Physiotherapy job market


I am currently studying physiotherapy at university here in England. Once I graduate I would like to move to Portugal; however, there is little information about how to find/apply to/get a physiotherapy job as a foreign, newly graduated applicant.

If anyone from England or anywhere else that is a physiotherapist has made the move to Portugal I would love to hear about your experience and any tips on how to enter the field there or anything I should know or do to help my chances?

All I have at the moment is access to social media and online resources from clinics there that I could possibly apply to and researching the APFISIO group. I do plan on talking with the British embassy about logistics of moving and working there, especially with brexit happening.

Any contacts would be nice I just want to reach out for information, or even if you don't have much I would love to get to know more people who've gone through similar process or knows someone that has.

Looking forward to hearing responses,


Do you speak Portuguese?

I am taking lessons, currently I am around A2 level (I can converse basically and I can read)

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

This link may help you further.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team


That link is very helpful thank you.

I don't think I can do an elective abroad (Portugal) during my time left at university and with the coronavirus being in the way.
There is very little information regarding how to get and ability to work/trainee there after I graduate and am no longer a student?
(They seem to only provide information to help volunteering, whereas I would like employment 😅)
This is the problem I'm finding with many resources currently.

But thank you this link is helpful and I will be in further contact with the CSP asking about it more soon.

Hi again.

I know very little about Physiotherapy.  I can tell you that the EU heavily regulates the medical professions (because I'm married to one that this does affect).  If your profession is regulated in the land where you are hoping to work, then the single most important thing is that your diploma is recognised there, so that must be your priority.

Directly related to diploma acceptance is language proficiency (to native level), it's generally a requirement across the EU (and probably why SimCityAT asked the question); A2 equates to a basic level; you won't get a responsible medical job without C1/C2.  The EU call it CEFR, this link will take you to the website where it explains it.

Again, I hope this helps.

Expat Team

Hi Isabella,

A. Recognition of Foreign Academic Diplomas / Higher Education Degrees

Physiotherapy / "Fisioterapia"

Physiotherapists in Portugal are active in the National Health Service (SNS), in the public sector, according to various models and contexts of services supply. However, currently most physiotherapists work in the private sector.

In addition to the degree courses in Physical Therapy, there are also seven master's degrees in Physical Therapy. Some of these masters are specialized in areas such as musculoskeletal, aging, women's health, dermatofunctional, neurology, among others, and have a duration of two academic years. There is only one PhD programme in Physiotherapy, at the Faculty of Sports of the University of Porto.

Eg. ESSA – Escola Superior de Saúde do Alcoitão /

Please check out this link:

B. Portuguese Association of Physiotherapists

The Portuguese Association of Physiotherapists (APFISIO - Associação Portuguesa de Fisioterapeutas) is the representative entity of the class of physiotherapists in Portugal. Founded in 1960 it is a full member of the WCPT and ER-WCPT.

C. Rehabilitation Centres - Private Sector

Centro de Medicina de Reabilitação de Alcoitão
Inaugurated 54 years ago, the Alcoitão Rehabilitation Medicine Centre is a reference that serves Portuguese with motor disabilities from all over the country.

Hospital CUF - Private hospital
(whole country, search where by using option "Hospitais e Clinicas)

Hospital da Luz - Private hospital
(whole country, search where by using option "Hospitais e Clinicas)

Hospital Lusiadas - Private hospital
(whole country, search where by using option "Hospitais e Clinicas)

One Clinics - Grupo Santo
(Greater Lisbon - several cities, search where by using "Clinicas")
Musculoskeletal, Neurological, Pediatric Rehabilitation

Orthopaedics, Traumatology and Sports Medicine, Lisbon

Pediatric rehabilitation, Maia

Neurological rehabilitation, Porto & Lisbon

Physical and rehabilitation medicine, Porto

Neurological rehabilitation, Porto

Physical and rehabilitation medicine, Cascais

Physical and rehabilitation medicine, Lisbon

Neurological rehabilitation, Braga

Physical and rehabilitation medicine, Lisbon

Neurological rehabilitation, Porto & Lisbon


D. Other professional possibilities

Portugal has a large community of expatriates (+ 60 years old), many of whom speak English. They are mainly in the Algarve, Cascais, Sintra, Lisbon and Porto.

Senior tourism is already starting to take a relevant market in Portugal, combining tourism with therapeutic aspects. There are some offers in this area, for example:

If you start working in a private center, you can get contacts in this community and easily expand your client portfolio.

On the other hand, there are many offers of these physiotherapy services in Home Support Services-Physiotherapy / "Apoio Domiciliário", for example:

E. Job offers: physiotherapist / "fisioterapeuta" … oterapeuta

F. Other web searches

Google tip: search "Centros de Reabilitação", "Clinica de fisioterapia", "Medicina fisica e de reabilitação",  "Fisioterapia e Osteopatia", "Reabilitação fisica", "Reabilitação Neurológica" + city

Thank you that's all very helpful. I have some contacts with people already in Portugal to help me a little. I will only be able to get my degree recognised upon its completion.

I am progressing my Portuguese to the appropriate level, it's slow and difficult to do here in UK but I will get there.

Thank you for all the links so far.

Hey Isabella,

I am also interested in working as a PT in Portugal and would love to hear if you've had any progress by now?

Would love to hear from you
Offira van Dongen

Hi Isabella and Offira, Hope you are doing well. I am thinking of starting a career as a PT in Portugal as well. I would like to move to one of the islands. Maybe we can share ideas?

Hi everyone,

I am also thinking of moving to Portugal. I am a physical therapist in the US, and I'm  trying to find information how to transfer my credentials from here to Portugal. I don't speak Portuguese but I'm hoping to find work with English speaking clients in the expat communities.

Would love to keeping touch,


I would actually find it very interesting to learn why those above intend to move to Portugal and work here as a PT. To my limited knowledge there are very few foreigners coming to Portugal for a professional career. The direction is actually more the other way round (professionals from Portugal moving to (mainly) other EU countries and the UK).

Hi, not 100% sure if I want to work as a PT in Portugal. I wrote a best selling book and I own several affiliate websites, so I have passive income as well. Besides that, I  learnt that you need to speak Portugese on a B2/C1 level before you can start working as a health care professional. I am not there yet :) And I have to get my PT degree too. Either way is fine with me.

Hi Evelien, Welcome :)

You can see the course equivalence in my post #7. There is a large community of English speaking senior expats in some areas and where there is a demand for these services.

Some basic conversational Portuguese is a plus, I think level C will be enough.

Kind Regards

@IsabellaHandcock I am completing my DPT in Australia right now and am very curious what you have learned since writing this! you must be graduated now. I will be done in 1 year and am thinking about Portugal as well. Let me know what you find!

Hi Kieferavi, 
You should send her a private message. Isabella may not have subscribed this thread, so she has not been notified about your post.