Pros and Cons to Consider Before Starting a Massage Therapy Training Program
Jumping into any new career field should definitely be a “look before you leap” proposition – especially if you’re considering entering a professional training program. After all, investing in your education is a serious decision. Before you do so, it’s important to investigate the career field to find out if you’re going to find long-term satisfaction in the job.
That means you’ll want to consider several things, including:
- If your personality is suited to the job
- Whether you’ll be happy in the daily work environment
- What the job prospects are after graduation
- If there’s the potential for long-term career growth
If you’re considering a career in massage therapy, you might be the kind of person who likes the idea of a job that has you up on your feet rather than behind a desk. You might call yourself a “people person.” There’s also a pretty good bet that you’re interested in health.
But what are the downsides? Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of a career in massage therapy so you can decide for youself.
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 even 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.
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 40 hours. Some massage therapists may be expected to work evenings and weekends. It’s often a matter of scheduling services around their clients’ availability.
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.
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, but remember that numbers may vary widely depending on where you’re looking for work.
Future job outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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.
Are you considering a career in massage therapy? Request more information or schedule a tour to find out more about our program!