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How To Get Into Massage Therapy

Starting Your Massage Career

What Will I Learn: Massage Therapy

Discover what you need to know about starting a career in massage therapy.

One of the most frequent comments massage therapists make about their occupation is, “I feel fortunate to have found work I love.” They feel this way because a career in massage therapy allows them to help people in a meaningful way with a high degree of personal contact.

Why Become A Massage Therapist

Massage therapists are in high demand these days.1

The BLS attributes massage therapist job growth to a few factors. One is that more states are requiring licensing and other standards in order for massage therapists to practice. This adds to the legitimacy of massage therapist work, which makes people more likely to seek out massage for wellness.

Another reason for the growth of massage therapy jobs is that physicians are increasingly recommending massages to their patients care plans. In some countries around the world, like in Australia, remedial massage is even covered by health insurance.2 As massages health care reputation increases, its also expected to be a more popular and more widely available form of treatment.

Best States to Work as a Massage Therapist

The following are the states with the highest employment levels for massage therapists as of May 2020, according to the BLS, along with employment data.4 These estimates do not include self-employed massage therapists, which the BLS reports make up the largest employment source for massage therapy, with 38% of massage therapists working as self-employed workers.5


Attend And Graduate From A Board

Currently, massage therapy is licensed in North Carolina and regulated by The North Carolina Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy. To become a massage therapist in North Carolina, you have to complete at least 500 hours at a board-approved massage therapy school. Different schools offer programs ranging from 6 to 12 months, depending on if you choose to go full-time or part-time. When I was in massage school, it was a six-month program, Monday-Thursday, and cost $5000. Today it’s a lot more expensive, ranging from $8,500-$15,000 for tuition, which may or may not include books and supplies. There are grants and scholarships you can apply for, and if you are military or a military spouse, the Post 9/11 GI billwill pay for massage therapy tuition and supporting fees at an eligible school. So there are options out there to help pay for tuition, you just need to look.

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Know How The Muscular System Works

Having a good grasp of basic human anatomy and physiology sets the excellent Massage Therapist apart from the mediocre ones. Having in-depth knowledge of how the muscular system works and the physical effects of massage is the basis for a successful career in this field. Its not all about technique and form its about understanding the body, its energy systems, and how it reacts to pain, stress and illness.

Understand The Skills Required

Incorporating Massage Into Your Health and Wellness Routine

Being a Massage Therapist requires a certain set of qualities and professional attributes, including excellent customer service. Before you decide if this career is right for you, take a look at the necessary skills for the role, and make a mental note of the ones you have or need to develop further:

  • Customer service

7. Establish Where You Want to Work

Over half of all massage therapists work at a clients home or office, on a self-employed basis, while many choose to work in their own office or home. But Massage Therapists can also work in spas, fitness centres, hotels and franchised clinics. You even have the option to work in a healthcare environment, which includes hospices, community health services and cancer centres.

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Decide If You Want To Work For A Company Or Start A Business

It used to be that all massage therapists were self-employed and worked for themselves. Nowadays, theres a lot more choice when it comes to career options in this field. You can decide to start your own business and build your clients organically or work in a professional setting such as a health spa. With an increasing number of salaried jobs on the market, the choice is yours. Keep in mind, however, that if you are set on starting your own business, then you will need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses.

What Happens If You Fail The Mblex

If you fail the MBLEx, you wont pass the examination or have that exam score to help you get your license. You will need to take the examination a second time. You can take the examination again after 30 days have passed since the last appointment. You will need to reapply to take the test in the meantime.

Interestingly, there is no limit to the number of times you can take this test. Though that is the case, certain states or state licensing boards might place their own limits on the number of times a prospective massage therapist can take the examination in an attempt to pass.

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Enrolling In A Massage Therapy School

Admission to massage therapy school is straightforward. Before you can enroll, you will need to apply and meet the following common requirements:

  • Have a high school diploma
  • Submit official transcripts for any college coursework completed
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Have a cumulative grade point average over 2.0
  • Meet all other qualifications, based on the school

Indiana’s Title Protection Law

How a Virginia massage therapist kept license after sex crime conviction

Those who would like to claim the title of a massage therapist in the state of Indiana must meet the requirements of “title protection.”

This means that anyone can practice massage without a license in the state, but they aren’t allowed to call themselves a massage therapist without first getting an Indiana state certification.

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Make Sure Its The Career For You

Although were pretty sure youll know whats right for you, its still a good idea to double-check that massage therapy is the career for you.

You may love to offer up a good back or shoulder rub to friends or family, but when its your daily job, it might lose its charm. Youll also need to keep in mind that there is a bit more that goes on in the massage clinic other than just massaging your clients.

A few other things you might be expected to do are:

  • Scheduling appointments for clients
  • Taking payments and working the front desk
  • Designing treatment programs for clients with chronic pain
  • Taking calls and responding to emails

To add, the massage therapy field is regulated, and youll also need to undertake continued courses and training programs to make sure youre at the top of your game in massage therapy.

These courses are also required to ensure youre a licensed massage therapist, though its not too hard to find a great course in massage therapy. If all this still sounds like good fun to you, then youre already one step down!

When The Massage Table Turns Sexual: 5 Things Every Massage Therapist Wishes Guys Would Stop Doing

As a woman who’s been in the spa business as a therapist and a manager for over five years, I’ve basically seen everything — the good, the bad, the downright awkward. Not to mention, like all massage therapists, I put up with a seemingly endless stream of “happy ending” jokes all. the. time. And while everyone thinks these jokes are hilarious, the reality is that every massage therapist does have to deal with a few sexually… heightened moments with male clients over the course of his or her career.

But let me just say that boners during massage appointments are totally normal. So to all the guys out there: You don’t need to be embarrassed. There is no need to dart out of the room. Most massage therapists are professionals and won’t just stare at your hard-on. We really don’t want you to feel any more uncomfortable than you already are. So just relax — and know that we are not judging you.

That said, there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. What do I mean by that? Let me break it down for you…

There Is No Need For Show And Tell

No Table Humping

Do Not Touch The Therapist

Do Not Give Directions To Your Penis

Don’t Blow It: Masturbate Before Your Appointment

To be clear, my intention is not to boner-shame anyone. I am just educating the misinformed who think “happy endings” are a real thing — as 99 percent of the time, this is not the case.

Please, thank you, and come again!

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How To Become A Masseuse Or Massage Therapist

This article was co-authored by and by wikiHow staff writer, Eric McClure. Marty Morales is a Professional Massage Therapist and the Founder and Owner of the Morales Method, a manual therapy and body conditioning business based in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Los Angeles, California. Marty has over 16 years of massage therapist experience and over 13 years of experience educating others on the best practices for massage therapy. Marty has over 10,000 hours of private practice logged and is a Certified Advanced Rolfer and Rolf Movement Practitioner, CMT. He has an MBA in Finance from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 754,449 times.

Massage therapy helps millions of people cope with physical ailments, sore muscles, and emotional distress. If you have a gift for giving a wonderful massage, becoming a professional massage therapist could be a great career opportunity and a way to truly help other people with your skill.

Get Out There And Pursue A Career In Massage

Myofascial Release

For people who want to break into the wellness industry, massage can be a lucrative and fulfilling career choice. And now that you understand what it takes to get started in massage therapy and pursue licensure and/or certification, all thatâs left to do? Get out there and get started on the road to becoming a successful massage therapist.

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What Are The Disadvantages To Working As A Massage Therapist

One of the disadvantages of working as a massage therapist is that it might be physically demanding. Massage therapy will certainly need you to use your body for long periods of time. This can include standing for lengthy periods of time, working with your hands all day, or spending too much time bending over a massage table.

No You Won’t Get A Happy Ending So Don’t Even Think About It

Hand jobs, blow jobs, golden showers…we don’t do sexual favors. While there is such a thing as erotic massage, expecting this to happen can be insulting to your massage therapist. People who call us about that will be swiftly denied service, and if someone comes in and hints at something of that nature, their massage will end on the spot and they won’t get a refund. It’s a huge misconception that massage therapy is sexually oriented .

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What Is The Programs Educational Approach

Massage therapy programs have obvious similarities with one another. After all, their goal is to ultimately prepare people for the massage therapy profession. On the other hand, they can also differ in profound ways.

As you familiarize yourself with a prospective program, try to understand the schools educational approach to massage therapy. For example, how does it view the role of a massage therapist in a persons overall healthcare? How grounded in the sciences is the program? How important are evidence-based methods?

As you explore these questions, you should also be asking yourself if the schools approach resonates with how you want to learn.

But just as important, you should pay attention to how rigorous the curriculum and training are. These factors are what will ultimately help you become a well-prepared massage therapist.

See former massage therapy student Maddi Grette describe why NWHSUs emphasis on healthcare was important to her.

How Much Should You Expect To Earn As A Massage Therapist

Michele Mack: Why I went into massage therapy| Ohio State Medical Center

How much you can earn as a massage therapist depends on where you live as well as the kind of massage you do. The median annual salary for massage therapists was $43,620 annually as of 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2019, there were 166,700 jobs available, and the field is expected to grow by 21% between 2019 and 2029. The good news is that jobs will increase in this field, though the annual pay tends to be on the lower end. That being said, the highest 10% of massage therapists earned over $79,150 annually. The lowest, however, earned less than $22,580.

Most massage therapists work part time and by appointment. They also earn a combination of wages and tips in most cases, and they may receive discounted or free massages as a benefit from colleagues.

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What Is The Difference Between A Licensed Massage Therapist And A Certified Massage Therapist

So, in most states, therapists need to graduate from a recognized program and pass an exam before they can start practicing massage. But whatâs the difference between an LMT and a CMT?

The main difference between the two is the process they go through as the name implies, LMTs go through a licensure process, which is regulated by governmental agencies âwhile CMTs are certified by a private, non-governmental agency.

In states with licensing requirements, having a license is a legal requirement for practicing massage. Certification, on the other hand, is voluntaryâbut because it shows that the therapist meets the standard set by the certification board, it can be helpful in establishing credibility and attracting clients. So, in states with licensing requirements, all massage therapists need to get a massage therapy license and become LMTs in order to practiceâbut they can also opt to get their massage therapy certification and become CMTs.

Actually Just Basic Hygiene Makes Everything Better

Aside from BO invading our nostrils and not really wanting to massage a sweaty body, long toenails also scratch us on occasion. Lots of people also come in especially in the summer when sandals/flip-flops are in with dirt all over the bottoms of their feet or nice chunky toe jam. It’s not fun to work with, and not every massage therapist will soak your feet in a bath beforehand.

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Work Alongside Fellow Healthcare Providers

Would you like to be a valued healthcare professional? Integrative models of healthcare, which emphasize a team approach to each patients overall health, are becoming increasingly common. And thats great news for massage therapists.

With the appropriate training and credentials, massage therapists can work with acupuncturists, chiropractic doctors, medical doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and others in the healthcare field.

Consider just how much massage therapy is becoming an integral part of large-scaleand influentialhealthcare institutions. Here are just a few examples:

  • Mayo Clinic has been a true leader in integrating massage therapy into its inpatient and outpatient services since 2002.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City employs licensed massage therapists in various departments.
  • Michigans largest healthcare system, Beaumont Health, began a massage therapy program in its oncology department 15 years ago. That program has now expanded to numerous departments and the provider now has dozens of licensed massage therapists on staff.

See former NWHSU student Rachel Roller talk about her role as a massage therapist in a chiropractic and wellness center.

How Can I Branch Out Into Other Types Of Therapy

Confessions of a Beauty Therapist: How to get into the industry

As previously touched upon, if you choose to become a massage therapist there are a range of different types of special areas you can branch out into. Just as a junior doctor can choose to focus on surgery or paediatrics. For example, once you have trained as a massage therapist there is a whole host of more concentrated therapy areas you can specialise in, from aromatherapy massages to deep tissue massages.

Just as with any profession, it is a good idea not to choose a specialism too early. Instead, you may want to focus on learning how to become a good all-round masseuse first. Remember, if you take a general massage qualification, like one of those listed above, and practise in general massage therapy, the chances are you will naturally find which areas of the field you are best at and enjoy the most. Later down the line, these could be the areas of therapy you choose to branch out into.

Massage therapy specialisms include:

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Why Did I Stop Working As A Massage Therapist

Because you are not habituated to the physical demands, the first five years of practice are the most tough, and many massage therapists resign due to burnout. Its also challenging to adjust to the emotional demands. Clients come to you with grievances and frustrations, and they frequently cry in the room.

How To Get Your Massage Therapy Certification

People like to unwind and relaxâand for many people, the perfect way to unwind and relax? Massage therapy.

Getting a massage has become a go-to self-care and therapeutic practice for millions of peopleâand, as such, the demand for massage therapists has been steadily increasing, making it a solid career choice for people interested in getting into the wellness industry.

While all massage practitioners need to go through a training program to learn the different modalities, massage techniques, and other information necessary to effectively practice massage therapy, they also need to go through the proper channels in order to legally practiceâand, depending on their state, that means getting licensed as a licensed massage therapist and/or getting certified as a Certified Massage Therapist .

But the question isâwhat are the requirements for becoming an LMT or a CMT? Whatâs the difference between the two? And what steps do you need to take to get the license or certification you need to start practicing massage therapy?

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