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Medical Support Officer (Physiotherapist)

  1. I do this job
  2. The Facts

Job description: Support the RAF's medical services in a variety of clinical and management roles.

Pay after training: £29,000
(dependant on rank awarded)

Joining age: 21 – 36

Category: Officers

Usual service: 6 years

Open to: men or women

Similar civilian jobs:

  • Physiotherapist
  • Rehabilitation specialist
  • Musculoskeletal specialist

Qualifications you need: You must be a graduate Physiotherapist and registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC)

Qualifications you can gain: Recognised post graduate clinical qualifications, a Masters degree or similar

Nationality: Citizen of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen since birth


The job

Physiotherapists form a sub-branch of the Medical Support Officer (MSO) branch of the Royal Air Force Medical services. Depending on your professional experience, you could be employed in a variety of challenging clinical or management roles.

You may find yourself in a hospital setting dealing with acute medical and surgical cases, or perhaps in one of our primary care rehabilitation facilities, caring for injured military personnel. There’s also the opportunity to work on a frontline operational base, at a Regional Rehabilitation Unit or at the nationally- renowned centre of excellence at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court in Surrey.

It’s highly likely that you will be deployed in support of a military campaign, where you’ll provide essential care to frontline personnel in the most challenging of environments.

Qualifications and experience

You must be a graduate physiotherapist and registered with the Health Professionals Council to join the RAF in this role. Graduates with at least two years experience and who have attended a formal post graduate training programme are preferred; however, newly qualified graduates may be considered on merit.

Personal Qualities

You must be a graduate physiotherapist and registered with the Health Professionals Council. Graduates with at least two years’ experience, and who have attended a formal post graduate training programme, are preferred; however, newly-qualified graduates may be considered on merit.


You’ll begin your RAF career with 11 weeks of Initial Officer Training on the Special Entrant and Re-entrant (SERE) course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This will be followed by two weeks study on a Basic Air Warfare Course, also at Cranwell.

Following this you’ll undertake three further weeks of specialist medical training on the Introduction to Medical, Dental and Nursing Officers course. Once qualified, you’ll begin your first official posting. Further professional, clinical and management training is encouraged and will be provided as necessary.

Career Structure

Depending on your qualifications and experience, you’ll be commissioned in the rank of Flying Officer or Flight Lieutenant and awarded an appropriate level of seniority.

Your pay on completion of the SERE course will be linked to the rank in which you’re commissioned. Career progression for physiotherapists is up to the rank of Wing Commander. However, further advancement may be available for those officers wishing to broaden their knowledge and experience within the main MSO branch.


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