Spa or Clinic? A Look at 2 Different Massage Therapy Career Paths | Career Training | The Salter School
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Spa or Clinic? A Look at 2 Different Massage Therapy Career Paths

Category(ies): Massage Therapy, On The Job

massage therapist career pathsJobs in this field may vary widely

Take any two students in the massage therapy training program at Salter, and you may find that they have very different ideas of where they hope their education will take them.

The beauty of massage therapy is that both students can be justified in their expectations.

Massage therapy may offer some of the most diverse job options of any course of study at a career training school.

That is, some students may end up working in spas, while others may work in clinical settings. Some students may desire a more entrepreneurial career working for private clients, while others may seek the stability of full-time employment.

Let’s take a look at two of the most-common routes that students of massage therapy programs pursue after completing their training, as well as the pros and cons of each.

The spa route

Most clients who seek out massages in a spa setting are doing so to relax or as part of a holistic wellness experience. Private spas, hotels, and resorts often employ massage therapists as employees or as contractors.

The upside: Massage therapists at spas may receive certain perks, such as discounted spa services. The atmosphere is often pleasant and relaxed. Some massage therapists align their practices with tourism, allowing the opportunity for travel or relocation to exciting destinations. Massage therapists at resorts and spas often receive tips.

The downside: Massage therapists may be expected to operate in a sales role, offering clients additional products or services. Certain times, such as weekends, may be extremely busy and have very little lag time between appointments. Massage therapists working as contractors may not receive benefits.

The clinical route

As with spa work, massage therapists in the medical arena may be hired as employees or as contractors. While the physical work of the job may be similar in both settings, the work environment and clientele are often very different.

The upside: Massage therapists in clinical settings may find it fulfilling to help sick and injured patients manage and treat pain, stress, and anxiety. They also may have more support in terms of office staff to handle scheduling, billing, and supplies. There is also the potential for increased job stability, as an aging population creates greater demand for healthcare services.

The downside: The clinical setting may lack the serenity of the spa environment. In in-patient settings, massages may take place while patients are in hospital beds, or massages may be interrupted for other procedures. Some people may find it emotionally draining to work with patients who are extremely ill, especially when they’re new to the field.

Want more information on massage therapy careers and training programs? Request more information or schedule a tour at one of Salter’s campuses in Massachusetts.

The Salter School Malden campus is no longer accepting new enrollments.