If you’re considering becoming a massage therapist, job prospects in this field are among the most promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of massage therapists is projected to increase 24 percent from 2016 to 2026. This demand is above average compared to other occupations, which in turn is a huge advantage. In the $12.1 billion massage therapy industry, today’s massage therapists have a wide variety of choices when it comes to what type of massage he or she would like to practice.
Here is a short list of possibilities that you might not have considered:
1. Start your own practice.
Opening a private practice allows you to have a better work and home life balance. By being your own boss, you have the flexibility and freedom to create your own schedule and build your own clientele. You don’t necessarily need to rent out office space either. Massage therapists often travel to clients’ homes or to office buildings and provide massages there.
2. Work in a physician’s office or hospital.
Massage can be a powerful pain relief tool to those who are undergoing certain medical procedures, including surgery or chemotherapy. In a nationwide survey conducted in 2010 by the American Hospital Association, 42 percent of surveyed hospitals provide complementary and alternative medicine such as massage therapy, aromatherapy, and guided imagery—up from 14 percent in 2000. Physician offices or hospitals are great settings for therapists who want to embrace the physical and emotional challenges of working with patients.
3. Practice at a local health club.
Athletes and active adults often prefer natural modalities like massage therapy over medications because it comes with fewer side-effects. Therefore, many health clubs offer massage services that provide members with a way to recover after a challenging physical workout. Most clubs understand that massage therapy is no longer thought of as just a luxury. In fact, research shows that massage therapy can help improve pain symptoms caused by a variety of musculoskeletal issues.
4. Provide services in a nursing home.
Through massage, therapists help the elderly cope with physical ailments that come with age. Massage may also help patients deal with any depression and anxiety they may be feeling. Often combined with aromatherapy, studies show massage therapy can be especially effective in maintaining mental wellness.
5. Assist doulas and midwives.
As more women choose to give birth naturally, massage therapy is quickly becoming a popular method of pain relief. Massage therapy not only helps decrease pain symptoms but can help relieve mental and physical fatigue. Pregnant women can also benefit from receiving massages throughout their pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Click here to learn more from a recent NUHS graduate who is pursuing this career path.
6. Work with a sports team.
The number is on the rise for athletes who are integrating massage therapy into their training. According to Health & Fitness Magazine, athletes and their coaches have sworn by massage therapy for years. Massage may help to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and make for a faster recovery, which can lead to better athletic performance. It’s no wonder sports teams are taking massage therapy seriously and incorporating them into their routines.
7. Set sail on a cruise ship.
Working on a cruise ship gives you a number of benefits, including free room and board along with the ability to travel inexpensively. People on vacation love to relax (whether that’s by the pool or at the spa). Being trained in various techniques allows you to book more appointments, which will increase your salary. This will vary from ship to ship, but for the most part each massage therapist has a treatment room that is assigned to him or her. Therapists are required to keep up with the cleanliness and preparation of the room itself. The American Massage Therapy Association does an excellent job explaining what is expected of a massage therapist on a cruise ship, the work environment, and any additional responsibilities. Discover what makes this position so unique and appealing!
As you have learned, obtaining your massage therapy license gives you a varied array of great opportunities! Aside from choosing a unique and suitable work environment, choosing this profession allows you the flexibility of work hours and independence –which is rare in most professions today. If you’re interested in starting your journey in massage therapy this year, what are you waiting for? Explore the option of a massage therapy license today!
About the Author
Dr. Patricia Coe