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Massage Therapist



Massage therapist is a person who treats his/her clients by making use of touch for manipulating the soft tissue muscles of the client’s body. With their touches, the massage therapists across the globe are:

  • Relieving pain

  • Help rehabilitating injuries

  • Improving circulation

  • Relieving stress

  • Increasing relaxation

  • Aiding in the general wellbeing of the clients


The work environment of the massage therapists would range from private and public settings like:

  • Private offices

  • Physician’s offices and clinics

  • Spas

  • Hospitals

  • Fitness centers

  • Chiropractic offices

  • Health clubs

  • Hotels

  • Sports teams and other events

  • Resorts

  • Salons

  • Cruise ships


Most of the massage therapists, particularly those who are self-employed, will provide their own:

  • Table

  • Chair

  • Sheets

  • Pillows

  • Body lotions

  • Oils


Job Description:

As a massage therapist, you will have to perform the following tasks:

  • Speaking with your clients about:

    • Symptoms

    • Medical history

    • Desired results



  • Evaluating your clients for the purpose of locating painful/tensed areas of the body

  • Manipulating muscles and any other soft tissues of the client’s body

  • Providing your clients with the needed guidance on the following aspects:

    • Stretching

    • Strengthening

    • Overall relaxation

    • How to improve the posture



  • Documenting your clients’ condition as well as progress


How to Become a Massage Therapist?

Educational Requirements:

Most typically, massage therapists would complete a post-secondary educational program which includes a minimum of 500 hours of study. However, the standards and/or requirements would vary from one state to another.

In order to get enrolled in a post-secondary educational program, you must hold a high school diploma or any equivalent degree. And, these post-secondary programs would cover subjects like:

  • Anatomy

  • Physiology

  • Kinesiology – study of motion and body mechanics

  • Pathology

  • Business management

  • Ethics


Licensing and Certification:

In the United States, in those states which have massage therapy regulations, the candidates must obtain a license or certification after having graduated from an approved program but prior start practicing as a massage therapist. This would require you to pass either a state exam or any of the two nationally recognized exams, which are:

  • Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx)

  • National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)


As a massage therapist, you must also pass a background check and become certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

The number of massage therapist jobs in the year 2012 was found to be 132,800. The job opportunities for massage therapists are estimated to increase by 23% from the year 2012 to 2022. This rate is much faster than the median for all the occupations.

Pay:

According to the ‘Bureau of Labor Statistics’ of the ‘United States Department of Labor’, the median annual pay for a massage therapist was found to be $35,970 per year in May 2012 which equals to the hourly pay of $17.29.

Summary:

Average Pay                                        :           $35,970

Education                                            :           Postsecondary non-degree award

Number of Jobs, 2012                         :           132,800

Employment Growth from 2012 to 2022         :           23%

On-the-job training                              :           None

Work Experience                                 :           None