Massage Therapist Jobs

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One of the benefits of becoming a licensed massage therapist is the variety of work settings in which you can work.  With the tremendous growth that the massage therapy industry is seeing, you can expect to find employment in private and public establishments.  As an added bonus, you even have the opportunity to become self-employed and run your own massage therapy business.

Massage therapists are frequently employed in spas.  Spas can be located in many places, to include day spas, hotel and destination resort spas.  You may be wondering if the spa environment is right for you or, what is it like to work in a spa environment.  One thing you’ll need to keep in mind as it relates to working in a spa is the fact that having a loyal client base may not be possible.  When someone makes an appointment at a spa, they often times want service when they want it.  If you aren’t working that day (remember, many massage therapists work part-time), they could potentially schedule their massage services with the first available masseuse.  Also, for those persons just passing through (in the case of a destination resort spa), you probably won’t see that client again.

As a masseuse, you can find employment in a doctor’s office.  Working in a doctor’s office, chances are high that you can build and maintain a loyal client base.  Your experience as a massage therapist working in a doctor’s office can be heavily influenced by that doctor.  They set the pay, hours, and other expectations.  Find a great doctor and you’ll possibly have a great experience.  Also, depending on the doctor, you may be able to take advantage of some great perks.  Some benefits to working for a doctor include discounted or free services (such as chiropractic care if you work for a chiropractor).  Also, keep in mind that the type of massage needed for chiropractic services are more intense and physically demanding than that needed in a spa.

Fitness centers often employ massage therapists.  Working in a fitness center, you can help clients reduce spasms and cramping, allowing for them to have a better physical fitness experience.  You can help people prepare for, and  recover from, strenuous workouts.  Many times, when people go to a gym or fitness center, they do not properly stretch before and after their workout.  This can lead to problems with their muscles, which will ultimately affect their physical fitness routine.  As a licensed masseuse, you can help to relax and soften overused muscles.  Fitness centers can be free standing (like a commercial gym) or a part of a office building.  For those gyms that are located in office buildings, you can provide services to employees who may be experiencing discomfort by being seated in front of a computer for 8 hours each day.  It’s not uncommon for employees to have back and neck problems as a result of their office environment (chairs, desk location, computer position, etc.).

Hospitals employ massage therapists for many of the same reasons other environments needs therapists: stress reduction and relief from pain.  Since a hospital is a clinical environment, massage therapists who work in this setting don’t have to worry about making decisions that are clinically based.  In a hospital, you’ll be working with patients, not clients, who may or may not be critically ill or dying.  Also, you may not be able to have a predictable and comfortable atmosphere to work in.  In a hospital, you may have to perform services on the patient in their hospital bed where you might not have control over the lighting or noise.  Being that a hospital is a hectic environment, you’ll need to make sure you’re capable of walking into a room and not crying.  This is simply a result of some of the things you’re likely to see and come across in a hospital.  You will also want to ensure you have good interpersonal skills, seeing as how you’ll be working with different types of people.

Did you know that as a massage therapist, you can find work on cruise ships?  That’s right.  How would you like to work while sailing the seas of the Caribbean or Alaska?  Well, before you pack your bags, you’ll need to know that working on a cruise ship isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  You will more than likely have to work very long hours, potentially up to 16 hours per day.  If you’re anticipating a substantial portion of your money coming from tips, you might want to think twice.  Cruises can be expensive.  After they’ve paid for the cruise, and then the tip, the client may or may not want to shell out more money for a tip.  Now, don’t let this deter you.  As with most environments, your experience will vary.  One of the perks is that you’ll be able to travel the world while saving money, since you won’t have to incur extensive living expenses.

Sports teams need licensed massage therapists to treat athletes.  Depending on the sports industry, you can be hired as a staff therapist or work with that organization as a local therapist on an as-needed basis.  Working with athletic trainers to treat athletes, you may come across trainers who aren’t “sold” on the therapeutic value of massage therapy.  But, don’t let this deter you.  Depending on how you are employed by the sports organization, you may have to travel with the team, which would allow you to deliver services on a consistent basis.  Acquiring advanced training will allow you to assess tissue and treat it appropriately.

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Many companies and organizations realize the importance of their employees maintaining good health.  As a result of this, it is becoming common to find on-site massage services.  This type of massage, often referred to as corporate massage, is becoming a popular employee incentive.  By having the employer offer this service, work-related injuries can be greatly reduced.  Offering employees a weekly massage can do wonders in increasing employee concentration, immunity, and flexibility.  As a massage therapist that performs on-site therapy, you will have to travel with your equipment.  If you provide corporate massages, you will properly travel with a portable chair and provide massage therapy over the clothes.  You will benefit by specializing in an acupressure-type of massage, one that will allow you to apply an adequate amount of pressure over clothing.

Perhaps you want to combine your business experience with your career in massage therapy and work for yourself.  There are many massage therapists that are self-employed.  Working for yourself, you’ll be in control of every aspect of the services you provide.  The competition and licensing requirements can be daunting but there are tips you can follow to ensure you are able to get your business started successfully.  Make sure you thoroughly review the massage therapist licensing requirements for your state.  Once you have satisfied those requirements to become a licensed massage therapist in your state, check with local small business development office to ensure you complete the proper licensing and registration forms for your business.  To perform your massage services, you won’t need a great deal of space.  Check out offices that have small rooms available for lease or rent.  If possible, perhaps a small room in your home could suffice.  Depending upon the services you offer, you may prefer to travel to your clients, performing therapy in their homes or offices.  As an entrepreneur, you will be responsible for purchasing your own equipment and supplies.  Once this is done, it’s time to promote.  You’ll be best served by creating a website, fliers, brochures, and business cards to promote your business.

Deciding to become a massage therapist is a great career choice.  There are many places where you can practice the art of touch, be it in a public or private setting.  You also have option of becoming an entrepreneur and opening up your own massage therapy practice.  The possibilities are endless with a career as a massage therapist.