Job Description:

Osteopaths massage, move and stretch clients' muscles and joints to improve wellbeing or help with a health issue.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

As an osteopath you could:

  • Ask clients about their health and medical history
  • Look at their posture and how they walk, paying attention to their muscles, bones and joints
  • Use X-rays to help with your diagnosis and plan a course of treatment
  • Use gentle techniques like stretching, movement and massage
  • Give clients advice on exercises to do at home, lifestyle and diet


You’ll need:

  • Knowledge of medicine and how the body works
  • To be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • Physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • The ability to work well with your hands
  • Sensitivity and understanding
  • To enjoy working with other people (teamwork)
  • Customer service skills
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Adaptable to the problem at hand
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

School Subjects

Becoming an osteopath typically involves completing a degree in osteopathy from an accredited institution. While there are no specific GCSE subjects that are absolutely required for becoming an osteopath, there are certain subjects that can provide a strong foundation and be beneficial for your academic and professional journey. Keep in mind that specific requirements may vary depending on the institution you plan to attend and the country you are in. However, here are some GCSE subjects that could be helpful for pursuing a career in osteopathy:

  1. Biology: This subject is highly relevant as it provides a fundamental understanding of the human body, including anatomy, physiology, and other biological processes that are crucial for studying osteopathy.
  2. Chemistry: A solid understanding of chemistry can help you comprehend biochemical processes in the body and better understand topics related to pharmacology and biochemistry.
  3. Physics: Physics knowledge can be useful for understanding concepts related to biomechanics and the physical forces affecting the human body.
  4. Mathematics: Mathematics skills are important for various aspects of scientific study, including data analysis and interpretation, which are important in a healthcare field like osteopathy.
  5. English: Good communication skills are essential for any healthcare profession. English can help you develop your reading, writing, and verbal communication skills.
  6. Physical Education (PE) or Sports Science: These subjects can provide insights into human movement, exercise physiology, and sports-related injuries, which are relevant to osteopathic practice.

To become an osteopath, you’ll need to complete a degree or postgraduate master’s degree approved by the General Osteopathic Council.

Courses usually take 4 years full time, or you might be able to study part time over 5 years.


You’ll find it helpful to get some work experience in healthcare with an osteopath before you apply for a course.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 37 to 39 hours of work. You could be required to work for and manage your own business.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could:

  • Set up your your own osteopathy practice
  • Do further training and move into teaching osteopathy students
  • Move into osteopathic research