How to Get Started as a Massage Therapist
If you are interested in helping people relieve pain and stress and enjoy helping others a career in Massage Therapy may be for you. Part-time Massage Therapists, in particular, are expected to be greatly in demand. This is a field that continues to grow as people become more aware of and interested in holistic medicine and better self-care as an alternative to treatments like drugs or surgery.
- Chiropractors or Naturopathic doctors’ offices - Massage Therapy is very much a part of the holistic view of treating the whole person and not just isolated symptoms that is held by these types of providers. It is a wonderful supplementary mode of treatment in addition to what the doctor advises.
- Health Spas – Many spas offer massage therapy in addition to other self-care modalities. Working for a nice spa can be especially lucrative for a Massage Therapist and may provide a wonderful work environment.
- Physical and Occupational Therapists/Rehab Clinics - Massage Therapy is a very effective can be a useful addition to healing therapy. Many rehabilitation centers and different kinds of therapists utilize the services of Massage Therapists.
- Clinics – Sometimes Massage Therapists join with other health care providers to form a multiple specialty clinic. This could be an alternative to typical Western medical clinics and provide chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, reflexology, acupuncture, and other such holistic methods.
- Private practice – Massage Therapists who enjoy being their own boss and want to be in charge of their own business can choose to establish their own clinic for massage therapy exclusively. The private practice Massage Therapist could also provide a place for other Massage Therapists to work.
- Nursing homes – Massage Therapy is a very effective and common treatment for elderly individuals. A therapist may choose to specialize in geriatric patients. The stress and pain reducing benefits of massage therapy are wonderful for these individuals.
- Hospitals – Often, the Rehabilitative Services department of a hospital will bring in Massage Therapists as an adjunct to Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists.
- Health clubs or fitness facilities – Health clubs or gyms may be excellent opportunities for part-time work, but it would likely be in a larger club or a metropolitan area.
- Sports – College or professional sports teams usually have Massage Therapists available for injured or tense athletes. These jobs vary widely and can be quite lucrative, but may be extremely competitive.
Training and Certification
There is a wide array of massage therapy courses are available, and the requirements are quite varied from state to state. Most programs will require study in the subjects of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology, as well as techniques in different types of massage.
How long your training will take depends on where you live and how much training you wish to receive. If you live in one of the 37 states that have regulations regarding massage therapy licensing, then the state will determine how long your training will be. This could be anywhere from 300 to 1000 at a minimum or up to two years, depending on the program and your goals.
After completing their course work a Massage Therapist can take the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) to become a Certified Massage Therapist.