Careers in Massage Therapy
Helping you Become a Registered Massage Therapist
Massage therapists have many opportunities to practice in a variety of settings. Your options include, but aren't limited to:
Private practice - Massage therapists with an entrepreneurial bent may choose to go into business for themselves by opening their own clinic. A clinic owner / practitioner may also choose to hire additional therapists, or allow them to practice under one roof for a fee. Private practice is an option for a therapist with an interest in business.
Multidisciplinary clinics - It can make sense for a massage therapist to team up with other health professionals. The result can be a full-service clinic, a kind of one-stop-shop for alternative healthcare. Or the options can be restricted to massage, but offer different styles of massage.
Spas and holistic centers - Spas are increasingly a revenue source for massage therapists. Many high-end spas offer packages that include massage therapy. Being on retainer with a spa can be extremely lucrative for a massage therapist.
Doctors' or chiropractors' offices - Massage therapy can be a complement to traditional medicine, as well as chiropractic medicine.
Rehabilitation centers - Massage can be a useful adjunct to healing. For that reason, massage therapists may find employment opportunities at rehabilitation centers.
Nursing homes or hospitals - Massage is an increasingly common therapy for the elderly or sick. Some therapists specialize in these areas. One of the challenges with doing massage in a nursing home is getting past the reticence of people who have never experienced massage before.
Health clubs or fitness facilities - These opportunities vary widely. Becoming associated with a high-end club could be a terrific opportunity, while being associated with a budget facility might be a waste of time. It's unlikely that a massage therapist would be hired by one of these facilities on a full-time basis, but it may be worthwhile fostering reciprocal relationships with a number of fitness clubs in the therapist's area.
Sports teams or sports medicine clinics - Nice work if you can get it. Professional teams have massive budgets, and a lot of them have a sports massage therapist either on retainer or working for them full-time. They can pay top dollar, but they will also expect the best, both in terms of availability and professionalism. Sports medicine clinics are in much the same league. Most of their services are being retained by professional athletes or amateur athletes with promise and good insurance. A sports medicine clinic can be very rewarding - financially, yes, but also in terms of job satisfaction.
On site massage in the workplace - Many therapists in private practice find this to be a good way to top up their income. Massage is increasingly being offered as a work perk by employers. Some employers foot the whole bill, while others pay a portion. This method will require some leg work as you build connections and relationships with potential employers.
Some massage therapists have portable tables to do house calls - There are therapists who only do this kind of work. It takes a particular kind of personality to be able to spend all day traveling from location to location, while also being able to project relaxed confidence in a client's home. But if you have what it takes, this can be a low-cost way to start an independent business.
Massage therapists may work as:
- Self-employed practitioners
- Salaried or commissioned employees
- Independent contractors
- In private or group offices
Looking for a massage school? Check out our full list of massage therapy schools for a curriculum near you!