Massage Therapist

By: Nicole Griffin

Job Description

Help people by using their hands to touch and move the soft-tissue of muscles around the alleviate pain. Not only does this help relieve pain but it also helps improve circulation throughout the body, help rehab injuries and just help with the general wellness of a patient.

Certifications Necessary to Practice

After the completion of a massage therapy program you will need to get licensed. To be licensed you will need to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) and the National Board for Therapeutic Message and Bodywork (NCBTMB). To be able to practice you need 500 hours of clinical time. With this you will need to pass a background check to be eligible to practice. Many states insist on continuing their education credits to remain eligible throughout the years.

Daily Activities

In a typical meeting with a patient a massage therapist would talk with the patient about medical history and symptoms they are experiencing along with what they wish to get out of the message. From this information a massage therapist will asses the patient to locate any painful or tight areas of the body. From there a massage therapist will massage or work and rub muscles and other soft tissue of the body. After the massage the therapist will guide the patient with stretching and other exercises to keep their body relaxed and to also improve posture.

Education Requirements

To become a massage therapist you need to have a high school diploma of the equivalent of one. This will allow your acceptance into a massage therapy program. In the classroom you will be taking anatomy and kinesiology classes, kinesiology, pathology and then business management and ethics. To prepare yourself for these classes you could take introductory classes in high school. These programs will prepare you take the exams to certify yourself into becoming a message therapist.

Pay Day, What is the average income?

The medium annual wage for a massage therapist is around $36,000. Depending on where you work and how often you work a massage therapist has the potential to earn up to $70,000 a year. Some massage therapists get paid by the hour while others have a set rate and collect tips as well. Therapist do not usually work full time, most of them work part time about one to three time a week.

What skills are necessary to be successful at this job?

Some important qualities to have to be a successful message therapist would be your communication skills, decision-making skills, empathy and physical strength and stamina. It is important to be physically fit and strong to hold this job because you can be working with several patients a day and they will need to stay on their feel and stay strong to keep working the muscles of the patient correctly. It is important to have good communication skills as you will encounter many different patients in a day and you will need to listen carefully and understand what the patient wants to get from the massage and where the patient is feeling pain or stiffness. From there good decision-making skills will help you to evaluate how to best treat your patient. It is important to make sure the patient has a good experience and feels comfortable around you so if they ever want another massage they come back to you.

Practice Settings: Where would you work?

There are several locations where a massage therapist might work. Some of those places might be:

· Massage office

· In home office

· Physician office

· Franchises

· Hospitals

· Nursing homes/hospices

· Health clubs and fitness centers

· Sports teams and events

· Hotels

· Spas and resorts

· Salons

· Cruise ships

Job Outlook

The projected employment in 2022 is 162,800, which is a growth of 23 percent. More states are adopting the licensing and standards, which will make the occupation of physical therapy more respected and accepted.

So you want to be a Massage Therapist


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Massage Therapists,
on the Internet at (visited January 14, 2015).

Starting a Career in Massage Therapy: What You Need to Know. (n.d.). Retrieved from