation and training to accept them for clinical practice as physical therapists.

Upon completion of the program, students will be ready for a licensing exam, which is a prerequisite for practising physiotherapy in Canada.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What problems do physiotherapists treat?

Physiotherapists focus on both prevention and rehabilitation. Treatment can be for problems caused by injury, disease, or disability. Here are some examples:

  • Neck and back pain caused by problems in the muscles and skeleton
  • Problems in the bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments, such as arthritis and the after-effects of amputation
  • Lung problems such as asthma
  • Disability as a result of heart problems
  • Pelvic issues, such as bladder and bowel problems related to childbirth
  • Loss of mobility because of trauma to the brain or spine, or due to diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
  • Fatigue, pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of muscle strength, for example during cancer treatment, or palliative care

Where do physiotherapists work?

Once you have become a physiotherapist, options for employment vary from working within public health, owning your practice, or working with a sports team or organization that requires the support or assistance of a physical therapist.

Is a degree all you need to become a physiotherapist?

No. A degree in physiotherapy/physical therapy (or in some cases in the USA, kinesiology) is not enough to guarantee that you will become a practising physiotherapist.

You will need a bachelor’s degree, a doctorate,  accreditation from a professional body, and in some cases a license to practice. This is why pursuing a career in physiotherapy / can be both time-consuming and very expensive.

Does a physiotherapist require licensing in Canada?

Physiotherapy is a regulated profession in Canada. That means by law, you are required to be licensed to practice. The responsibility for licensing physiotherapists is held by provincial and territorial Regulatory Colleges.

What is the average physiotherapist’s salary in Canada?

Canada’s physiotherapist salary averages $ 78,000 a year, or $ 40 an hour. Entry-level positions start at $ 69,932 per year, but most experienced employees will be $ 91,814 per year.


Finally, physiotherapy practices around the world are diverse. Physiotherapy is a lucrative job that offers people the chance to change other individual lives for the better as we have highlighted how to become a physiotherapist in Canada.