There are many interesting massage therapy careers available for today’s massage therapists. Increased demand, coupled with an ever-growing acceptance of massage therapy as an integral health-management and treatment option, has opened many doors for graduates of massage therapy programs and for experienced massage therapists.

Forecasts For Massage Therapy Careers

The forecast for massage therapy careers is quite favorable. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment within the various careers of massage therapy is expected to grow faster than the average for other careers. Better than average career growth is expected to last through 2014.

Employment in the field of massage therapy includes both full-time and part time opportunities, and approximately two-thirds of massage therapists are self employed (either running their own businesses or working as independent contractors for a larger organization).

The Many Faces Of Career In Massage Therapy

It can be difficult to find two massage therapy careers that look the same; that is because massage therapists enjoy a range of job opportunities housed within a variety of physical settings. Employment is in both public and private settings, with an array of focuses.

In self-employed positions, salaried, hourly, and contractor arrangements, massage therapists can be found working in

• Health clinics
• Spas
• Salons
• Resorts
• Physician and chiropractic offices
• Rehabilitation facilities
• Massage therapy offices
• Hospitals
• Fitness centers and gyms
• Corporate offices and corporate health centers
• Private homes
• Nursing homes
• Studios, alternative health studios and yoga centers
• Holistic health centers/alternative medicine practices
• Airports
• Shopping centers/malls
• Colleges and universities

Among many others, job titles for massage therapy careers may include

• Physical therapist/assistant
• Sports massage therapist
• Masseuse
• Massage therapist
• Mobile massage therapist
• Massage therapy instructor/teacher

The Nature Of Massage Therapy Careers

Massage therapy careers are quite demanding; demands on massage therapists are both physical and personal.

Physically speaking, massage therapy can take a toll on the body of a therapist. Maintaining a career in massage therapy requires spending long hours of standing and physical exertion. Repetitive stress injuries are common among those with improper physical care and technique. Fatigue from long hours on-foot is also a common problem. Maintaining a good technique and proper scheduling of appointments lessens the physical demands on therapists. Because massage therapy is so physically demanding, few therapists actually deliver massages for more than 30 hours per week; in fact, according to the US Department of Labor, many positions are considered full-time if the therapists treats clients between 15 and 30 hours per week. Additional time is normally required for administrative tasks, though.

Personally, massage therapy careers can be demanding because many times services are most in demand during off-work hours; this means evenings and weekends may be prime-time for client appointments, although many successful therapists are able to maintain a more “normal” work schedule.

A career in massage therapy can be very rewarding indeed; it can also be very demanding, but for those who are up to the challenge, the outlook is very good for massage therapy careers.