In recent years, the modern obsession with material wealth has given way to a renewed focus on health and quality of life. People are spending more money than ever on professional trainers, expensive fitness equipment and health club memberships. They’re also spending plenty of cash on professional massage therapy. In fact, the massage industry as a whole is set to expand 20% by 2020 according to Department of Labor figures. If you’re interested in capitalizing on this trend, a job as a massage therapist is a great way to play it.
Job Requirements & Skills As a member of the health care industry, a massage therapist’s primary goal is to improve the well-being of their customers. They do this by utilizing dozens of massage disciplines and techniques to relieve tension in the muscles, improve blood flow and remedy sore soft tissue. To accomplish these goals, a massage therapist must possess a thorough understanding of human anatomy and physiology to diagnose and rectify aches. Furthermore, they need to be in tip-top physical shape since massage therapy is taxing work that requires a certain level of cardiovascular fitness.
Education, Training and Licensing While there are a few areas of the United States that don’t regulate the massage industry, most states require therapists to be trained and have a license. Many potential massage therapists attend a massage school for anywhere from several months to several years. In states that license massage therapists, anywhere from 250 to 1000 hours of educational instruction time is mandatory. Once you’re ready to be certified, you can take a test given by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork to demonstrate your massage competency.
Pros, Cons & Compensation The best thing about massage therapy is the fact that it’s a flexible way to make money either on the side or full-time. In many cases, you can set your own hours to accommodate your personal life. Furthermore, there’s practically no limit to your potential earnings if you’re serious about promoting yourself and building a business. Probably the only downside is the bureaucratic red tape associated with getting licensed in your jurisdiction. Lastly, the pay is quite respectable as the median annual massage therapist salary is $45,887 .
Making a Living with Massage Therapy In order to make real money in the massage therapy game, it’s not enough to simply cash a regular paycheck. Naturally, you’ll most likely start out by working for someone else at an established practice or a spa to help build a reputation. As soon as it’s feasible, you’ll want to strike out on your own and become an independent contractor. Use the experience you gained at the outset and combine it with aggressive marketing to attract clients in your area.
How to Get Started If you’re serious about becoming a professional massage therapist, there’s no time like the present to get started. Those who are raring to go and know their stuff can practice in a non-license state to began practicing immediately. However, it’s really a smart idea to pursue at least some formal training even if it’s not required in your area. It’ll only make you a better massage therapist in the long run. If you’re looking for a satisfying non-traditional line of work with loads of potential, massage therapy is a worthwhile option.