Becoming a massage therapist is a rewarding career for many people who are interested in helping people physically and emotionally. Message therapists can work in a variety of places, from established salons to their own private practices. Many also take advantage of scheduling liberties and work only part time or schedule appointments for particular times of the day. Many massage therapists enjoy the fulfillment they get from their work, the joy that their patients have in seeing them, and the ability to help their clients relax and feel better.
To be a successful massage therapist, it is important to find a reputable and accredited school to learn both the art of massage and also to learn how to work successfully with clients and be able to meet their needs. Many adult learners look for programs that allow them the time to study while still tending to their other duties and responsibilities, such as jobs and family. Fortunately, there are schools in Maryland that offer schedules for adult learners that are tailored around these needs, such as evening classes and flexible scheduling. Different institutions also offer financial aid packages to help cover tuition, and those that worry about the high cost of school should definitely look for these packages when investigating schools.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapy is a rapidly expanding field, with an expected growth rate of 20 percent over the next several years, thanks to the increasing number of massage clinics and spas. Massage therapists earn more than $35,000 on average annually. It is interesting to note that only 25 percent work full time, but since most work by appointment, the number of hours worked each week can vary widely. In Maryland, the average salary of a massage therapist is slightly above the national average at $39,000.
Potential Career Opportunities
Massage therapists work in a variety of environments. Approximately 60 percent work in their own personal businesses, where they can choose their own schedules, appointments, and services provided. About 18 percent work in personal care services, five percent in offices of chiropractors, four percent in various traveler accommodations, such as hotels and motels, and two percent in fitness and recreational sports centers. They can also work in public areas, such as shopping malls, or private offices.
Many massage therapists choose to work for themselves. This can take a variety of forms. Some will elect to buy portable materials, such as a collapsible massage table or chair as well as other needed materials such as blankets and oils. These therapists can then make house calls to visit their clients. Others will set up an office either in their home or in a building and have clients come in for appointments.
Massage therapists can also select the type of cliental they will work with. For example, some choose to specialize with pregnant women or athletes. They can help relieve tension and relax muscles. Athletes may need assistance with recovery following workouts or relaxing before competitions. Pregnant women often deal with back pain and other aches related to their pregnancy, especially as they get close to the birth. Massage can also help them relax and remain comfortable throughout the nine months.
Massage therapists can also work with those recovering from injuries and going through physical rehabilitation. They help to work the muscles and promote recovery and alleviate soreness. Others choose to work simply with those who are looking to relax and relieve their personal tension. People deal with considerable stress in their daily lives and many appreciate occasional or regular massages to help them relax.
Find Your Massage Therapy School
If you are ready to take the next step toward a career in massage therapy, use our directory to find programs in your area.