Does Calgary Pay the Highest Physiotherapy Salary in Canada?

When you think of physiotherapy job opportunities you definitely think of going where you can earn the best salary with the best working conditions. Yes, there are many physios that have migrated to Canada, but which cities really have the highest demand for physical therapists? No one wants to just move to another country without the assurance of getting an international job.

I also wonder why some countries know they are in dire need of physiotherapists but still make the employment process narrow and winding...*sigh*. Anyway, enough of my ranting.

So we are looking at Calgary now because there is a high demand for qualified physiotherapists in this city, compared to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

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According to a report by Calgary Economic Development in 2012:

Between 2010 and 2020, demand for these  workers is expected to increase by over 61 per cent, resulting in demand for approximately 2,100 workers in 2020. Employers will likely face difficulties recruiting qualified workers for
both newly-created jobs and existing positions that become vacant. In order to meet the high demand for physiotherapists, Calgary employers may need to access labour markets outside of Calgary, including international labour markets, to meet a portion of their hiring needs. 

So there you have it! There are physiotherapy jobs in Canada, generally but Calgary is saying they need you more.

Another interesting fact about working in Calgary is that the physiotherapy salary is one of the highest in Canada. According to the same report:

Average annual wages of physiotherapists in Calgary are marginally higher than that of in the top-recommended cities in Canada. The mean hourly pay for physiotherapists in Calgary was $37.54 in 2011, compared with $37.14 per hour in Toronto and $35.30 per hour in Vancouver. 

Also , the Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, physiotherapists in Alberta earn an average hourly wage of $43.73 and an average annual salary of $76,095. This is just a basic salary and doesn't include benefits (P.S Calgary is in the Alberta province).

What you need to do to get qualified to work as a physical therapist in Calgary is basically the process which I outlined here previously. If you are also thinking of which Canadian province to apply to, you may consider Alberta so you can move on seamlessly to Calgary.

Highest employers of physios in Calgary are those in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector. So if you are looking for a job as a physiotherapist in Calgary, your best employers would most likely be in:

  • Hospitals and Out patient Care Facilities
  • Home healthcare services
  • Ambulance services
  • Daycare services
  • Vocational rehabilitation services
  • Social Assistance services

Hmm this must be an interesting place to get an international physio job or what do you think?


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Starting a Physiotherapy Career in Australia - 6 Important Things to Do

If you are an internationally trained physiotherapist and are thinking of moving to Australia, here is a checklist of what you should have. There are many jobs for physiotherapists in Australia, especially in the Musculoskeletal specialty.

Sports physiotherapists also get lots of jobs because Australia is a sporting nation. Australians are also very conscious of being physically active so there are also lots of jobs that involve keeping seniors or the elderly mobile.

So what do you need to get an international job in Australia as a physical therapist?

                            Australian Higher Education Sector Visa (Subclass 573)

1. Your current practising licence as a physiotherapist or lifetime licence if applicable.

2. Get your official transcript from your graduating University of school of physiotherapy.

3. If you don't have your international passport yet, go get it.

4. Do your English Test. Very important. Australia accepts quite a number of English tests accredited to assess your English language proficiency:

Firstly, IELTS - International English Language Testing System. These tests hold weekly in over 120 countries of the world.
Get more information on how to book your tests, where to take your tests, dates for the next available tests and how much the IELTS test costs here

Then OET - Occupational English Test. This should be the exact English test health professionals should take but it's not available in as many countries as the IELTS, tests hold in only 30 countries.
For example, in Africa, Egypt is the only country you can do this test. Get more information about OET here

Then, one of my favourites, PTE Academic. For more information about test centers, how to book your test and preparation materials check here

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5. Apply to get your credentialing done by the APC (Australia Physiotherapy Council).
The APC assesses the credentials of overseas trained physiotherapists who want to practise in Australia.
You will most likely go through the "Standard Assessment Pathway" which comprises 3 stages:

  • Initial Assessment
  • Written Assessment
  • Clinical Assessment

The initial assessment is what you should concern yourself with for now, as once you pass this stage you will be issued an interim certificate which will enable you get a limited registration to work as a physiotherapist under supervision in Australia.

So here are the documents you need to submit for the APC initial assessment:

  • Your Physiotherapy Diploma or Degree certificate
  • Your transcript which contains information on all the courses you took through out the University
  • A copy of the bio data page on your passport as proof of your identification
  • If the name on your certificate (degree) has changed, then you should have a valid document like a marriage certificate to show this.
  • A copy of your most recent practising license
  • And of course, a processing fee of 1100AUD (Australian dollars). This fee is subject to change though

Once you have all these sign up on the APC website, upload scanned copies of all the listed documents above and also make the payment online.

Then send notarized hard copies of the above documents by post to the address given on their website.

When the APC is satisfied with your documents you will be eligible for the interim certificate, which is usually issued 2weeks after receiving the notarized hard copies of your documents.

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6. Now you have your interim certificate which allows you to get a limited registration from the AHPRA. So you can get on a boat, sorry flight, and jump into Oz....well if you're not that adventurous you can join this group to relate with other internationally trained physiotherapists working in or desiring to work in Australia.

It's a very helpful nonprofit group and there's a lot to gain from there. Request to join the AAPTA ( Australian Alliance of Physiotherapists Trained Abroad). They've been on for 10years now and still waxing stronger. It's a great support group.

Send an email to to request to join the group

You will require a yahoo ID to join as this is a yahoo group (duh!)

We wish you all the best in getting your international job as a physiotherapist, don't forget to share with us how this information helped you.

BTW you will need you English test results when you want to register for limited registration with AHPRA or if you choose to take the immigration option.


Nice to hear from you!