What Are Some Career Options for a Massage Therapist?

A massage therapist has many career options in a variety of settings. Massage therapists provide stress reduction and relaxation techniques. They also work in healthcare to help reduce stress and heal injuries and illnesses. Schools offering Massage Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A massage therapist works in a variety of settings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). A massage therapist can work in both private and public settings, in offices, hospitals, nursing homes, fitness centers, sports medicine facilities, and even shopping malls. A full-time massage therapist often works in several different settings and sets schedules depending on clients and location.

Important Facts About Massage Therapists

Median Salary (2014) $37,180
Entry-level Education Postsecondary non-degree award
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 22%
Similar Occupations Athletic trainers, physical therapists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


There are over 80 different types of massage, called modalities, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, acupressure, sports massage, and neuromuscular massage, along with many others. Many massage therapists will specialize in different modalities, each of which requires a different technique. A massage can last as long as two hours or be as short as 5-10 minutes. This gives aspiring massage therapists the opportunity to work in any type of career they desire.

Relaxation and Stress Reduction

The demand for qualified massage therapists to work in spas, health clubs, hotels, and resorts is on the rise. Spas and resorts often feature techniques such as shiatsu or Swedish massage.

Clinical Therapeutic Massage

Massage therapy is often included in rehabilitation programs after illness or injury. Chiropractors, naturopaths, and other healthcare professionals recommend massage for a variety of illnesses. A massage therapist working in health care should have a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology in order to target problem areas.

Sports Massage

Professional and college athletes often require massage therapy to perform at optimal levels. Massage therapists help keep athletes flexible and in top condition. Massage therapy helps athletes mend quickly after a sports-related injury.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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