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The ABCs of Getting Started as a Pro Massage Therapist

If you’re considering a career as a massage therapist, there are a few things that you need to know. Doing your research about the field will give you an idea about how popular it is as a career option. You will also learn which establishments employ massage therapists, how you can start your own massage therapy business, and the qualities that you need to possess if you want to succeed as a professional in this industry. These and more are what we’ll learn about in the next sections.

How Popular is Massage Therapy as a Profession?

First, if you are considering starting a career as a massage therapist, exactly how popular is it today? Check out some related statistics according to the American Massage Therapy Association:
– The estimated number of massage therapists in the US is between 300,000 and 340,000.
– There are more than 350 accredited massage therapy institutions in the country today. Meanwhile, 700 campuses are also accredited to offer massage therapy teaching and training to aspiring students.

Those who are planning to take massage therapy training can seek employment from the following establishments:
– Beauty salons
– Cruise ships
– Chiropractor office
– Fitness centers
– Health and wellness centers
– Hospices
– Hospitals or clinics
– Hotels
– Nursing homes
– Spas
– Sports teams and events

Massage therapists who manage their own business account for 69% of the practice. 48% earn their income by visiting clients at their own homes; 27% work in a health care setting; 25% are employed in spas and beauty salons; while 17% visit clients in their workspaces. Due to the gruelling nature of the work, the maximum number of hours that a massage therapist can work full time is 17 per week of actual massage.

Things to Remember when Establishing a Career as a Massage Therapist

Next, if you would like to establish your career as a massage therapist, what’s generally required is a high school diploma. Of course, post-secondary education is useful but not necessary. Knowledge of the basic human sciences is also a plus, although this will be taught in the initial classes along with the practical aspects of running a business like billing, scheduling, housekeeping, and marketing.

After completing the training, students need to obtain the licences or other credentials required by the area where they plan to practice. This is especially true if you live in a state where massage therapy is regulated, in which case you would need to take tests like the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam or MBLEx. Post-graduation, massage therapists can take tests to attain a higher level of achievement which will be awarded by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

All in all, if you plan to pursue a career in the massage therapy business, you need to have the proper education, training, licenses and certification. This is definitely a rewarding profession that will allow you to take part in the relaxation, healing, and overall health of the clients who will go under your expert hands during a massage session.

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