Massage Therapist

Pros


  • This type of work helps people get relief from pain, improve overall health and help them to relax.
  • Many massage therapists are employed part time which can allow them to work flexible hours.
  • Employment prospects are good for this type of work, and are expected to grow in the coming years.

Cons

  • Performing massage therapy can cause injury to the hands, wrists or arms due to constant use. This also requires a lot of standing.
  • Massage therapists may need to work around the schedules of their clients, who may be busy individuals.
  • You must be good with people in this type of job in order to maintain a regular clientele that will use your services.

Overview

Massage therapists use touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. This can be done to relieve aches and pains, to help recuperate injuries or simply to allow stressed out people to better relax. There are a wide range of massage treatments available, and most specialize in one or two areas. Because of the limited specialization, it is common for a massage therapist to recommend the treatments of another therapist to their clients.

Massage therapists bill their clients based on the time spent working on them. While the average is generally one hour, a massage can be as long as 2 hours or as short as 10 minutes. Most massage therapists specialize in several different techniques. The type of massage given by a therapist depends on the client’s needs and physical condition. For example, therapists may use special techniques for elderly clients. This is opposed to the aggressive therapy that they would use for athletes, and the middle ground type of therapy that is given to those seeking relaxation.

Above all, massage therapists must be good with people in order to build their business. Massage therapists work by appointment, and before beginning a massage therapy treatment program they will conduct an informal interviews with their clients to learn the person’s medical past as well as their desired results from the massage.

Education

Those wishing to become massage therapists must have completed a high school degree and apply for admission to a massage therapy program. These programs exist in both public and private institutions and train prospective massage therapists on a multitude of topics ranging from body mechanics to small business management. Once a massage therapy program has been completed, state certification may be required. This differs from state to state, although the majority require some sort of licensure via accredited training and examination.

Job Prospects

The prospects for massage therapists are expected to be very good in the future. More often than ever before people are looking for the services of a massage therapist to improve their health and well being. This can be attributed to many factors. Spa businesses are proving to be popular, and many of these facilities require the use of massage therapists. Large organizations are realizing the benefit that massage therapy has on overall health and productivity so they sometimes offer employees opportunities to meet with specially trained massage therapists in the workplace.

Advancement Opportunities

When one starts out as an entry level massage therapist, wages will be low. But as a base of clients grows and demand picks up, many massage therapists are able to command higher wages than when they were starting out. Therefore, offering excellent service as well as being personable with clients is usually the way that massage therapists are able to advance their careers. Those who have a business-minded skill set may decide to open a spa or massage therapy clinic, which can end up being very profitable.