Massage therapy can be a flexible, rewarding career that offers the satisfaction of autonomy and helping clients heal and experience an improved quality of life. In California, licensed massage therapists (LMT) earn over $38,000 yearly on average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the road to becoming a massage professional over time has varied, today the first step for most aspiring massage practitioners is to enroll in a massage school. The State of California has established a governing certification body, the CAMTC, which oversees statewide certification and determines the credibility of massage therapy school programs.
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding which massage school to attend is to ensure that only those programs which offer credentials that are recognized and accepted by the CAMTC are considered. Enrolling in a program that is not recognized by CAMTC presents a greater likelihood that graduates will have difficulty obtaining state certification.
In addition, prospective students should consider tuition cost and whether financial aid is available. Adult learners may wish to look into massage therapy programs that offer greater schedule flexibility to accommodate working full time and supporting a family. After completing an approved educational program in massage therapy, candidates in California are required to successfully complete an exam to obtain certification.
Potential Career Opportunities
You can have a lucrative career as a massage therapist in California. There is always high demand for skilled and well paid massage therapists in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and other metropolitan areas, but someone with top quality training from one of the massage therapy schools in California can make a good living in the field anywhere in the state. In fact, Napa and Santa Rosa-Petaluma are two of the top five metropolitan areas concentrated with massage therapists. Not to mention that Chico is the second highest paying metropolitan area in the nation for massage therapists, according to Salary.com. Massage therapy schools in California are known for providing exceptional education and training. With higher demand for massage therapists, massage therapy schools in California can help you get started on a successful career path.
The work environment of massage therapists can be greatly varied. Some practitioners work in spas and salons, where many of their materials may be provided, clients are more easily obtained, and the spa or salon may help with advertising. A downside to working in this environment is the therapist may be required to work more fixed schedule in a static environment. Many therapists open their own business and travel to clients' homes or offices.
Other therapists are able to rent a space and open a small massage clinic where clients may come to them. Those who start their own business are typically 100 percent responsible for purchasing and maintaining their own materials, marketing, and handling administrative tasks like appointment management. Still other therapists work in physical therapy clinics to rehabilitate clients with injuries, or they may work on staff at chiropractic clinics to offer soft tissue manipulation services.
Like the environments in which therapists work, massage clients are also varied. Depending on whether or not a massage therapist specializes, he or she may see clients who are elderly and are seeking relief from conditions like arthritis, athletes who are looking to enhance their athletic performance or rehab from an injury, everyday people who need to remedy the strain their bodies experience as a result of working a sedentary job, and people who just simply want to relax and enjoy a tranquil environment. Becoming an LMT can open the door to a dynamic career that enables the ability to work with people from all walks of life while helping them experience a better life through improved health and well-being.
Find Your Massage Therapy School
With Massage Register, you have a resource for finding massage therapy schools in your area. You can easily search and contact as many programs as you like to compare the benefits of each one. Take the next step forward in your career as a professional massage therapist!