How to Become a Massage Therapist
Massage therapists work hands-on with clients to relive stress, encourage relaxation, improve posture and circulation, aid healing from injuries, and increase flexibility. There are many different types of massage from deep-tissue to sports to prenatal massage.
Some clients say that the benefits of massage are “magical” in promoting spiritual and physical healing. Through the power of touch, you can provide “magic” to your clients with a career as a massage therapist.
What Is Training Like for Massage Therapists?
In order to become a massage therapist, you should possess a high school diploma and attend a massage therapy training program that can help prepare you for state certification.1
The training programs may include courses on anatomy and physiology, hygiene and infection control, business practices and state laws, and of course, various massage techniques. You should choose a program that includes both education and hands-on training or an externship.
What Skills Do I Need to Become a Massage Therapist?
In addition to massage education, a massage therapist should have a people-oriented personality and be comfortable talking with and performing massages on clients. As a massage therapist, you may be the only source of relaxation and rejuvenation that your client has, so it is important that you care about their wellness and treat them in the best possible way.
To be massage therapist you should have:
- The confidence to work with clients
- Excellent communication and listening skills
- The ability to keep accurate records and make recommendation
- Good personal hygiene and physical stamina to perform multiple treatments a day
Where Do Massage Therapists Work?
Massage therapists work in physician’s offices and hospitals, sports clubs and gyms, spas, resorts, salons, and in franchise offices all over the country. As therapeutic massage becomes more popular, you probably can expect to see massage therapists in even more unlikely places. It seems there is no limit to the places massages therapists can work.
How Much Money Do Massage Therapists Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for massage therapists in May 2015 was $38,040 a year.1 Most massage therapists work earning an hourly wage and also accept tips for individual services
Because most massage therapists earn tips, there is a great range of earning potential. If you are working in a high-end facility or you have a wealthy client base, then there is the possibility you could have a higher earning potential
Also, many massage therapists work “freelance” or for themselves after hours in order to earn extra money. You might be giving massages to your friends, family, and former coworkers if you have the time to spare and earning extra cash on the side
What is the Job Outlook for Massage Therapists
The job outlook for massage therapists isn’t just good, it’s great. Employment of massage therapists is expected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024 as more and more people recognize the benefits of therapeutic and relaxation massage.1
Additionally, the number of franchise massage clinics is increasing so there will be more job opportunities as those open.1
Please keep in mind employment and income cannot be guaranteed by any educational institution for students or graduates. Additionally, salary data cited in this article is based on median data provided by the United States Department of Labor and does not reflect starting or entry level salaries.
2Employment is not guaranteed for students or graduates. State certification/licensure may be required.