If you’ve ever wanted to get into the massage profession as a massage therapist there are a series of (How to become a massage therapist) steps a to take that will help you join this growing industry.
More and more people are incorporating massage therapy and chiropractic services into their overall health program as a way to beat stress, stop chronic pain, have more energy, and just feel good. By positioning yourself as a professional in the field you are giving yourself the best chance of success.
Step 1 – Education is Key
There’s no natural-born masseuse or masseur. Anyone that is skilled in this area has learned it either through lots of practice or a combination of study and practice. There are many massage therapy schools throughout the country that will teach you different styles and techniques for how to properly administer a therapeutic massage.
Because there are so many forms of massage, such as shiatsu and acupressure, it’s important to learn a variety of styles so that you can adapt to each client and have many tools in your tool belt so to speak. A working knowledge of the muscular structure of humans, and the pressure points throughout the body is also recommended.
Some might say that practicing alone can teach you how to give a massage, but it’s the science behind the practice that makes for a top-quality massage therapist. By taking an academic approach backed by real-world application you are increasing your depth of knowledge going beyond the average and mediocre, and establishing yourself as a true expert.
How to become a Massage Therapist:
Step 2 – Hands on Training is Necessary
While you may be able to take an anatomy course online, as well as learn about the different massage techniques from a book, you’ll eventually need to apply what you’ve learned on an actual human. Don’t enroll in a school that promises a 100% online degree. You’ll find it harder to locate an employer that will hire someone with no practical experience. Find a program that includes several hours of hands-on training so that you can practice what you learn in books and get feedback from an instructor.
The more real practice you get the better you’ll fare in this competitive field. A lot of your business will be based on repeat clients and referrals. When word gets around that you’re the best you’ll see yourself become more in demand. This all starts with the confidence you’ll gain from learning in a practice setting where you’re allowed to make mistakes.
Step 3 – Get Certified
Certification is important as it distinguishes you as a professional and not just someone that can give a good massage. You’ll be able to work on your own or in offices around the world by being certified. It’s an important step, and although it’s optional, it’s highly recommended if you’re serious about making this your career.
Step 4 – Decide on How and Where You’ll Work
As a massage therapist you have several choices on how you’ll earn your money, and where you’ll earn it from. Unlike some jobs that require you to stay in one place, this position gives you mobility and the freedom to work for yourself. You can start your own massage business, or work spa and salon jobs almost anywhere in the world. Few jobs give you the freedom like massage therapy does.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a Massage Therapist?
Each massage therapy career is dependent upon the individual. It’s really a lifelong process of learning, as there is always something new to learn that will make you better at your job. The minimal time we’d suggest would be one year, and that would require intense focus and lots of effort. Take a long-term approach and always be learning new methods to provide better and better service to your clients.
How much do Massage Therapists earn?
The massage therapist salary is about $40,000-$50,000 per year. This is if you are working in an office setting and are paid by the hour or weekly salary. If you are running your own business you could make much more, or much less. Also, depending on where you’re located this figure could be substantially higher or lower based on the cost of living in that area.
What if I don’t like touching strangers?
It’s common for those starting out in the massage therapy world to be a little taken aback by having to place their hands all over someone they’ve just met. Your instructor will give you advice on how to prepare yourself before each massage, and how to get over this awkward feeling. Practicing helps, and will allow you to jump this hurdle in a more relaxed setting so that you won’t be embarrassed with an actual client.
A Word of Caution
Being a Massage Therapist is not easy. Many students think that they will be able to pass their classes and certification with ease and be making big money in a short time. While it’s true that some programs only take 6 months you have to be prepared for long days on your feet and the tough work of kneading people’s muscles all day. It’s no cake walk and will require that you enjoy helping others feel better.