Beginning a career as a massage therapist can be a fun, dynamic, and exciting path in the health and wellness industry. Massage therapists are typically self-employed and enjoy autonomy and flexibility while promoting improved health and a higher quality of life for their clients. The average massage therapist who practices professionally in Oklahoma typically works part time and earns an average annual salary of over $29,000. (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319011.htm).
In the State of Oklahoma, there is a current movement to persuade the legislature to imposing education and certification requirements for new professional massage therapists. For this reason, it is important that prospective students first evaluate whether an educational massage program is approved by the Oklahoma Massage Coalition. Schools and institutions that are approved by the Coalition are likely to meet any state-approved education requirements that are may be passed in the near future. Furthermore, these schools provide courses that prepare students to pass the NCBTMB exam to become certified.
After narrowing their selection to only include approved schools, most students will need to consider cost. Tuition and fees vary from institution to institution. Prospective students should contact the financial aid adviser at each school in which the student is interested. Financial aid advisers are able to provide an accurate picture of the different financial aid options that are available at their school, and they may help prospective students understand how much financial for which they may qualify. Adult nontraditional students are more likely to have responsibilities such as a family to care for or a full time job, and they may require a more flexible schedule. These prospective students should compare the course structure of programs that are offered by different institutions. Many schools offer evening, weekend, and possibly online courses to cater to the demands of nontraditional students' schedules.
Potential Career Opportunities
The environments in which massage therapists work can vary from therapist to therapist. Self-employed therapists tend to have the most autonomy and are able to choose to work in virtually any environment on which they and their clients agree. These therapists may travel to their client's location, work from a designated area in their home, or work in hospitals, clinics, and spas. Massage therapists may also be employees, in which case they work for a business that generally provides their work area, equipment, and materials. The business also tends to help with administrative tasks like client booking management and advertising.
Massage clients may vary as much as a therapist's work environment. Some clients simply want to receive a relaxing Swedish massage or foot massage while visiting a spa to receive other health and beauty services. Others may have specific injuries or muscle strain for which they regularly attend massage therapy appointments to address their pain and muscle tension issues. Other clients may utilize massage therapy to manage the symptoms of more chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia. Still others may need massage therapy to heal from a muscle injury or enhance their fitness routine.
Find Your Massage Therapy School
Massage therapists have the freedom of choosing their specialty and the client base with which they would like to work. With so many options and the potential for future growth, massage therapy is an excellent educational course of study for people who enjoy helping others while promoting health and wellbeing. With Massage Register you can find a program that fits your life and helps you achieve your goal of becoming a professional massage therapist.