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Massage Therapist Job Employment Information

Want a job that aims, above all else, to make people feel better? Consider becoming a massage therapist. Massage therapists can specialize in deep-tissue, acupressure, reflexology, orthopedic, sports massage and other areas. Often, massage therapists become experts in several modalities, all of which require specific skills and techniques.With more than 80 types of treatments, massage therapists have many different ways to deliver this relief.Employing their unique set of tools – massage therapists relieve pain, reduce stress, unwind bound-up muscles and just plain make people feel better. The length and type of massage provided typically depend on the client’s condition and desires. Elderly clients, pregnant women and those recovering from a severe injury usually receive different treatments than elite athletes or those just seeking relaxation. The nature of the massage is often discussed and agreed upon during a short interview with the client before it takes place. Massage therapists work for employers in a variety of environments, including spas and hospitals, and some are self-employed with their small businesses. Regardless of the working arrangement, massage therapists should be friendly and personable to attract a consistent client base.

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The increasing number of spas and massage clinics in recent years underscores a growing demand for massage services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects massage therapist employment growth of 22 percent between 2014 and 2024, adding 36,500 more professionals to this field.

Quick Stats

  • $38,040 MEDIAN SALARY
  • 2.0% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
  • 36500 NUMBER OF JOBS

Rankings

Massage Therapists rank #5 in Best Health Care Support Jobs. Jobs are listed according to their ability to offer an elusive mix of factors. Read more about how we rank the best jobs.

Massage Therapists are ranked:

  • #5 in Best Health Care Support Jobs
  • #50 in The 100 Best Jobs
  • How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make?
  • The BLS reports the median annual wage for massage therapists was $38,040 in 2015. The best-paid 10 percent in the profession made more than $74,860, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made less than $18,860. The top-paying metropolitan areas for this occupation include Fairbanks, Alaska; Anchorage, Alaska; and Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
  • 75th Percentile$56,180
  • Median $38,040
  • 25th Percentile$25,350

What Type of Education Do Massage Therapists Need?

Requirements and standards vary considerably by state. To earn a license, most states require massage therapists to complete a formal training program and pass an examination. Programs offered at colleges and universities typically require a minimum of 500 hours of training, but some require 1,000 hours or more. Some programs may focus on particular massage specializations, while others provide a general overview of the field and include classes in anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. For students planning to run their own business, taking a few business courses is advisable. Marilyn Kier, a self-employed massage therapist in the Chicago area, says extra business training is necessary because starting and running a business requires a set of skills not covered in most programs. Many states also require massage therapists to enroll in continuing education courses and renew their license regularly.

Job Satisfaction

Average Americans work well into their 60s, so workers might as well have a job that’s enjoyable and a career that’s fulfilling. A job with a low-stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary would make many employees happy. Here’s how Massage Therapists job satisfaction is rated regarding upward mobility, stress level, and flexibility.

Upward Mobility Average
Opportunities for advancements and salary

Stress Level Below Average
Work environment and complexities of the job’s responsibilities

Flexibility Above Average
Alternative working schedule and work life balance

Massage Therapist: Salary Details

The BLS reports the median annual wage for massage therapists was $38,040 in 2015. The best-paid 10 percent in the profession made more than $74,860, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made less than $18,860. The top-paying metropolitan areas for this occupation include Fairbanks, Alaska; Anchorage, Alaska; and Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

75th Percentile $56,180

Median $38,040

25th Percentile $25,350

Average Massage Therapist Pay vs. Other Best Jobs

Many massage therapists work in spas and have clients with comfortable incomes. But the average worker in this profession makes a low annual salary compared with other occupations in similar fields. Massage therapists, who earned an average wage of $43,170 in 2015, have equal pay to clinical laboratory technicians ($41,420). However, registered nurses ($71,000) and physical therapists ($85,790) made more. Paramedics ($35,430) and medical assistants ($31,910) tend to make less money than massage therapists.

Massage Therapist: Reviews & Advice

Getting your foot in the door of your dream job can be a challenge. These tips and advice will help you with your application process and interview, as well as who you should be networking with to break into the field. This expert advice also delves into what a typical day in the life of this profession is like.

How to Get a Job as a Massage Therapist

Distinguishing yourself in a particular area of massage is Kier’s top piece of advice. She says this requires first identifying your passion within massage therapy and then working hard to become an expert in that area. The next step, according to Kier, is “practice, practice, practice.” If the training pays off, and you provide an excellent service to your clients, people will begin to refer friends, family, and co-workers. As a specialist in pain management and orthopedic massage, Kier sets an example of how this approach can be useful. Even during the recession, she had a two-month-long waiting list, and she often has to pass clients off to colleagues who can see them sooner. Picking a mentor who can help you learn the ropes is another way Kier says young massage therapists can get a leg up on the competition. “Get someone who has experience, and that person can guide you along the way,” she says.

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility Average
Opportunities for advancements and salary

Stress Level Below Average
Work environment and complexities of the job’s responsibilities

Flexibility Above Average
Alternative working schedule and work life balance

What is the Job Like?

Massages are a relaxing experience for clients, but they are not always a walk in the park for massage therapists. Giving massages is physically demanding work that requires you to stay in great shape. Kier says she stretches and works out to stay active. Maintaining a healthy diet is also important, which is why she makes sure to drink lots of water and eat nutritious foods. Fatigue can quickly set in if massage therapists overwork their bodies. Pacing is crucial to avoid tiredness and, worse, injuries. Kier advises massage therapists to know their physical limits to ensure they remain healthy and continue to provide a high-quality service to clients. Due to the physical nature of the work, most massage therapists work less than 40 hours per week. Massage therapists work in many environments, including spas, hospitals, malls, private offices and clients’ homes.

Visit our Admission Office for a Student Tour. Call 610.670.6100, visit our website www.emsom.edu or email us at contact@emsom.edu.

By | 2017-09-08T20:51:57+00:00 June 30th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

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