A career in massage therapy offers numerous benefits for those who work in the field. Massage therapy is an exciting area that offers several capacities in which therapists may practice their skills. Providing massage services to clients yields the satisfaction of helping people improve their lives and health. Furthermore, the massage therapy field has seen rapid growth in the past few years and is expected to continue to grow. In the State of Arkansas, massage therapists earn an average of more than $30,000 each year. (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319011.htm)
Most therapists work part time, and their careers often afford them the flexibility of creating their own schedule. When taking the necessary steps to become a professional massage therapist, the first task is to find a reputable, properly accredited school or institute that offers a program in massage therapy. Massage therapists in Arkansas are required to be certified and licensed. Therefore, massage therapy students must complete a state mandated amount of coursework at a school that is approved by the state.
After graduating from a recognized massage therapy program, students must pass the MBLEx exam to become certified followed by the Arkansas Law Exam and a 150-question test covering Physiology and Anatomy to obtain a license to practice. Other factors students should consider when deciding on a school are cost and curriculum structure. Tuition fees vary from school to school. By contacting the financial aid offices of the state-approved schools that are of interest, students may speak with a financial aid adviser to determine what types of financial aid are available and how much aid the student may be qualified to receive.
Adult students with family and full time job responsibilities may benefit from looking into a program that offers flexible scheduling to allow the student to schedule coursework to be completed around work and family time.
Potential Career Opportunities
Massage therapists work in a variety of environments. Some therapists do sport massage and may work at physical therapy or sports medicine facilities. Therapists who perform sport massage may do so as a supplement to enhance an athlete's performance or to rehabilitate an athlete after sustaining injury. Other facilities in which massage therapists may work include spas, hospitals, and chiropractic or massage clinics. These therapists may be staff members or independent contractors.
Self-employed therapists may travel to their client's location to provide services, or they may provide services in a designated area within their home. Still other self-employed therapists secure an outside space in which they set up their own independent business. Massage clients may also vary. Some clients may be retirement or nursing home residents who need massage to help manage common ailments like arthritis and other joint or muscular conditions. People with conditions like fibromyalgia may regularly utilize massage therapy as part of ongoing symptom management.
Healthy everyday people also may book a massage appointment simply to relax or to address tension and muscle soreness that may be caused by common posture issues or repetitive movements that are required throughout the course of an average person's workday. Some massage therapists also work at fitness centers and provide services to people who may want to relieve muscle soreness after a workout.
Find Your Massage Therapy School
The benefits of massage are seemingly endless, and for that reason, the massage field is one that is projected to continue to grow and provide more employment opportunities for professional massage therapists. Use our directory of school listings in your area to make sure you choose a program that fits your schedule and will help you achieve your career goals.