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Everything You Need To Know About A Career In Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is growing field that offers extreme satisfaction for those who enter into it. Therapists achieve fulfillment by helping others in need as well as ensuring their own security and comfort. The career opportunities are bountiful which means schooling is available for nearly anyone who wishes to embark down this path.

Anyone who puts their mind to it can be successful in a massage therapy school, but most students have a few common threads. They must possess some desire to help people in need. Students of massage therapy must devote their energy to improving the quality of life of their patients. Without this drive, the work loses meaning and, thus, satisfaction.

Massage Therapy Requirements

Massage therapy careers can lead an individual in many different directions which makes it somewhat difficult to pinpoint the exact requirements. While a high school diploma or equivalent is necessary for almost all positions, post-secondary education will help your potential in the field to soar.

There are two main focuses of massage therapy training. The first deals mainly with personal characteristics. Among these are empathy, understanding, and communication skills as massage therapy is a career that requires constant one-on-one contact. Even the best therapist will not be able to book clients if they do not have a personality that promotes a comfortable atmosphere.

Schooling for massage therapy goes deeper into the career skills. Sciences such as anatomy and physiology are extremely important. Humanities and psychology courses help to reinforce the personal characteristics that are necessary in a more textbook fashion. Finally, business courses help massage therapy students to make their loving passion into a financially successful endeavor. Each education institute will vary, but these are the basics to expect.

Massage Therapy Career Statistics

Even though massage therapy is a career that is built on inanimate ideas like compassion and comfort, some very concrete facts can help to solidify the importance of the field.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment in the massage therapy field will increase by 19 percent in less than a decade, far higher than most other occupations.
  • There are approximately 300,000 massage therapists and massage therapist students in the United States.
  • Massage therapy was an $18 billion industry in 2009.
  • The average massage therapist earns about $45 per hour with tips.
  • Over 20 percent of American adults receive a massage at least once a year. Most of these people receive them on a regular basis.
  • There are nearly 100 different types of massage. Each embodies their own unique style, which ensures the job will never be boring and will never be exhausted from expansion.

These facts prove that massage therapy is an important part of the American economy. It is by no means a disappearing field as it benefits so many people both mentally and physically. In turn, this helps the massage therapists who perform this service as a career.

Massage Therapy Job Earnings

The salary of a massage therapist can vary greatly depending on the individual's experience, location, and specific skills and techniques. However, as the statistics showed, the average pay is $45 per hour.

Location is very important in massage therapy. For example, one who works in a city will make up to $70 an hour while a massage therapist in a more rural area will earn about $30 an hour.

Also, working in a building that the massage therapist owns or rents themselves is far different from working for another organization. A massage therapist who governs themselves is the one who sets their rates and makes the effort to expand the business, but they also must pay for rent, utilities, and supplies. With great dedication, a self-employed massage therapist can build up their business into a successful financial venture.

Working for someone else has both positive and negative aspects. A few downfalls include not being able to dictate when or where you work, having the boss take a cut, and not being able to take your client base if you relocate. However, the positives are much more numerous. While working for someone else, a massage therapist will not be responsible for the costs of running a business. A massage therapist who is in high demand at a studio is likely to receive raises and more hours if they wish. The best can even land jobs on cruises and within corporate business where the pay is often over $100 an hour. With these kind of rates, even working as a massage therapist part time is more financially advantageous than pursuing another job full time.

Massage Therapy Careers

There are many different directions to take when stepping into the massage therapy field. While there are nearly a hundred various types of massage therapy, they are often categorized based on location. Some of the most popular are:

  • Private Practice
  • Spas
  • Chiropractic Offices
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Nursing Homes/Hospitals
  • Health Clubs
  • Sports Medicine Clinics
  • House Calls

Where a massage therapist will work dictates what type of massage they must perform and what type of education they must have.

Reaching Your Goal

Become a massage therapist requires the same dedication and drive as any other professional career. You must do the research to choose a direction in regards to the kind of massage and location you desire. If you put in the time and effort, your hard work will undoubtedly be paid off in the form of financial security and emotional satisfaction. Massage therapy is a booming field, a field that you can take advantage of by enrolling in one of the many massage therapy programs near you.