Job prospects are excellent for those who seek careers in
massage therapy, as more and more doctors and health care
professionals recognize the medical benefits of massage. Massage
therapy can be used to treat any number of ailments, from
sports injuries and chronic back
pain to diabetes and nicotine addiction. Massage therapy
is also effective in treating stress-related conditions like
high blood pressure and depression. According to the U.S.
Department of Labor, job growth should be at about 20% through
Over eighty different techniques (called modalities) are
used in massage therapy. A massage therapist will usually
specialize in several of these techniques, and use what they
know about a patient to decide the best way to treat them.
In general, massage therapy improves circulation, increases
muscle flexibility, and speeds the removal of metabolic waste
from muscles. That’s good news for people recovering
from surgery or sore from overexertion.
Massage therapy can be a deeply rewarding career if you have
a strong urge to help people. Because so much of the job revolves
around treating the individual, massage therapists must be
good listeners, highly empathetic, and able to make patients
comfortable in their presence.
There are drawbacks to a career in massage
therapy. The work can be physically demanding, as massages
can last anywhere from five minutes to two hours, depending
on the setting, and the massage therapist will have to be
able to stand for long periods of time. In addition, the repetitive
motions performed while giving massages can lead to strain
and injury to hands and wrists. That’s why it is essential
for massage therapists to be properly trained.
To begin a career in massage therapy, 29 states and the District
of Colombia require a license to practice. You can get that
license by taking 500-1000 hours of classroom instruction
at an accredited school and passing a certification exam.
At an accredited career school, you will learn anatomy, physiology,
and kinesiology to understand the human body. You’ll
learn both business and ethics to help you establish a practice
and how to practice responsibly. And most importantly, you’ll
receive hands-on instruction on different massage techniques.
The certification test is called the National Certification
Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, or NCETMB.
Your career school training will prepare you to pass this
test. As a practicing massage therapist, you currently must
renew your certification every four years by performing 200
or more hours of professional massage and take continuing
education classes. While regulations vary by state, career
prospects are actually better in states that require professional
To get started on the path to professional certification
and a career in massage therapy, it’s important to find
an accredited school. JustColleges is partnered with accredited
career schools across the country. You can use the search
feature on the site to find a school near you, or you can
browse career schools across the country by program.
Here are just a few examples of the career schools you’ll
find at JustColleges:
The Utah College of Massage Therapy has five campus locations,
including campuses in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Students
may enroll full-time or part-time, and CPR and first aid training
are included in the curriculum.
Everest College also offers a diploma in massage therapy.
Course work is split between learning therapeutic techniques
and the business savvy you’ll need to open your own
With five campuses in Louisiana, Blue Cliff College is committed
to providing Louisiana students state-of-the-art instruction.
They award both diplomas and associates degrees in massage
These are just three of the dozens of colleges you’ll
find on JustColleges that are committed to the quality training,
career preparation, and professional development of today’s
Massage therapy is a growing career field. There are currently
between 120,000 and 150,000 massage therapists in the U.S.,
according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Of
those, 64% were self-employed in 2006, and 84% were women.
A career in massage therapy will net you an average of $40,330
per year. Most massage therapists officially only work between
15 and 30 hours per week, but this does not include time needed
for travel between clients, rests between massages, and billing.
Massage therapists have a number of choices about how and
where to practice. Some own private practices, while others
make house calls by bringing their massage tables along with
them. Massage therapists are also employed in multidisciplinary
clinics, partnered with doctors and chiropractors. Still others
enjoy careers at hospitals, nursing homes, spas or alternative
medicine centers. Health clubs and gyms employ massage therapists
to provide complimentary or reduced-cost massages to members.
There are other less traditional careers available in massage
therapy as well. If you are interested in sports medicine,
professional sports teams and sport medical centers hire massage
therapists, although these positions are among the highest
paying and therefore hardest to come by. It is becoming more
common for corporations to hire massage therapists to make
weekly or monthly office visits as a workplace perk. Because
massage can have an emotional healing component, rehabilitation
centers for people struggling with addiction or long-term
disabilities sometimes employ massage therapists.
Choosing a career in massage therapy essentially means choosing
the types of people you would like to help and the specific
massage techniques you prefer. To get started on an exciting
and rewarding career path as a massage therapist, you need
to find a school that is right for you. Use the search features
at JustColleges to get more information on accredited career
colleges near you.
a complete list of Massage Therapy Schools.