Report: working as an osteopath in Australia

Career options, accreditation and regulations for working as an osteopath in Australia.

Osteopathy is an established allied health service in Australia. It has been practised here for over 100 years and Australia was one of the first countries in the world to regulate osteopathy as a healthcare profession. The osteopathic profession is one of the fastest-growing allied health profession in Australia, with the number of osteopaths almost doubling every decade for the last several decades.

To work as an osteopath anywhere in Australia, you must have university-level training, be government registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) and complete a minimum number of continuing professional development (CPD) hours each year.

Over 80,000 Australians visited an osteopath weekly. The osteopathy industry contributes over $500 million per year to the Australian economy.

Osteopaths work in every state and territory across Australia, with an average working week of 35 hours for an average annual salary of $85,000 to $90,000. 

Most Australian osteopaths work in private, primary practice, which means that consumers can book appointments directly and can see an osteopath without a medical referral.

Osteopaths are trained to have the knowledge, diagnostic and assessment skills to ensure they can refer patients for any condition outside their scope of practice. 

Osteopathy can be a satisfying and fulfilling career that is adaptable to both part-time and full-time work.

Globally, Osteopathy is established in over 50 countries and makes a significant contribution to healthcare worldwide, as outlined in a report released by the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA). Osteopathy has two distinct streams: a) Manual therapy-focused osteopaths; and b) In the US (and elsewhere), a more medical model with osteopathic physicians who sit the same credentialing as medical doctors and work across all medical specialties. 

Accreditation and professional registration

Australian osteopathic graduates must register with the Osteopathy Board of Australia and/or the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand.

Approved courses in Australia are accredited by the Australasian Osteopathic Accreditation Council (AOAC).

Find out how you may work in Australia as an overseas-trained osteopath.

Working as an osteopath outside Australia

If you trained to be an osteopath in Australia and would like to work overseas, visit the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA) and check the OIA Member Organisations webpage to find out more about the regulations and rules for practising osteopathy in each country.