The massage industry is overgrowing as the public seeks healthcare alternatives that promote well-being and a higher quality of life. A career as a massage therapist is rewarding, both personally and professionally, making massage therapy employment a popular option for many.
Pursuing the art of massage as a career requires not only training but also a desire to help others, a commitment of energy and focus, and a high level of comfort with personal physical contact. Massage therapists can choose to work for others or themselves in private practice.
Both options provide excellent flexibility in setting work hours. Most massage and bodywork is performed in one-half-, single, and two-hour blocks of time, which makes scheduling easy for the massage therapist and massage therapy employment an alluring career choice.
Massage Therapy Employment
Massage therapists are employed in a variety of settings. In a therapeutic setting, massage therapists find jobs in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, chiropractic offices, holistic health clubs, elder care facilities, sports locker rooms, and corporate environments. Massage therapy is also popular in spa settings such as those found in resorts, salons, cruise ships, hotels, vacation destinations, and day spas.
Massage Therapists Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 57% of massage therapists were self-employed in 2019. Independent massage therapists can operate in any number of locales, including storefronts, shopping malls, and airports. With portable equipment, others can provide massage in the home or workplace of their clients.
Most massage therapy training programs include business courses. In conjunction with certification from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), these courses prepare to graduate massage therapists to manage their massage practice.
What Massage Therapists Do?
Massage therapy is used in many applications, including relaxation, health promotion, pain management, stress reduction, injury recovery, and addiction therapy. All such opportunities mean that massage therapy employment is anything by the standard. Among the various applications, massage therapists may use one or more of more than 80 techniques.
Those seeking massage therapy employment are encouraged to know that earnings vary widely and are affected by area, type of practice, and experience – you can make your way by pursuing the most lucrative options near you. Based on 2019 figures, the BLS reports average earnings of massage therapists at around $42,820.