If you’re a people person, you like working in different environments and you like the close contact that the job requires, you are well-suited to have a career in the massage therapy industry. Unlike several decades ago when there was a negative connotation with being a masseur or a masseuse, it is a perfectly legitimate profession now. Through it, you will be helping a lot of people and you can use the job as a way to further your career in the industry.
Things to Know when Starting a Career in Massage Therapy
Now, if you are thinking about jump starting a career in the massage therapy industry, there are a few things that you should be aware of. Take a look at the following:
- The industry is growing, so there are plenty of job opportunities for you.
Before actually taking a course that will lead you to become a massage therapist, it pays to know a bit about the industry that you will be getting into. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, the estimated number of massage therapists in the US including students is anywhere from 300,000 to 340,000.
As far as the educational establishments are concerned, there are over 350 institutions which are accredited to specialize in massage therapy, as well as more than 700 campuses. In order to start training, a student needs a high school diploma although those who have already earned their post-secondary education are welcome, too.
- You can work on a part-time or full-time basis.
There are many places where massage therapists can seek employment including the following:
- Chiropractic offices
- Cruise ships
- Fitness centers
- Health clubs
- Home service
- Massage offices
- Nursing homes
- Spas or leisure resorts
- Sports teams/sporting events
You can either find job openings at any of these establishments, or start your own practice by offering home massage services. In fact, 69% of those who work in the massage therapy industry are sole practitioners. The remaining 27% work in a health care setting, 25% have jobs in spas while 17% deliver services at a client’s workplace.
- You need to have the right education and practical training to get in.
Most importantly, what do you need in order to start a career as a massage therapist? First, earn your certification from a massage therapy school or an educational institution offering massage therapy courses. Next, you need to obtain a license from your state or municipality which typically requires passing an exam which is administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Check with your state what other requirements you need to start working as a licensed massage therapist.
- It does pay to join a professional association for massage therapists.
Similar to any other profession, you will benefit from joining an association which is meant to connect massage therapists with each other. One example is the American Massage Therapy Association which was established way back in 1943. Not only can you expand your business network but you can also connect with like-minded individuals, get discounts on products or services, and gain access to some useful inside information about your industry.
When establishing a career in massage therapy, it does pay to do your homework and research all the information you need so that you’d know what to expect before getting started.