Massage Therapist Employment Opportunities

According to, massage is one of the world’s oldest healing arts. It has been practiced since ancient times; Egyptian tomb paintings depict people being massaged. Today, massage therapy is an important part of many physical rehabilitation programs, and has also proven to be beneficial in the treatment of many chronic conditions. Massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday life that often leads to illness and disease.

Resort Massage by Beach Photo

As public interest in massage has grown throughout the United States, the number of massage therapists has risen dramatically. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) estimates that the number of massage therapists in the United States, including students, is nearly 300,000. The number of massage therapy training programs in the country has also risen, and there are currently over 1,000 schools offering training to obtain professional massage therapy certification and/or licensing. Acceptance into massage therapy training programs generally requires a high school diploma, though any postsecondary education (such as cosmetology training) can be useful, as is previous study in subjects such as anatomy and physiology, business and the humanities.

Many massage therapists are part-time or self-employed. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website, massage therapists can specialize in more than 80 different types of massage, also called modalities.

Most massage therapists choose to specialize in several modalities which require the mastering of different techniques.

Most massage therapists work by appointment, and a massage can be quite brief, or can last up to two hours. Before beginning the massage, most therapists conduct an informal consultation with the client to discuss their medical history and talk about what the client is hoping to gain from the massage. This interview also gives therapists a chance to discuss the amount of pressure the client is comfortable with, and any sensitive or painful areas of the body. Massage therapists work in a wide array of settings, both private and public, and some massage therapists also travel to clients’ homes or offices to provide a massage. It is also common for full-time massage therapists to divide their time among several different settings.

Massage Therapist Salaries


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