Massage Therapist Jobs
Massage therapists use the technique of massage in order to treat physical pain, relax strained muscles, rehabilitate sports injuries, and reduce stress.
Massage therapies promote general health and well being as they stimulate muscle tissue and improve the body’s circulation. An increased demand for qualified massage therapists is expected in coming years, as more people learn about the benefits of massage therapy.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Massage Therapist
Massage therapists may work for a spa, fitness center, nursing home, massage studio, or other health-related facilities. Many therapists are self-employed, and may even visit clients at their homes for appointments. A massage therapist sees clients by appointment. A general appointment will include a brief interview with the client, to determine the purpose of his or her visit – whether it’s due to a certain injury or simply to relieve stress and tension, for example. A massage therapy session may last anywhere from 15 minute to an hour, depending on the treatment. Many massage therapists make use of accessories such as body oils and lotions, and incense and candles to relax the client. Note – find out about cruise ship massage therapist jobs in our Cruise Ship Careers section.
Massage therapists must be able to interact well with people, making them feel comfortable and relaxed – especially because most massage therapies involve the client being unclothed, covered only by a towel or robe. Most massage therapists are female.
General Requirements and Training
Standards for massage therapist training and certification vary between States. A number of community colleges and post-secondary diploma programs offer massage therapy training. These programs usually cover basic topics like anatomy, kinesiology, and ethics, as well as actual hands-on training.
A massage therapist may choose to specialize in over 80 different massage techniques, such as deep tissue, acupressure, sports massage, and Swedish massage.
Although not all States require massage therapists to be licensed, those who are licensed may have better job and pay opportunities. A massage therapist becomes licensed after completing an accredited training program and passing the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of massage therapists is $34,900 as of May 2008. Salary.com reports the mid-50% earnings wage of massage therapists to be $37, 606 to $56,313. According to Payscale.com, a massage therapist with one to four years of experience earns an average of $11.95 to $24.85 per hour, while a massage therapist with twenty or more years of experience earns up to $24.57 to $71.22.