Job Openings & Education Requirements - General Outlook
Are you interested in working in the massage therapy field but unsure about the education requirements? Learn more about different high-growth careers and the required education to work in massage therapy.
Education And Training To Work In The Massage Therapy Industry
Massage therapy has become a fast-growing industry due to the increased knowledge of the health benefits of massage. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) estimates that in 2009 the massage therapy industry was a $16 to 20 billion industry. Many Americans are starting to learn more about the benefits to massage for the mind and body. Medical professionals are also starting to refer clients to massage therapists as part of their medical treatment.
The demand for qualified professionals should increase as more and more people begin using massage therapy. There are numerous high-growth areas in the massage therapy industry for experienced professionals who have the proper education and training.
High-Growth Massage Therapy Careers
Massage therapist careers have numerous job opportunities for potential students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job growth for massage therapists is expected to rise by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018. As the demand for massage services continues to grow, more job opportunities should become available for trained massage therapists.
In order to work as a massage therapist, you must have the required education and training. Most states also require that massage therapists pass a licensing exam prior to working in a professional setting. A certificate or degree program can help students obtain the necessary education required to become a licensed massage therapist. Your studies should include the following areas:
- Study of organs and tissue
- Body motion
- Massage techniques
Most careers as massage therapists are entry-level positions. With time and experience, massage therapists can build up their clientele list and increase their fees, allowing for a higher income. Massage therapists can also advance into manager or teacher positions with time and experience.
Medical Massage Therapists
Medical massage therapists are another high growth area in the massage therapy industry as more medical professionals recognizing the benefits of massage therapy for the overall health of their patients.
Medical massage therapy can help clients with:
- Pain management
- Physical therapy
- Cancer assistance
- Mobility/movement training
The American Massage Therapy Association reports that 32 percent of Americans use massage services for medical or health reasons. A large increase in the elderly population seeking massage therapy has helped contribute to the demand of medical massage therapists. Older adults are also using massage therapy to help reduce health problems and help with energy levels.
Licensing Requirements for Massage Therapists
To work as a medical massage therapist, you must pass a certificate or degree program. Each state requires students to complete a specific number of hours before working as a medical massage therapist. The AMTA found that the average medical massage therapist has about 624 hours of initial training.
It is also essential for medical massage therapists to take continuing education courses to advance their knowledge. The higher education can help advance the knowledge of massage techniques for specific clients.
Kathryn Vercillo is a full time freelance writer / blogger with nearly ten years of writing experience. She has authored two books and contributed to many other print publications. Previously Kathryn worked as the editor-in-chief of a small literary arts magazine and as the manager of a writing company that linked businesses with freelancers. Areas she has researched extensively include personal finance, real estate, travel, life-work balance and health and fitness.
Massage Therapists - Dec 17, 2009 • Bureau of Labor Statistics
2010 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet - Feb 12, 2010 • American Massage Therapy Association