Who doesn’t love a massage? What could be better than having someone melt all your stress away while you lay there with cucumber over your eyes?
But the application of massage therapy goes way beyond a spa. It is a career with a decent income and a solid future. If you have ever thought about being a massage therapist, here is a list of four things you should know:
A Massage Therapist And A Masseuse Are Not The Same
Although often used interchangeably, a massage therapist’s career path differs from a masseuse’s. The difference between the two is the same as between a cook and a chef. While anyone who cooks can be a cook, it takes special training and qualification to be called a chef.
Massage therapists undergo rigorous training, learning about anatomy, physiology, and different massage techniques. They are qualified to handle your medical complications. In some states, they are even required to have additional training like CPR. After all this, they must pass a licensing exam to work as a massage therapist.
According to California Message Therapy Council, you must fulfill specific criteria to be certified as a massage therapist. These include:
- You need to be 18 years or older
- You need to pass a criminal background check
- You need to attend a minimum of 500 hours of training from a CAMTC-approved school, 100 hours dedicated to learning about anatomy and physiology, health and hygiene, and business and ethics.
Massage Therapy Has Genuine Health Benefits
Massage therapy is a great option for those who want to pursue a career in the healthcare field but don’t think being a doctor or a nurse is for them. Massage therapists are considered allied healthcare workers like dental hygienists or paramedics.
Massage therapy has long been associated with reducing stress and anxiety. It can also help individuals with pain management. Chronic pain and stress build-up can lead to an increase in the level of cortisol in the body.
Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone. Dr. Pete Abaci, MD, points out that the long-term elevation in cortisol levels can cause many problems, including suppression of the immune system.
Massage helps with pain and stress management by lowering cortisol levels in the body. Although no definitive research has been published, early studies indicate that regular massages can help strengthen the immune system.
Massage therapy is not something only spas use to help people relax. It has genuine medical applications, and many hospitals employ massage therapists to help cancer patients and people struggling with pain management.
The Massage Therapy Job Market Is Growing Much Faster Than Average
The US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) reports that the job market for massage therapy is expected to grow at a rate of 20% per annum from 2021 to 2031. It is much higher than the average expected rate of growth across all sectors of the US job market, which is around 5%.
The demand for massage therapists has increased due to increased awareness of the health benefits of massage therapy. Massage therapists are in high demand in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings. Many prominent healthcare providers have also started including massage therapy as part of their plans. The fact that more and more massage therapists are now licensed also inspires trust among possible clients.
Massage Therapists Make A Decent Income
We often think of massage therapy as more of a menial employment. But that is an outdated notion and not how things stand now. According to BLS, the average annual wage for massage therapists is $49,260. This is much higher than the average annual wage of other healthcare support occupations combined, which is $33,330. The data also states that the top 10% of massage therapists make over $77,600 annually.
The wage will only increase as the massage therapy industry gets more formalized and its popularity increases among the general populous.
If you are still deciding on a career, massage therapy is a good one to consider. The pay is decent, and the bar for entry is not high. You should especially consider this if you find joy in helping other people and want to work in the healthcare industry but don’t have the means to attend medical school.