Massage Therapy as a Career

Looking to start a massage therapy career? In the field of massage therapy, you might find employment in a variety of places, such as:

    • Hotels, spas, luxury resorts
    • Gyms, fitness clubs, sporting clubs
    • Athletic clubs, including professional sports franchises
    • Physical therapy centers
    • Hospitals
    • Nursing homes
    • Assisted living facilities
    • Chiropractic practices
    • Health and wellness centers
    • Holistic health practices
    • Massage clinic franchise
    • Shopping malls
    • Private practice

Professional Environment

A massage therapy career can have you working in a variety of locations, from clinical settings such as hospitals and nursing homes to more casual environments, such as gyms, spas, and hotels. Some massage therapists who are in private practice may travel to clients’ homes or offices to give a massage. Massage therapists who are self-employed typically provide their table, chair, sheets, body lotions, and oils. Many massage therapists work in several locations as they are developing their client bases.

Employment Outlook

Details on the job outlook for massage therapists can be found in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. According to this handbook, employment of massage therapists is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The handbooks state, “Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.” As more people learn about the benefits of massage, the number of spas and massage clinic franchises has been increasing to meet the demand. Also, as the population ages, the handbook explains, “the demand for massage therapy should grow among older age groups because they increasingly are enjoying longer, more active lives.”

The handbook also projects that massage therapy will become more respected in years to come: “As an increasing number of states adopt licensing requirements and standards for therapists, the practice of massage is likely to be respected and accepted by more people as a way to treat pain and to improve overall wellness.”

Earnings/Salary for a Massage Therapy Career

The salaries of massage therapists across the country differ based on the therapists’ years of experiences, level of skills, client base, and geographic location. Massage therapists in the early years of their practice typically earn less than more experienced ones. But as you gain more on-the-job experience and build your client base, you can expect your earnings to increase over time. More details on the salary trends among massage therapists can be found in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Massage Therapy Resources

Here are additional resources you can investigate to learn more:

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
25188 Genesee Trail Road, Suite 200, Golden, CO 80401

American Massage Therapy Association
500 Davis St., Suite 900, Evanston, IL 60201

Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards
7111 W 151st St., Suite 356, Overland Park, Kansas 66223

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
1901 S. Meyers Rd., Suite 240, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

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