Physiotherapy Salary Structure in Australia

When looking for a job as an internationally trained physiotherapist, your focus should not just be on places with the best physiotherapy salary but also those with the best working conditions.

The best physiotherapy jobs may not necessarily be the "highest paid", but those jobs that have employers and the overall system compensate you with benefits that keep you hooked.

Physiotherapy career progression is another very important factor that determines if a job is suitable for you or not, as we all have our various career expectations.

Anyway, what we want to look into is the structure of the physiotherapy salary in Australia. What benefits go with a basic salary? What allowances do you expect to get paid in addition to your salary? How do you actually calculate your salary and how do you know you are getting what you deserve?

These are questions on the minds of physios moving from one country to the other seeking the best paid job.

Australia is one country that takes the care of its workers seriously.

When you are offered a job as a physiotherapist in Australia, in addition to your employment contract, you should get what is called the "the Fair work information statement ". This document informs you about the minimum working standards every employer should offer to the employee.

These are the 10 minimum entitlements that an Australian employer should offer according to the NES (National Employment Standards):

1. A maximum standard working week of 38 hours for full-time employees, plus ‘reasonable’ additional hours.

2. A right to request flexible working arrangements.

3. Parental and adoption leave of 12 months (unpaid), with a right to request an additional 12 months.

4. Four weeks paid annual leave each year (pro rata).

5. Ten days paid personal/carer’s leave each year (pro rata), two days paid compassionate leave for each permissible occasion, and two days unpaid carer’s leave for each permissible occasion.

6. Community service leave for jury service or activities dealing with certain emergencies or natural disasters. This leave is unpaid except for jury service.
7. Long service leave.

8. Public holidays and the entitlement to be paid for ordinary hours on those days.

9. Notice of termination and redundancy pay.

10. The right for new employees to receive the Fair Work Information Statement.

So now you know the minimum entitlements to expect from an Australian employer.

Now, how is the salary for a physiotherapist structured? What comprises the physiotherapy pay?

When applying for jobs in Australia you will likely see some of these terms that are tucked into your salary offer, let's look closely at some of them so you can know how to calculate your salary.

Salary Packaging
The first time I heard salary packaging, I had absolutely no idea what was being packaged.... So what is salary packaging?

Salary packaging is a great way of restructuring your salary by using pre-tax income to buy a range of everyday items, paying your rent or mortgage. This is an Australia Tax Office approved way to save on tax, lowering your taxable income and increasing your take-home pay.

"Super"
When looking at salary offers, you may see $76,300 + Super...
I wondered what on earth "Super" was...
Super is an abbreviation for "Superannuation" which is the
Money paid by an employer on behalf of an employee into a superannuation fund to provide for the employee’s retirement. Other known term: employer contribution

Other components of your employment contract or salary are likely to be

Allowances
Additional payment made to employees for doing certain tasks, working in certain locations, using a special skill or for expenses incurred for doing their job.

Annual leave
Annual leave allows an employee to be paid while having time off from work. Other known term: holiday pay.

Paid parental leave
A payment scheme offered by the Australian Government for when an employee goes on leave to have a baby or adopt. Employees can get paid directly from the Australian Government or their employer. Other known term: employer funded paid parental leave.

Parental leave
Employees can take 12 months unpaid leave when a child is born or adopted. Other known terms: maternity or paternity leave, adoption leave and dad and partner leave.

Personal leave
Paid leave taken when an employee can’t go to work because they are ill or injured. Other known term: sick leave

Special maternity leave
Leave that can be taken if the employee has a pregnancy related illness or the pregnancy ends after 12 weeks because of a miscarriage, termination or stillbirth.

Another information contained in the fair work statement is

The Right to request flexible working arrangements

Requests for flexible working arrangements form part of the NES. You may request a change in your working arrangements, including changes in hours, patterns or location of work from your employer if you require flexibility because you: 

• are the parent, or have responsibility for the care, of a child who is of school age or younger

• are a carer (within the meaning of the Carer Recognition Act 2010) 

• have a disability

• are 55 or older 

• are experiencing violence from a member of your family or

• provide care or support to a member of your immediate family or household, who requires care or support because they are experiencing violence from their family

You will also get information on agreement making, termination of employment and other concerns. Get more information on this here


Employers vary in their offers, so you need to know what is important to you, especially as a health worker. Some employers offer subsidized gym/health center membership, discounts on banking and home loans, Corporate health insurance and the list goes on!


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