Working in alternative and complementary therapies with a degree (or similar)

You could be a physiotherapist, an osteopath, an occupational therapist or a dietician.

These practitioners work alongside other health care professionals, including doctors and nurses, to provide care for patients and outpatients. Many work in the NHS, but others work in private practice.

Example jobs

Dietician
Advising patients on nutrition and diet to aid recovery and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Occupational therapist
Assessing and treating physical and mental conditions, helping people adapt to illness or disability.

Art, music or drama therapist
Using performing arts to help people express their emotions.

Osteopath
Treating the body and the way the bones, muscles and joints fit to help patient recovery.

Podiatrist
Advising and treating people with foot problems.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Pay level graph

Typical working conditions

  • You will work indoors, in a clinic, health centre or hospital.
  • You will have constant contact with patients.
  • Your work may involve travelling between different sites.

Qualifications needed

You need a degree to become a dietician or an art or occupational therapist. Your degree subject should usually be directly relevant to the therapy. Graduates with degrees in other subjects can do a postgraduate qualification. As a therapist, you will need to be registered with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council).

Career path

You can become a senior practitioner, taking on more complex cases. You could become a trainer of other practitioners or move into research. Physiotherapists, in particular, often set up in private practice. Occupational therapists and dieticians can work for companies advising employees or developing products.

Useful links

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Careers in the allied health professions

Health & Care Professions Council