About 350,000 professionals in the United States choose to work as massage therapists. That number will only grow as more people realize the benefits of massage treatments.

As a greater number of people become interested in massage, the market will demand more trained professionals to fill positions. Today, you can find massage therapists working everywhere from malls to sports clubs. Clearly, massage therapy is growing in popularity.

If you have thought about working as a massage therapist, you should spend some time thinking about factors that will make it a good career choice for you. Start by checking out the following six reasons that many people love working as massage therapists. If you think these points sound appealing, then you may have discovered a new career path for yourself.

You Enjoy Helping People Stay Healthy

Massage therapy is primarily about helping people lead healthy lives. The list of ailments that massage can treat is impressive. As a massage therapist, you may work with clients who have problems like:

In addition to the physical treatment that massage therapy offers, it can also benefit people who simply desire the comfort and connection that only comes from the touch of another person.

If you want to make people feel better, both physically and emotionally, then massage therapy is definitely a career option that you should consider.

You Like to Stay Physically Active and Work With Your Hands

Massage therapy requires a lot of physical activity. After a full day serving clients, you will feel like you’ve gotten a workout. Over time, your hands will become stronger than you can imagine. In addition, as a massage therapist, you’ll never have to worry about spending your day with nothing to do. It’s an active job that offers constant challenges and room to grow.

You Want a Variety of Employment Opportunities

The job market for massage therapists is extremely diverse. Once you start exploring your options, you will find that you can work in practically any type of environment.

If you like to give massages in tranquil spaces, then you can get a job in a spa that plays ambient music and fills the air with the smell of essential oils. If you love to travel, then you can get a job on a cruise line that visits exotic destinations.

You can also find massage therapy jobs in a wide range of big cities and small towns. A licensed massage therapist can find work at a tiny mountain resort, a luxury hotel on the beaches of Hawaii or an exclusive gym in New York City.

No matter where you want to go, you have plenty of options as a massage therapist.

You Like the Idea of Being Your Own Boss

Sole practitioners make up nearly 60 percent of massage therapists, in large part because opening your own business as a massage therapist doesn’t require a lot of money. The biggest expenses include rent for your practice space and supplies. If you’re willing to meet clients in their homes or offices, then you don’t even need to worry about rent. You will, however, have to consider your travel expenses.

Overall, it’s inexpensive for massage therapists to open and run their own businesses. In return, you get to set your own hours and choose which clients you want to serve.

If you dream of being your own boss, then massage therapy will give you an opportunity to reach your goal.

You Want Control Over How Much Money You Earn

The average massage therapist earns about $40,000 per year. If you work as a sole practitioner, though, you have significant control over your yearly income. The more you choose to work, the more money you can make.

Some massage therapists find that they can charge higher prices when they specialize in certain techniques. If you become a well-known specialist in deep tissue massage or trigger point therapy, for instance, you can earn $50 or more per hour. That amount doesn’t even include the tips that you get from appreciative clients.

You Want a Rewarding Career Without Spending Years in School

It takes two to four years to become a registered nurse. Doctors spend 11 to 15 years in school before they can earn their medical licenses. In other words, becoming a healer usually takes several years of education before you can even start earning money.

A reliable massage therapy program, however, can get you fully trained within one year. The best programs usually require 750 hours of education, which includes reading, attending lectures and developing skills. The programs are challenging, but they make it possible for you to start your new career quickly.

Massage therapy students also benefit from minimal admissions requirements. As long as you’re a healthy person with high school diploma or its equivalent, you can enroll in a massage therapy program that will prepare you for a career that rewards you emotionally and financially.

Before you can become a massage therapist, you have to enroll in a program that teaches you the right skills. The American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM) has been teaching massage therapy to students for more than 20 years. If you think that massage therapy sounds like an interesting career choice, you should click here to learn more about getting trained and licensed to start working.

Guidance for Students Pursuing Massage Therapy

A career in massage therapy involves a dedication to a profession that not only heals and improves people’s lives. Understanding the educational landscape and what the future holds is crucial before considering this path. 

Preparation tips for aspiring massage therapy students

Preparation for a massage therapy program involves both mental and physical readiness. Academically, familiarize yourself with basic anatomy and physiology. Physically, it’s beneficial to maintain good personal health and fitness, as massage therapy can be physically demanding. Mentally, prepare for a rigorous but rewarding educational experience, and consider practicing mindfulness or stress management techniques.

Maximizing your learning experience

Success in a massage therapy program requires active engagement. Participate fully in both theoretical and practical components. Practical, hands-on experience is as crucial as theoretical knowledge. Form study groups, seek feedback from instructors regularly, and don’t hesitate to engage in extra practice sessions. Additionally, attending workshops and seminars can enhance your understanding and skills.

Navigating financial aid and scholarships

Many massage therapy programs offer financial aid options, including loans, grants, and scholarships. Investigate these options early by consulting the financial aid office of the schools you are considering. Scholarships may be available based on merit, financial need, or specific criteria like community service or a commitment to certain practice areas in massage therapy.

Career planning and networking opportunities

Start planning your career early by engaging in networking. Attend industry conferences, join professional massage therapy associations, and connect with practicing therapists. Internships or part-time work in massage clinics can provide invaluable real-world experience. Build a professional online presence on platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential employers and clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key benefits of a career in massage therapy?

Massage therapy offers numerous benefits, including the opportunity to help people maintain their health, the ability to stay physically active, and the satisfaction of working with your hands. 

What kind of work environments are available for massage therapists?

Massage therapists can work in diverse settings, from spas and wellness centers to sports clubs and private practices. This flexibility allows therapists to choose environments that align with their personal preferences and lifestyle, whether it’s a tranquil spa setting or a bustling sports facility.

Can I be my own boss as a massage therapist?

Yes, many massage therapists choose to be self-employed, which offers the freedom to set your own hours and choose your clients. Starting your own massage therapy business typically requires a manageable investment, making it an accessible option for many practitioners.

How long does it take to become a qualified massage therapist?

Unlike many healthcare professions, massage therapy requires a relatively short educational period. Most programs can be completed in about one year, including practical skill development. This makes it a viable career option for those looking to enter a professional field quickly.

How can I choose the right massage therapy program?

When selecting a massage therapy program, consider factors like accreditation, program length, curriculum, and hands-on training opportunities. Researching and visiting schools, talking to current students and alumni, and understanding state licensure requirements can also help you make an informed decision.

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