Massage Therapy Guide

Massage Therapy is a flexible and rewarding career which offers the potential to work in a wide variety of settings including medical offices and clinics, luxury spas or specialist sports and injury services. Many Massage Therapists will even start their own private practices.

And the good news is we are here to help you get started with your new career by providing you with access to all the resources and information you will need. We have information on all the best Massage Therapy programs and schools throughout the USA.

We will guide you through what you need to become a Massage Therapist and how to select the best schools for you.

Your Massage Therapy Career FAQ’s

Career Overview

Key FactsDetail
Educational RequirementsA High School Diploma is not a requirement but it is highly recommended
Average Annual Salary$43,170
Average Salary Range $18,860 to $84,150(depending on experience and location)
Number in Employment (2016)91,457
Employment OutlookVery Positive
Work EnvironmentsPersonal Care Services; Offices of Health Practitioners; Travel Industry; Sports, Fitness and Recreational Industry; Hospitals
Related Careers Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physical Therapy Assistant, Home Health Aides

What does a Massage Therapist do?

Massage has been around as a healing method for around 4,000 years. In fact it is one of the earliest known forms of medicine thanks to the Ancient Greeks. Massage Therapy is all about applying the correct amount of pressure on different parts of body in order to relieve tension, pain, and stress.

Typical tasks and responsibilities involved in the role of a Massage Therapist include;

  • Interview clients and create a profile of their health issues and medical history
  • Update and refer to portfolios before and after sessions
  • Make sure to respond in a positive way to patient feedback about pressure levels during the massage
  • Make sure you don’t injure your client with massage that is too hard!
  • Maintain appropriate hygiene levels
  • Maintain a good rapport between yourself and your clients
  • Prepare and blend oils used on the client’s skin
  • Consult with other health care professionals to build up a workable treatment plan
  • Provide clients with information about how they can improve their bodies with stretching and relaxation techniques at home
  • Refer clients to other therapists as needed
  • Treat clients in office or at the offices or homes of clients
  • Use other tools like infrared lamps, wet compresses, ice and whirlpool baths to help speed up recovery

Massage Therapists also have to be able to communicate well as they will be dealing with clients in a very intimate setting and have to be able to have open discussions about things like the massage and pain levels. Therapists also have to be able to dedicate themselves to their clients and have a nurturing instinct to help people feel better.

As a Massage Therapist you can choose to work in a wide variety of work environments including retirement homes, vacation spas, massage parlors, hospitals, gyms, etc. You can also choose to specialize in a particular niche such as sports, pregnancy, or baby massage. Or indeed in a particular technique such as deep tissue massage, reflexology, hot stone massage, etc.

Massage therapists are considered ‘complimentary’ to other forms of medicine. For example, a massage therapist may be called in to help people recovering from surgery to recover faster and manage their pain. Massage therapists will also refer their clients to other medical professionals for additional treatment based on what they have learned from their client and from working on them. They may refer clients to occupational therapists, doctors or other specialists as needed.

Similar Career Options

Similar career choices include:

Chiropractors: Chiropractors treat patients who are suffering with problems in their bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. They use spinal manipulation and other techniques to treat patients.

Physical Therapy / Physical Therapy Assistant: Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistant help patients with injuries and illnesses to move better and manage pain. They are kind of the step up from massage therapists in that they are fully involved in rehabilitation and treatment for patients whereas massage therapists will just help in pain management from basic wear and tear.

Occupational Therapists/ Occupational Therapy Assistants: Occupational Therapists help patients deal with debilitating diseases, disorders, and other problems which hinder their ability to function in day to day living.

Getting Started

Select from the top schools in your area below to get receive programs and admissions data.