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Massage Therapy Job Prospects

How and Where to Find Exciting Career Opportunities in Massage Therapy


Massage Therapy Job Prospects

Yan C (c) istockphoto - Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is an exciting career field with good prospects for the future. According to US News and World Report, massage therapy is a top ranking health therapy career with an unemployment rank of 6.1 percent which is less than the national unemployment rate average of 7.6 percent. Massage therapists earn a median average salary of $40,350 with earners in the lowest 10th percentile earning $18,420 and earners in the upper 90th percentile earnings $70,140 or more as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Where to Find Jobs

Massage therapists work in many different settings, including spas, hospitals, health clinics and as self-employed professionals. More spas and massage clinics are employing massage therapists as a result of increased demand by clients and centers. The BLS reports massage therapy will grow by 20 percent or more through 2020, adding nearly 40,000 professionals to the industry in the next decade.

This is much faster growth than most other occupations. To find work as a massage therapist, you will need to pursue a certificate or training in massage therapy from an accredited training program. Most programs require 500 to 750 hours of training in massage and hands on experience. States license or regulate most massage therapists.

Taking the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination or equivalent will help prepare you for work as a professional massage therapist. Many membership organizations including the American Massage Therapy Association assist massage therapists in finding work. Membership to the AMTA provides not only access to a therapy specific job bank, but also resume assistance and career advice.

To find work as a qualified massage therapist, it is also important to network with other qualified professionals. These include healthcare professionals, doctors and physicians, occupational therapists, chiropractors, neurologists and other medical providers that may provide patient referrals to you as a massage therapist.

Many massage therapists find work within a private healthcare practice. Many health providers have a massage therapist that works exclusively for their practice, providing massage therapy services to the patient's referred to them as part of the healthcare practice.


Specialization is often the key to success in massage therapy. You can work as a general massage therapist, or you can distinguish your practice and specialize in a particular expression of massage therapy. By specializing, you can offer massage therapy services in a unique form of massage therapy. This will give you access to a unique clientele that is looking for the exclusive type of services that you offer.

If you set up a practice as a self-employed therapist, by specializing you will then be able to market and brand your services based on your area of specialization. One of the best ways to specialize is to first practice in the field, and gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. You also need to determine what area of massage therapy you want to engage your clients in. Some specialists work in pain management, others sports massage, and still others orthopedic massage. The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to massage therapy. Another idea is specializing in pediatric or post-partum massage therapy. There is a great demand for specialists in nearly all branches of healthcare and medicine.

You can also specialize in massage therapy services for health, wellness and beauty. Spas are increasingly demanding highly qualified and well-practiced massage therapists. You may earn more money working for an upscale salon or spa than you might working in a long-term facility or for a private healthcare practice. If you have an opportunity, take some time to work under another more experienced health massage therapist so you can learn valuable tricks of the trade, which will increase your learning and expertise.

This will also help you gain valuable connections and provide you with an opportunity to network with others and build important relationships in the business before you embark on your own massage therapy business or practice.

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