Work setting and job outlook are important considerations
Maybe you’re kicking around the idea of becoming a massage therapist. If so, it’s likely that you’re the kind of person who would enjoy a job that has you up on your feet rather than behind a desk, that you’re somewhat of a “people person,” and that you’re interested in health.
However, before beginning any new career endeavor, it’s a good idea to closely examine what the “boots on the ground” view of your potential new career field may be like.
Let’s take a closer look at the world of the massage therapist.
1. A variety of potential work environments
Massage therapy offers some relatively diverse options in terms of job settings. Some massage therapists work in medical settings (i.e., practitioners’ offices or hospitals), sports therapy centers, hotels, day spas or resorts, or they may opt to develop their own client lists and work in people’s homes.
The location will have a big impact on the atmosphere in which you’re working. For example, a massage therapist at a spa may work amongst the glow of candlelight with quiet music playing in the background. Massage therapists in medical settings may experience a more clinical atmosphere.
Solo practitioners may set aside space in their homes for their work, or they may travel with portable equipment to meet clients at their houses or offices.
2. Hours may vary
Many massage therapists – especially those who are self-employed – may enjoy flexible schedules. That is, they may not always keep the traditional 9 – 5 hours of the typical workday.
However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not putting in a full week of work. Some massage therapists may be expected to work evenings and weekends. It’s often a matter of scheduling services around their clients’ availability.
3. It’s more than just massage
Like any job, there’s more than meets the eye to massage therapy. In addition to doing their regular work, massage therapists may need to do a certain amount of scheduling and bookkeeping.
People who are self-employed will need to put in a fair amount of time to market their services.
All massage therapists will likely have to set up their work environments and maintain clean and hygienic linens and other materials.
Conversing with clients is also important to determine different people’s needs and preferences for their appointments.
It’s also key for massage therapists to maintain physical health, as the job may be physically demanding. Keep in mind, massage therapists spend most of the day on their feet. They also require a certain amount of flexibility and upper body strength to perform their jobs.
4. Salaries depend on type of work
Your income as a massage therapist is dependent on a number of factors, including where and how you’re employed, if you’re full- or part-time, your experience level, and the number of clients you may have.
Check job listings for your local area to get a sense of what massage therapists make in your region. You can check out the national median annual wages for massage therapists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but remember that numbers may vary widely depending on where you’re looking for work.
5. Job outlook is largely positive
According to the BLS, the job outlook for massage therapists is on the rise. Demand for massage therapists is expected to grow 23% from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than average for all populations.
One big reason for that is because an aging, active baby boomer population may be more likely to partake in massages as a form of health and wellness therapy.
Want to know more about massage therapy training? Request more information or schedule a tour at one of Salter’s campuses in Fall River, Tewksbury, or Malden.