A career in massage therapy can be exciting and filled with advantages and opportunities. Massage therapists are typically self-employed and enjoy the autonomy of running their own business. They may work with an array of clients to help bring healing and an improved quality of life to people who are in pain or simply need to implement better methods of stress management. In Kentucky, massage therapists earn an average yearly salary of more than $38,000 (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319011.htm).
Massage therapists who wish to practice professionally in Kentucky are required to have completed 600 hours of massage therapy education at a school that offers a state approved massage therapy program. License applicants must also pass a certification exam before being granted a license to practice in the state. For this reason, it is imperative that individuals who have no prior experience as a massage therapist enroll in a program that is offered by a school that is approved by the state.
Cost is another important consideration in choosing a school at which to study massage therapy. Prospective students should contact the financial aid adviser at schools in which they are interested to determine the different types of financial aid each institution offers. The financial aid adviser can also help prospective students understand how much aid they are likely qualified to receive. Adult students who work full time or those who may have the responsibility of supporting a family should research programs that offer flexible scheduling. Nontraditional adult students may be able to take evening, weekend, and even online courses to better accommodate their busy schedule.
Potential Career Opportunities
Massage therapists work in a variety of environments. While most professionals are self-employed, some work as employees at spas, fitness centers, chiropractic offices, and massage clinics. Benefits of working as an employee include the possibility of more predictable income, depending on pay arrangement, the provision of work area, supplies, and equipment, and having assistance with tasks like attracting new clients and managing client bookings. Self-employed therapists tend to enjoy more autonomy as they are able to set their own work schedules.
However, those who are self-employed are typically required to arrange their own work space by working from a designated area within their home, securing an outside work area, or traveling to the client's location. Self-employed therapists are also responsible for obtaining and maintaining equipment and supplies, and they must also handle administrative tasks like managing client bookings and marketing their practice. Massage clients are just as varied as the environments in which massage therapists work.
Massage therapists may work with elderly clients who need massage therapy as a means of managing achy joints and other conditions. Pregnant clients require a therapist who is qualified to do specialized pregnancy massage, which can be helpful in easing the discomfort that is commonly associated with pregnancy. Massage therapists who work in a fitness center may see everyday clients who utilize massage therapy to manage an injury or to enhance their fitness regimen. Spa clients often have the primary goal of achieving relaxation.
Find Your Massage Therapy School
With the ability to work with clients from all walks of life, massage therapists enjoy a dynamic career that is not only rewarding for the massage therapist, but for the clients as well. Use our directory to find and compare schools in your area.