Massage Therapy Business Tips

Should I Pursue A Career In Massage Therapy?

updated on

May 1, 2024

Should I Pursue A Career In Massage Therapy?

Should I pursue a career in massage therapy? This question resonates with many who are drawn to the health and wellness industry, seeking a profession that allows them to make a tangible difference in people's lives. If the idea of working in a calming environment, making people feel better, and having a flexible work schedule appeals to you, then a career in massage therapy might be your calling.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The growing demand for massage therapists and what this means for job security.
  • The variety of specializations available, offering a personalized career path.
  • The unique rewards and growth opportunities in the massage therapy profession.

Let's dive into the reasons why massage therapy could be more than just a job—it could be a fulfilling career.

10 Reasons Why Massage Therapy Is A Good Career

  1. Demand is growing for massage therapists.
  2. Getting your license is relatively quick.
  3. You can choose a specialty.
  4. Massage therapy is a rewarding career.
  5. Massage therapy is a low stress career.
  6. Great income potential. 
  7. Flexible work schedule
  8. Choose your work environment
  9. Open your own practice
  10. Opportunities for growth

If you’re interested in health and wellness, are passionate about helping people, but don’t want to invest several years into education, massage therapy might be a good fit. Massage therapists work one-on-one with clients, in a relaxing environment, to help them reach their wellness goals. Massage therapists work in spas, private practice, and medical settings.

Ideal candidates for massage therapy have a strong desire to help people, good listening skills, the ability to maintain boundaries and problem solve, and are in good physical health.

Would you make a good massage therapist?

1. The Demand Is Growing For Massage Therapists

Currently, the health and wellness sector is experiencing significant growth, with projections indicating a 20% increase in massage therapist employment by 2031. This surge is fueled by an increased recognition of massage therapy's health benefits and its role in preventative care to sustain wellness.

Massage therapy is used to help relieve stress, decrease pain, and manage things like anxiety and depression. It’s increasingly being recommended by medical professionals as a component of patients' wellness plans. As the preference for alternative therapies grows among those looking to treat various health issues and maintain their well-being, the need for skilled massage therapists is set to rise.

2. Becoming A Licensed Massage Therapist Is Relatively Quick

In comparison to other health related fields, the process for getting a license to practice massage therapy is relatively short. Getting a massage therapy education typically consists of going to an accredited school and completing a 500-1000 hour program. Upon graduation, you then must pass a licensing or certification exam. Beyond that, many states require massage therapists to take a certain number of continuing education hours to maintain their license.

What’s required to get your credentials as a licensed massage therapist varies by location. If you live in the US, you can learn what’s required in your state by checking out the AMTA’s state-by-state guide.

3. You Can Choose A Massage Therapy Specialty

After becoming a licensed massage therapist, there are many directions you can take your career. Your initial massage therapy education will give you a solid foundation in the art and science of massage, as well as an introduction to many different massage modalities. After that, you have the opportunity to continue your education, at your own pace, by learning more advanced techniques or specializing in a specific modality.

There are endless continuing education courses for massage therapists teaching a variety of massage specialities, like sports massage, prenatal massage, neuromuscular therapy and much, much more.  Most of these classes are organized into weekend seminars. You can find online courses too, but hands-on is best for developing your skills. Some educators even host seminars as “vacation series” in enticing vacation destinations or on cruise ships. These classes help you shape your career into what you want it to be.

4. Massage Therapy Is A Rewarding Career

A career in massage therapy is almost guaranteed to be rewarding. As a massage therapist, you help people for a living, and you do it in your own unique way. Every client who walks in the door is happy to see you and excited to be there. You get to watch their progress, see the benefits of the service you provide, and be appreciated on a daily basis. Not many careers can offer all that.

This is truly whether you’re working in a spa helping people de-stress or treating an injury in a clinic. It feels good to help people, and it feels really good to help other people feel good. 

5. Massage Therapy Is A Low Stress Career

A significant advantage of pursuing a career in massage therapy is its inherently low-pressure nature. Creating a calm and therapeutic atmosphere for clients often translates into a relaxed work setting for therapists. This tranquility in the workplace is intentional, reflecting the profession's emphasis on promoting relaxation not just for clients but for therapists as well.

In the role of a massage therapist, job demands and time commitments are clear-cut and manageable. Clients book a specific amount of time with you, and you dedicate that time to them. Beyond direct client care, the job's responsibilities are minimal, provided you don’t own your own massage business. 

Benefits of a career in massage therapy

6. Great Income Potential

There’s great income potential in a massage therapy career. Often massage therapists get paid commission or a fixed rate per service.Often, the commission rate is tiered so that massage therapists who retain more clients get paid a higher rate. Over time, your skills will naturally lead to retaining more clients and the ability to see more clients in a day, thus increasing your salary.

After gaining some experience, many therapists venture into self-employment, capturing the full rate for each hour worked — rates that can range from $60 to $120. It’s common for massage therapists to work as independent contractors in an already established practice, rent a space to set up their own massage studio, work from home, or even start a mobile massage business. The possibilities are endless and the potential to earn a great living has many avenues in massage therapy.

7. Flexible Work Schedule

Massage therapists don’t work a traditional 40-hour workweek. In fact, most massage therapists don’t work 40 hours a week, at least not seeing clients. When the average massage session is 60-90 minutes, it’s rare for a massage therapist to see more than 20 clients a week. That’s because you can’t physically do massage for 8 hours straight everyday. (Maybe you can, but it’s not sustainable long-term.) That’s why shorter shifts and bigger breaks are common.

Massage therapists often have a lot of flexibility in choosing their work schedules. Such adaptability stems from the necessity of shorter shifts, allowing therapists to tailor their work hours creatively. Whether it’s providing sessions in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate the 9-to-5 crowd, or opting for more conventional daytime hours split into manageable segments

8. You Determine Your Work Environment

Massage therapists work in a variety of settings. If you want to specialize in relaxation and stress relief, you can opt to work in a spa , resort, or massage chain. If medical massage is more your thing, you can work with a chiropractor, PT, multi-disciplinary practice or massage clinic. If you want to work with athletes, you can work on-site at sporting events or in a gym or private practice.

Starting your own massage business gives you even more options. You can start a home-based massage practice, or visit clients in their homes. If you get a few corporate chair massage clients, you can spend your days visiting other people’s workspace, giving them a break. When you start your own practice, you have the ability to create the work environment you want, no matter where you choose to set it up.

9. Open Your Own Massage Practice

Opening your own practice is the goal of many massage therapists. It’s best to get a few years of experience before you go this route. Entrepreneurship is often the most prosperous route for massage therapists to go. When you start a massage business, you get to choose what services are offered, the kind of experience you provide, and the type of clients you work with. You can create the business you want to work in, and fill it with people you like.

There’s a lot that goes into starting your own practice, like finding the right software, creating a system for writing and organizing SOAP notes, marketing your practice, and creating a self-employed benefits package - but that’s all manageable once you have a system. Many massage therapists succeed at starting their own business. In fact, statistics show that the majority of massage therapists work for themselves in some capacity.

10. Opportunities For Growth

A career in massage therapy offers many opportunities for growth. We’ve already talked about earning potential. The most common track for massage therapists is from employee to business owner, but along that path there are many offshoots.

You can diversify your income through massage add-ons, learning new techniques, selling retail, and advancing your skills. With your flexible schedule, you can design your daily life intentionally, making time for what matters.

You’ll be on a path to enhancing health and wellness, both for you clients and yourself. There’s a high likelihood that you meet a lot of amazing people along the way, in the form of clients and colleagues. The connections you make and the network you’ll build can take you places you haven’t thought of yet.

Practice management tools like ClinicSense help you streamline the admin part of your business, giving you more time to do what you love - helping people! You'll feel more organised, look more professional and stay complaint. Start your free trial today!

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