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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.


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.


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