For most osteopaths no two days are the same. Patients come from all walks of life with unique sets of circumstances, and for the osteopath the reward comes from understanding the individual and making a difference to their quality of life.
Many osteopaths will work in general practice, seeing a wide variety of patients ranging from office workers to fitness enthusiasts, and expectant mothers to older people, but others choose to specialise in particular fields, working with children and babies or offering dedicated care for professional sportspeople.
Osteopathy is also a great option for those seeking a flexible career. Many osteopaths choose to be self-employed and set up their own practice, allowing them to shape their career around their personal commitments and interests. Others are employed within larger practices and occassionally the NHS, often working within multi-disciplinary teams. UK graduates also have lots of opportunities to practice abroad.
"It's very fulfilling to build a clinical relationship with a patient and work together to help improve their quality of life." ~ Carl, M.Ost full-time student
As well as building successful practices and careers as osteopaths in their communities, UCO graduates have gone on to:
- work in the professional sports arena with British Cycling, GB Olympic and Paralympic athletes, professional football clubs, national rowing teams and in motor racing.
- develop and practice in humanitarian and community outreach organisations, including working with Medicin Sans Frontiers and providing osteopathy to communities in Tibet, Burma and Africa as well as in the UK.
- become experts in specific fields of practice, teaching and practicing nationally and internationally in areas such as paediatric care, pain management, rehabilitation and sports care.
The average income for an osteopath in the UK is £43,420, with 5% earning in excess of £100K (Institute of Osteopathy 2021 census)
A recognised profession
In the UK osteopathy is a primary healthcare profession with statutory recognition, and an allied health profession within the NHS. Osteopaths are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and must be registered with the GOsC and undertake continuing professional development to practice legally.