Massage therapists perform customized massage sessions, by applying techniques to alleviate pain, encourage relaxation, and promote overall health and wellness. Massage therapists work by appointment, often conducting informal interviews with clients to help determine the type of massage therapy session that would provide the maximum benefit to the client.
Massage therapists can specialize in many types of modalities, including deep tissue, reflexology, acupressure, and Swedish massage. Massage therapists work in diverse settings that include: offices, studios, hospitals, nursing homes, fitness centers, and airports. They typically work less than 40 hours a week, due to the physical and demanding nature of the work. Many massage therapists work part-time. Because of travel time and appointment preparation, many massage professionals consider a 15-30 hour per week a full-time work schedule.
There are no national requirements for massage therapists, but a high school diploma is typically required for admission into massage therapy education programs. Though standards vary from each state, advancement opportunities are more available to licensed massage therapists who pass state or nationally recognized exams.
Things You Should Know About Massage Therapists:
- About 57 percent of all massage therapists are self-employed and others use it as a source for supplemental income.
- Massage therapists with formal education training or licenses are expected to advance faster than others who do not have credentials.
- Massage therapists have broad range of modalities, and enroll in training programs that may specialize in one type of massage.
- Work settings for massage therapists vary from airports, resorts, hospitals, and nursing homes.
- The projected job growth for massage therapists will increase by 14% over the next 10 years.
- Referrals, joining a professional association and networking help massage therapists build their client database.
In states that regulate massage therapy practices, employers prefer those with professional or educational accreditation or license. Massage therapists work in an array of work settings, and many are self-employed or hired as independent contractors. They provide comfort, relaxation, and pain relief to clients in a professional and therapeutic setting.
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