Physiotherapist Salary Guide: How Much do Physios Earn?

In this guide we explore how much physiotherapists can earn both working privately and within the NHS. We also share our top tips for maximising your earning potential as a physio.

Written by
Frankie Jones
Published on
February 20, 2024

As a physiotherapist, your salary is likely to depend on a range of factors – from how many years’ experience you have to where you work, and who you work for. Understanding these factors is key to knowing how much you could earn (and how to get there).

Below, we’ll give you valuable insights into your earning potential as well as smart strategies for increasing your income as a physio.

Understanding physiotherapist salaries

When it comes to understanding physiotherapist salaries in the UK, it’s important to consider the variances between working privately and within the NHS.

Physios have the potential to earn more working privately than for the NHS, though this needs to be weighed up against several other factors too. In this guide we’ll just be looking at salaries.

NHS vs. private physio salaries

The average salary for an NHS physio is £39,715 per year, according to Indeed. But the salary range is wide, with newly qualified physios earning around the £20,000 mark and more experienced physios earning up to £64,000.

But how much do private physiotherapists earn? The biggest difference between salaries of private practice and NHS physios is that NHS uses structured ‘bands’ to determine a person’s pay, whereas private practice pay is much more market driven.

So as a newly qualified physio working for the NHS, you’ll be placed into an NHS physiotherapy salary band and this won’t change until you’re promoted, gain more experience or move jobs. The starting salary for a physiotherapist is currently £27,055 per year, which is Band 5.

On the other hand, if you work for a private practice or are self-employed, your pay is as much as clients are willing to pay. So if you work in a wealthier area or somewhere with greater demand for physios, it’s likely you’ll earn more.

Remember that as an NHS physio, National Insurance (NI) and income tax is deducted from your salary before it lands in your bank account, and you’ll also be entered into a pension scheme. Whereas self-employed physios are responsible for submitting an annual tax return and putting money aside for their pension.

If you’re employed by a private practice, it’s best to check whether money for pension, NI and income tax is automatically deducted from your gross salary.

Factors influencing physiotherapist salaries

Let’s take a closer look at the factors that influence your salary as a physiotherapist.

Experience and specialisation

As with most careers, the more experience you have, the more you can earn. Band 5 physiotherapists in the NHS start at £12.74/hr, whereas a more experienced Band 7 position starts at £19.89/hr (this is based on 2022/23 rates of pay). Salaries for advanced clinical practice, extended scope or clinical lead physiotherapists are around £48,526 - £54,619 (Band 8a), increasing to £56,164 - £65,262 (Band 8b) for consultant physiotherapist roles.

Your specialisation can also affect your pay. For example, maybe you’ve chosen to focus on cancer rehabilitation, geriatrics or musculoskeletal physiotherapy. Physiotherapists who specialise in sports medicine treat professional and amateur athletes who often require ongoing care, so they can charge more for this.

Similarly, cardiovascular physiotherapists help patients who have heart or lung issues, and these are parts of the body that private clients are usually prepared to invest money into to ensure they’re getting the best care.

Generally speaking, when you become an expert in one specific area of physiotherapy, you can charge more because of your specialism. You’ll have less competition and you can provide that specific treatment or service better than anyone else.


As we’ve touched on, your salary as a physio will also depend on the location of your practice. It’s all about supply and demand. If you work in London, for example, you’re likely to earn more than if you were based in less affluent areas of the country.. According to Indeed, the average physio salary in London is £44,000, compared with £30,000 in Yorkshire.

Rural areas in particular might offer lower salaries to physios because there’s less demand. Plus, Londoners typically receive a higher base salary due to higher living costs.

How to earn more as a physiotherapist

Wondering how to earn more as a physiotherapist? These are some of the best ways to increase your earning potential.

Specialise in high-demand areas

You might want to specialise in a particular area of physiotherapy in order to earn more money. Specialising in an area that’s in high demand could see you boost your client base, or allow you to be more picky with which clients you take on and how much you charge. It’s also a great way to gain a glowing reputation in the area you live in, so that people start recommending you to friends and family who are struggling with similar issues.

Pain management physiotherapists tend to earn a decent amount. In this job, you would work with clients to reduce aches and pains that develop with age or from injuries, illness or surgery, and you might be able to earn more by prescribing and administering medicine.

Women's health physiotherapists, who help female patients to deal with a range of movement and pain issues, also have good earning potential. The good news is that the range of specialised therapies and treatment options for female-related issues has grown massively in the past few decades, and there’s scope to become even more specialised in things like pelvic floor problems.

Sports physiotherapy is another popular option. In this role, you’re critical to improving an athlete’s performance and your work could include everything from creating personalised treatment plans to providing essential injury prevention programmes to help keep your client active.

Plus, physiotherapy isn’t the only way to earn money with a physio degree. You could explore getting into teaching, public health or research, which could see you investigating new approaches or interventions and presenting your findings to big audiences.

Build a private physiotherapy practice

Thinking about starting your own physiotherapy practice? It’s a great way to gain more independence, build a reputation for yourself and earn more money. With opening your own practice comes more freedom and control over your career, but there are costs and responsibilities involved.

There are a number of options available to you, depending on whether you want to operate out of the comfort of your own home, share a workspace with other practitioners or have your own space within a gym. Make sure you research your target market so you have a good grasp of the demand in your area, as well as assess the local competition.

If you’re considering going private, have a read of this essential guide to opening a private practice to make sure you’re aware of the laws, policies and costs involved.

UNTIL offer flexible workspaces for physios, personal trainers and a range of other health and wellness professionals in London. This is a great option to consider for physios looking to start their own private practice in a professional environment, without the costs of having to buy a premises.

Use effective marketing and patient acquisition strategies

Marketing could also be your key to more money. After all, the more people that know about you, the higher demand you’re likely to see for your business. Read our 5 ways to get more private physiotherapist patients for information on patient acquisition.

In today’s digital world, having an online presence is more important than ever. Think of your website as your shop window. Create a stand-out website, complete with the services you offer, pricing and contact details, and be sure to keep it updated. By establishing a strong digital footprint through a well-designed website, social media profiles and search engine optimisation (SEO), you’ll be able to reach a broader audience.

Word of mouth referrals are usually an effective way to attract more clients, especially as a small business. Once you’ve built up a roster of clients, it’s worth offering out business cards and asking people to share with friends and family, or asking them to review your practice on Google. If existing clients refer new clients to your practice, you might want to offer a discount as a thank you.

Once you’ve got a strong line-up of regular clients, don’t forget to keep that community engaged. Did you know that acquiring a new customer costs five times more than closing an existing one? So you shouldn’t stop marketing to someone once they’ve made a purchase.

Maybe you could offer repeat visit discounts to loyal clients, or send a monthly newsletter informing clients about exciting updates, tips and tricks or new services you’re offering.

Take a look at our top 5 client retention strategies for more inspiration.

Join the UNTIL community

With UNTIL, freelance physios can access premium treatment rooms – the perfect blend of beauty and function – for as little as £23.33 an hour. Each room comes complete with a 3-part electric treatment bed, work desk and chair, mirror, fresh towels and more. It’s professional touches like these that will help to boost your business image and attract higher paying clients.

When you rent a room with UNTIL, you’ll also have access to a supportive community of coaching, treatment and clinical professionals to help you network and watch your business flourish. Did we mention you’ll also unlock business coaching, marketing and growth tools? Everything you need to flexibly grow your business. Learn more about the rooms available and apply now