New Grad Guide To Physiotherapy : Finding a Job
Are you a new graduate or an internationally trained physical therapist looking to practice physiotherapy in Canada?
Finding a Job
You’ve written the written exam, and you’ve practiced and performed the practical exam. Now it’s time to venture into the real world and start looking for work. Where do you find positions?
Word of mouth:
The first step is to reach out to your contacts, whether they are classmates, former students, clinical instructors or friends. A quick chat or email stating that you are looking for work can have you landing your first job right away.
This will be the most common avenue to find a position. When you aren’t working, finding a job is your full-time job. This means combing through websites everyday for a suitable position. Each province has a list of the best websites to search for jobs. We have listed job boards for Ontario and British Columbia.
- Orthopaedic Division
- Ontario Physiotherapy Association (OPA)
- Sport Physio Canada
- Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA)
- Other physiotherapy organizations
- Independent company and hospital websites
British Columbia (BC)
In addition to Indeed, Orthodiv, Kijiji, Sport Physio, and the CPA, you can find BC specific jobs here:
- Physiotherapy Association of BC
- Health Match BC
- Provincial Health Services Authority
- Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
- Vancouver Island Health Authority
- Fraser Health
- Interior Health
- Northern Health
- Therapy BC
BC has released a very detailed guide for internationally trained physical therapists looking to work in Canada.
TIP: Don’t completely ignore locum positions. They are challenging because you are likely covering for another PT’s vacation or mat-leave, but they are rewarding because you will learn a ton and you will be very busy ($$$). They also serve to keep your skills sharp if there are no permanent jobs worth applying to.
Writing a resume is a skill in its own right. You can find tons of information on how to write a resume, with many sites having different opinions on the best way to grab an employers attention. However, there are resources specific to the physical therapy profession. Fortunately, bcphysio.org has a great cover letter and CV/resume template. To find out what information to include in your resume, see this article for some do’s and don’ts of writing a physiotherapy resume.
Part of writing a great resume is having it stand out. A common word processor and document markup language used in academia is called LaTex. Although there is a learning curve, an online service called Overleaf has some clean and modern resume templates to easily design your own resume.
You’ve made a killer resume and applied to a few positions and actually heard back! The interview process can be stressful, especially when you have to compete with other classmates for the same positions. The larger companies will usually have a more standardized, HR-approach to interviews. It could be a formal, panel, or practical interview, or a combination of each. These companies tend to be hiring employees instead of independent contractors.
Fortunately, smaller clinics sometimes only do a sit-down interview and may skip the practical portion. This is especially true if you are a Canadian-trained physiotherapist. They may ask you a couple of PT-related questions to evaluate your clinical reasoning, however it is still in your best interest to be prepared for any practical questions.
The bottom-line is if you are invited to an interview, you likely meet the required skill level. The interview is necessary to see if you can hold a conversation, fit the culture, and be able to generate business for the clinic.
Working as a Physiotherapy Resident
As soon as you find out your results from the written component of the Physiotherapy Competency Exam and have graduated from school, you can apply for a provisional practice license. There is much confusion over the practice rules as a physiotherapy resident. Once again, the College released a document with more information and an application form. As a resident, you are allowed to work independently as long as you have a registered physiotherapist who agrees to be your Monitor. As your Monitor, this physio does not need to be on site with when you work in the clinic (unless you are unsuccessful in your practical exam). The Monitor must make themselves available if you have any questions, fill out a monitoring tool evaluation form, and must ensure you are practicing safely and professionally (either by reviewing patient charts, communicating about a patient case, etc). Once you you pass your practical exam, you can apply to become an independent practitioner.