The career journey to becoming a competent and successful massage therapist professional who can later run a successful business requires an elaborate plan, effort, and commitment.
Start by exploring massage therapy career options to help you set your goals. Discovering various career options will help you focus more on the skills required for your end goals.
The educational requirements to pursue a massage therapy profession varies from one region or state to another.
You need a high school diploma or its equivalent (check equivalent with your state) for admission into a massage therapist program.
You need at least 500 hours of combined coursework and hands-on practical skills to complete a massage therapy program for most studies.
Note: Some programs may need 1000 hours to complete your coursework and practical skills.
You need three steps to become a massage therapist:
Step 1: Successfully complete both coursework and practical massage training via a state or nationally accredited institution.
Step 2: Pass your state or regional massage therapist licensing examination.
Step 3: Apply for your massage therapist license within the region or state your purpose to practice.
Examine your interests through the eyes of massage therapy clients. Otherwise, what benefit would it be to you if you’re interested in something your clients aren’t interested in?
Primarily, the common reasons clients seek massage services include relaxation/stress reduction, papering/special occasion, just to feel good, soreness/stiffness/spasm, pain relief/management, keep fit/healthy/wellness, injury recovery/rehabilitation, sports conditioning, control headaches, pregnancy/prenatal.
Here are massage specialty techniques by category and you can specialize in one or more:
Pediatric and pregnancy massage: This massage therapy practice involves supporting pregnant women and infants.
Geriatric, palliative care, and oncology massage: Massage therapists in these areas support patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer.
Structural bodywork massages: Pursuing this massage specialty will enable you to serve clients with dysfunction and injuries resulting from biomechanical and posture tension.
Sports massage: Specializing in sports massage equips you with skills to boost endurance and flexibility, increase recovery rate, treat and effectively prevent injuries.
Therapeutic massage: These are relaxation massages treating tension and anxiety, improve sleep patterns, and promoting wellbeing.
Remedial massage: A specialty in remedial massage helps in injury and pain management, and assist in rehabilitation.
Tip: Align your massage therapy interests to meet the needs of your client target.
The setting is where you would like to offer your services. It could be at your client’s home, your office, your home, spa or salon, client’s workplace, chiropractic office or integrated health care clinic, massage therapy only franchise or chain, health club or athletic facility, hospital/medical office, or clinic, or hotel/resort/cruise.
Tip: The top 5 places where consumers go massage therapy include spas, massage therapist’s office or location, massage franchise or chain, hotel/resort/cruise, and beauty salons.
What massage practice are you pursuing?
Your massage therapist career path training should align with the massage practice you purpose to pursue.
You could either work as a solo practitioner, work for establish massage business, or start your own business. Let your choice guide you decide on the training route that will best match your interests.
If your goal, for instance, is to open a massage business and employ other therapists, then your training program should emphasize entrepreneurship skills.
Tip: Most therapists start their careers working as employees for some years to build experience before becoming solopreneurs or business owners.
Specialized studies, certificate, diploma, and degree level are the most common study levels of massage therapy study programs. Whereas a massage therapy certificate can equip you with the basic skills you may want to take on diploma studies for more advanced studies.
You can also go for specialized massage therapy studies from accredited bodies where they offer the program skills. In either case, you will need a certification exam as required in some states.
Once you start practicing as a massage therapy professional, Appointment Reminder helps you schedule appointments with your clients and send them SMS text reminders to increase the appointment attendance rate.