Becoming a licensed massage therapist (LMT) affords you plenty of opportunities for work, good pay, and the satisfaction of directly helping people. Massage therapists may work in a spa to help people relax, work on a sports team to keep athletes in top shape, or work with a chiropractor or physical therapist to assist with important rehabilitation programs for injured patients. You may even find yourself working on a cruise ship, seeing the world while giving massages to people on board. But before you can pursue any of these career choices, you must complete in-classroom training and pass a national exam. A massage therapy school trains you how to become a massage professional and prepares you for the test you must pass to obtain a license.
Massage therapists in Maine must complete 500 hours of training at a state-approved school. The first thing you must look at when searching for a school is whether their program is accredited. Once you find schools near you that are accredited, you should next consider their flexibility and financial aid options. Some schools have night classes; many have weekend options. You may find a school with an accelerated program that allows you to spend all day in class for a week or two and complete a course that would take months doing another way.
Potential Career Opportunities
Massage therapists in Maine make a pretty decent living on average. The median annual salary in May 2012 was $43,390. The top 10 percent of massage practitioners made upwards of $81,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of massage therapist jobs is also increasing. The bureau estimates the industry growth rate to be 20 percent for between 2010 and 2020, making this a great time to start your education. A massage therapy program may only take you a year to complete, depending on how much time you can spend in school. National exams are offered frequently, so you could conceivably begin making money as a massage therapist very quickly.
There are several environments in which you work after you receive your education. You always have the option to open your own place someday, though there may be stricter licensing, education, and insurance requirements in your county to consider. Surpassing the basic 500 hours of training could get you a higher salary as well. Specializing in an area of massage, such as sports massage, prenatal massage, or hot stone massage, may enable you to charge more for your services as well. This should be a major factor when you look for a school because schools offer different specialty training.
Find Your Massage Therapy School
The short time you spend researching the best massage school for you can pay off with a more convenient work schedule, higher pay after graduation, and more manageable education costs. Most schools have counselors that can answer your specific questions as well. With our online directory of programs in Maine, you can start comparing the programs that work with your schedule and will help you achieve your goals.