How to Become a Physical Therapist in India: A Comprehensive Guide

published on
Jul 2, 2024
4 Min REad
Table of Content

Are you passionate about helping others improve their physical well-being? Do you have an interest in healthcare and a knack for understanding the human body? If so, a career in physical therapy might be an excellent fit for you.

In this article, we will explore the skills and education required, specialisations within the field, and all other aspects of becoming a physical therapist in India.

Who is a Physical Therapist?

A physical therapist, also known as a physiotherapist, is a healthcare professional who specialises in helping patients improve their physical movement and function. They assess, diagnose, and treat individuals of all ages who have medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries that affect their ability to move and perform everyday activities.

Skills required to be a successful physical therapist

  • Strong interpersonal skills for effective communication with patients
  • Empathy and compassion to understand the needs of patients
  • Good problem-solving abilities are needed to create effective treatment plans.
  • Manual dexterity for performing various therapeutic techniques
  • Physical fitness and stamina to meet the demands of the profession
  • Solid understanding of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and exercise therapy


Job Potential and Career Growth

Physical therapists can find employment opportunities in various settings, such as hospitals, private clinics, sports centres, rehabilitation centres, and even educational institutions. With specialised training or additional certifications, they can also work in niche areas like paediatric care or geriatric rehabilitation.

The career growth prospects for physical therapists are promising. As more people seek non-invasive approaches to manage pain and improve mobility, the demand for skilled professionals continues to grow. Additionally, advancements in technology-driven treatments like robotic-assisted therapy create new avenues for career development.

For those considering this profession in India, career paths may include becoming a consultant physiotherapist specialising in specific areas, starting their own private practice, or pursuing research and academia in physiotherapy.


Salaries of Physical Therapists in India

On average, entry-level physical therapists can expect to earn around ₹3-5 lakhs per annum. However, with experience and expertise, the salary can increase significantly.

Experienced physical therapists with advanced specialisations or those who have established successful private practices can earn upwards of ₹10 lakhs per annum.

It's important to note that salaries also differ regionally within India. Metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore tend to offer higher salaries compared to smaller towns or rural areas. Specialisations that are in high demand may also attract higher remuneration.


Specialisations within Physical Therapy

Pursuing a specialisation allows physical therapists to develop expertise in a particular area and offer targeted treatments. Some popular specialisations within physiotherapy include:

  • Orthopaedic Physical Therapy: Specialising in orthopaedics involves treating musculoskeletal conditions like fractures, joint replacements, spine disorders, and sports injuries.
  • Neurological Physical Therapy: This specialisation focuses on rehabilitating patients with neurological disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis (MS), or Parkinson's disease.
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Physical therapists specialising in this area help patients recover from cardiac surgeries or manage chronic respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Paediatric Physical Therapy: Paediatric therapists work with infants, children, and adolescents to address developmental delays, congenital disorders, and injuries.
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy: This specialisation involves working with older adults to improve mobility, manage age-related conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, and enhance the overall quality of life.

Becoming a Physiotherapist: Education Requirements

To become a physiotherapist in India, you need to complete a Bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy (BPT) or any related field recognised by the respective state or central government regulatory bodies. The duration of the undergraduate programme is typically four and a half years, including internships.

For those looking to advance their career and specialise further, pursuing a Master's degree in Physiotherapy (MPT) or a Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) is recommended. These advanced degrees provide an in-depth understanding of specific areas within physiotherapy and open up opportunities for research and academia.

Upskilling Opportunities for Physical Therapists

To stay updated with the latest advancements in the field of physical therapy and enhance your skills, there are several continuing education programmes and short-term courses available.

The Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP) and the Manual Therapy Foundation of India (MTFI) offer a variety of such programmes. These programmes cover a wide range of topics, including musculoskeletal disorders, neurology, paediatrics, geriatrics, sports injuries, and more.

For those looking to delve deeper into specific areas of physical therapy, there are advanced programmes available as well.

  • The Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Certification Course focuses on advanced techniques for treating musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Specialised programmes in Sports Physiotherapy cover topics such as injury prevention, rehabilitation techniques specific to sports-related injuries, and performance enhancement strategies.
  • To promote ergonomic well-being at workplaces, there are programmes focusing on ergonomics that can equip you with knowledge about preventing work-related injuries and promoting optimal work environments.

Be a part of a Thriving Industry

The physical therapy industry in India has witnessed significant growth in recent years. This growth can be attributed to various factors, including increasing awareness about the benefits of physical therapy, advancements in medical technology, and a growing ageing population. Moreover, with the rise of sports culture in India, there is a growing need for sports physiotherapists who can cater to the specific needs of athletes.

Whether you choose to work in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, sports organisations, or start your own practise, the physical therapy industry provides a rewarding career path with ample opportunities for professional advancement.

Remember, WIZR is here to guide you on your journey, helping you find the best upskilling programmes and certification courses tailored to your needs. Start today and embark on an exciting career as a physical therapist!



1. How long does it take to become a physical therapist?

To become a physical therapist in India, you need to complete a Bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy, which takes four years. Advanced specialisations may require additional study.

2. Do specialty hospitals offer physiotherapist jobs?

Yes, many specialty hospitals in India have dedicated departments for physical therapy and regularly hire qualified physiotherapists to provide specialised care.

3. Do gyms offer physiotherapist jobs?

While it might not be common for gyms to directly offer physiotherapist jobs, there is an increasing demand for fitness centres with integrated physical therapy services where you can work as a physiotherapist.

4. Who earns more: a physical therapist or a nutritionist?

The earning potential of both professions varies depending on factors such as experience, specialisation, and location. Generally, physical therapists tend to have higher earning potential due to the demand for their specialised skills in the healthcare sector.

5. How much do sports physiotherapists earn?

Sports physiotherapists often earn higher salaries due to their specialised skills and the demand for their services in sports-related settings. The salary of a sports physiotherapist usually ranges from ₹4-10 lakhs per year.

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