Many people pursue a career in massage therapy because they have an interest in helping others and desire the dynamic, autonomous work environment practicing massage therapy can bring. Another benefit to working as a massage therapist is the projected growth in the career field. As the healthcare industry becomes more aware of the benefits of massage, job opportunities for therapists are expected to continue to expand. The increase in public awareness about massage therapy's health and wellness benefits has also led to an increase in public demand for massage services. In the State of Illinois, massage therapists earn an average of more than $35,000 each year (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319011.htm).
Those who wish to pursue a career in massage therapy in Illinois are required by law to complete at least 500 hours of coursework at a state-approved institution. Graduates must then pass an exam demonstrating their competency to become certified. Upon becoming certified, aspiring massage therapists must apply for and obtain a license to practice. It is important that prospective students determine before enrolling in a massage program that the institution is recognized by the state as offering an approved program in massage.
Tuition cost is also an important factor for most students. Comparing tuition fees and financial aid options can help students choose a program that offers the best value and is affordable. Adults who work full time and/or have family responsibilities may require flexible scheduling and should compare course structure and scheduling options that are offered by different institutions.
Potential Career Opportunities
Massage therapists may work in an array of environments, and while most are self-employed, licensed massage therapists (LMTs) may also work as employees at larger businesses. Self-employed massage therapists often travel to their clients to provide their services. They are typically responsible for providing their own materials such as a massage table, which may be portable, pillows, oils, and therapeutic tools. These therapists must also handle marketing, client booking, and other administrative tasks. However, being a self-employed massage professional offers the benefit of being able to create a flexible work schedule and having the potential to move around and work in different environments.
Other self-employed therapists may work from a designated area in their home, work as a contractor on the premises of another business, or procure a separate space from which they provide massage services. Massage practitioners may also work for spas, chiropractic clinics, and specialty massage clinics. Advantages to working as an employee at a larger business include having assistance with marketing and procuring clients, having a steady workflow each day, have equipment provided and the potential for a more predictable income, depending on pay structure.
Massage clients vary depending on where a therapist works and the type of massage they decide to perform.
More and more everyday people are opting to utilize massage therapy for postural issues and chronic tension due to the repetitive movements people tend to perform during the course of their job. Elderly clients are finding that massage therapy relieves conditions like arthritis and are increasingly seeking the service of massage therapists. People with painful conditions like fibromyalgia are also finding relief by incorporating massage therapy into their treatment plans. Completing coursework in massage therapy and becoming a certified, licensed therapist can open the door to seemingly endless career paths under the massage therapy umbrella.
Find Your Massage Therapy School
Massage therapy schools in Illinois train people to work in therapeutic massage every day. Naturally, Chicago is one of the most lucrative areas for massage therapy schools in Illinois, but even smaller cities like Springfield or Peoria have a high demand for trained massage practitioners. Massage schools in Illinois can’t seem to get enough students to meet the demand in the state for therapeutic massage therapists. It’s an ideal career for people who enjoy working with others and working with their hands, so if that describes you consider a career in massage therapy.
Traditional students who wish to work in a health-oriented field and adults who are looking for a career change and enjoy promoting healing and wellbeing may find massage therapy to be a field that fits their career interests. With MassageRegister.com you can find the schools near you that can help you advance toward a new career.