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Career Outlook for Individuals with a Certificate or Degree in Massage Therapy

Career News February 21, 2016

In the next few minutes, learn what it takes to become a professional massage therapist. Learn all of the qualification details at both certificate and degree levels, career prospects and the job outlook for massage therapy.

Certificate or Degree Programs in Massage Therapy Overview

Massage therapy is the use of touch to help reduce stress in muscles and tissues in the body. Here’s an overview of the massage therapy profession, education qualification details required as well as the estimated yearly salary of massage therapists.

•Career – Massage Therapy
•Education details – Post high school massage therapy training
•Additional requirements – Certificate and 500 hours of experience
•Estimated job growth rate – 22%
•Average salary in 2012 – $37,180

Massage Therapy Facts

There are over 80 areas of specialization that massage therapists can choose from. These areas of specialization are known as modalities, and in most cases, therapists tend to choose more than one modality. Their work involves helping the client relieve stress in certain muscles and tissues of the body.

Some of the common modalities that therapists can choose from include reflexology, aromatherapy, acupressure and shiatsu. The last two modalities involve application of pressure to specific points of the body. Sometimes, massage therapists may also exercise deep tissue therapy to patients with aching tissues and muscles. On the other hand, reflexology is a technique that uses points on the ears, hands and feet to bring balance and wellness to the body. Finally, aromatherapy involves the use of oils and lotions to stimulate good blood circulation and muscle relaxation.

Work Environment for Massage Therapists

They work in clinics, spas, massage resorts, rehabilitation centers and in fitness centers. In most cases, the work of massage therapists are quite flexible since most clients only come after work or during the weekends. In some cases, massage therapists may work independently and visit their clients at their homes to provide personal services. Additionally, some professionals work as massage therapists on a part-time basis.

Education Needed to Become a Massage Therapist

Training to become a massage therapist is mostly offered in private and public post high school institutes. Usually, course work revolves around physiology, kinesiology, ethics and anatomy.

Certification to Become a Massage Therapist

Different states have different laws and regulations in regards to the work of massage therapists. So, it is just necessary that you check what laws and regulations your state has put in place before venturing into this profession. Some of the common exams that massage therapist have to undertake before getting certified include the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEX). Most of these certificates act as assurances that you are competent to be an acupuncturist, or a general massage therapist.

Job Outlook for those pursuing the Massage Therapy Profession

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that in 2012, massage therapists earned an average annual salary of $37,180. On the other hand, jobs for massage therapists are expected to grow at a rate of 22% within the next few years.

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