Massage Therapists are considered Social careers according to the Strong Interest Inventory® Assessment. This assessment was originally developed in the early 20th century to help job seekers find careers that leverage their occupational interests. This process has two steps. First, the assessment analyzes individuals’ personal preferences, and then it uses the results to direct the individual to one or more of six categories of careers, each of which is characterized by different features. For example, careers in the Social category generally appeal to people who genuinely enjoy caring for others, alleviating physical or emotional pain, and improving their quality of life.

Massage Therapists perform therapeutic massages that relieve tension or pain in clients’ soft tissues and joints. Their work can alleviate certain medical conditions, such as back pain during pregnancy, and quicken recovery after injuries or accidents.

Massage Therapist Salary

Read about a career as a Massage Therapist including information such as a Massage Therapist Salary, daily tasks and other career information.

Massage can also reduce the likelihood of long-term health problems, such as herniated spinal discs or tension due to long hours hunching over a computer screen. Some Massage Therapists work in a professional setting and have their clients travel to them, while others forego the office and instead travel to their clients.

Before they provide treatment, Massage Therapists confer with clients to learn about their medical histories, any acute or chronic pain they may have, and how they think massage will help them. Based on these answers along with an assessment of joint quality, muscle strength, and range of motion, Massage Therapists can develop an appropriate treatment protocol. During the treatment itself, they may apply pressure using their hands, fingers, elbows, and even feet or knees. They may also provide their clients with techniques to improve their posture, stretch, relax or rehabilitate certain joints and muscles. Sometimes, they encourage clients to complete these exercises on their own time. Throughout the healing process, it is important for Massage Therapists to maintain careful records of the kinds of treatments their clients have received. If a Massage Therapist is not able to provide complete care themselves, they may refer clients to other therapists or medical professionals. They may also consult with chiropractors, medical doctors, psychologists and others to provide the best possible care for their clients.

To be successful, Massage Therapists must be able to use many different kinds of massage and therapy equipment. These may include standard equipment, such as bolsters, massage tables, massage chairs, heat lamps, heating and cooling pads, and hand or body lotion and oil. They may also need to use less standard equipment, like electric massagers and even fully body immersion hydrotherapy baths or tanks. In some cases, other rehabilitation equipment may be used. They should also be comfortable with basic software used by any business, including Microsoft Office Suite, email, web browser software and calendar and scheduling software. Some Massage Therapists may also need to be familiar with medical software to keep track of client files and treatment, and to communicate with other care providers.

Most Massage Therapists hold a post-secondary certificate (57%), earned after their high school diploma. However, some only hold a high school diploma (20%) or have completed some college without having earned a degree (10%). They need to have a basic understanding of biology, anatomy and physiology, and need to be able to communicate in English well enough to determine their clients’ needs and, if necessary, communicate those needs to other care providers. That said, a service orientation and drive are the most important factors in success.

Massage Therapists may be used in many industries, including personal care, medicine, and even professional or college sports. Massage Therapist Salary varies around the country, but the national median is just over $41,000 per year. The greatest earning potential is in the Pacific Northwest; in Washington and Oregon, the median salary is over $61,000 per year. However, in Louisiana, the Dakotas and Nevada, the median is closer to $20,000 per year. That said, employment rates are growing rapidly. Florida, Texas, and California are projected to grow at more than 30% in the next decade, adding over 7,000 jobs per year over the next 10 years.

Below are some employment trends for Massage Therapists:

  • Massage Therapist Salary: $19.92 hourly, $41,420 annually
  • Employment: 159,800 employees
  • Projected growth (2018-2028): Average (22%))
  • Projected job openings (2018-2028): 35,400
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections