Everything You Need to Know About Working as a Massage Therapist

massage therapistDo you want a rewarding career where you can see the result of your work on a daily basis?

Do you love making people feel better?

If so, you may want to consider what it would be like to work as a licensed massage therapist.

Working as a Licensed Massage Therapist

It may seem that working as a massage therapist would be a pretty straightforward job, but there’s actually a lot of variety in this field.

Take, for example, all the different places you could work. Here are just some of the most popular options:

  • Beauty Salons
  • Cruise Ships
  • Day and Health Spas
  • Fitness Centers
  • Health Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Retreat Centers
  • Senior Centers
  • Sports Clinics
  • Sports Teams
  • Resorts

You can specialize in different techniques or treatments like deep tissue massage, hot and cold stone massage, massage for special populations such as sports and prenatal, aromatherapy, reflexology, hydrotherapy and spa services, or advanced massage techniques including deep tissue and myofascial release.

You could also go into business for yourself.  You could run your own business focusing on the techniques, treatments, and customers that you want to pursue and working the hours that best fit your day.

If you think this is the career for you, then contact us today and we’ll give you even more information about our certification programs and how they’ll set you up for success.

A Day in the Life of a Licensed Massage Therapist

How you spend your days as a licensed massage therapist will depend largely on which one of those settings you decide on (there are plenty of other options, too).

For example, if you work at a gym or hotel, that’s where you’ll be reporting every day. You may be one of many massage therapists or you may be the only one. In either case, you will most likely report to a manager at some point, but if you’re the sole therapist on staff, you’ll also be in charge of organizing your daily schedule.

As we touched on earlier, one of the things that a lot of massage therapists find most attractive about this work is how much variety it can entail. You may decide to work at a spa full-time but also keep a list of your own private clients on the side for an extra income.

You could also work at events (e.g. golf or grappling tournaments, marathons, etc.) every now and then on the weekends.

No matter what, though, working as a massage therapist will always involve applying your skills to help people feel better. Where and when you do this is up to you.

Is Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist Right for You?

Everyone loves receiving massages, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should give them as a career. Even if you’ve enjoyed giving massages to your loved ones in the past, you may discover that working as a therapist isn’t necessarily a good fit.

Here are the three parts of the job you should consider first.

1. It’s Physically Demanding

You might not know it when you see an experienced massage therapist do their job, but the work is actually very physically demanding.

For one thing, you’ll be standing the entire time, often leaning over somebody, which takes a little more effort from the lower back.

Then, of course, there’s the actual massage.

As a licensed massage therapist, you will be working for hours at a time. For some clients, this will only require 15-minute massages but other sessions will last for an hour or more.

In general, expect that you’ll spend 4 to 6 hours massaging your clients with 10-minute breaks in between. That should give you a good idea of the physical work involved.

There’s a reason most massage therapists are in great shape. If you’ve struggled with manual labor in the past, this is something you’ll want to think about before trying to enter the field. Most therapists go to great lengths to keep themselves healthy outside the job so they’re able to continue working without difficulty.

2. You Need People Skills

The vast majority of your clients will relish the opportunity to lie or sit down and not say a word for the entirety of their session. They’ll simply relax as you make them feel amazing.

That said, you’ll be much more successful with this career if you’re good with people.

For one thing, you need to help your clients relax when they first arrive. Some will be receiving a professional massage for the first time.

You’ll also want to encourage them to give you feedback. Providing the perfect massage relies on knowing about where the client needs the most attention and any trouble areas to avoid. The more they feel as though their input is being appreciated, the more they’ll enjoy the experience.

3. You’re Solely Responsible for How Much You Make

Being a licensed massage therapist isn’t like most jobs – for a lot of reasons. One of these is that you have so much control over how much you make.

For many therapists, this is part of the attraction. They have a very flexible schedule and can decide when they want to see clients and how much to charge. Therefore, the amount they make is largely up to them.

There isn’t always this much freedom, of course. If you work for a business, they’ll set your hours, but you can add more on your own time, if you like.

People who are motivated, “self-starters” tend to do really well as licensed massage therapists. If you’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit, learning massage can give you the outlet you need to exercise this urge.

How to Become a Licensed Massage Therapist

Learning to become a licensed massage therapist requires a formal education process. At IntelliTec, you can train to become a licensed massage therapist in as little as 9 months.

Every state has laws regarding massage, which will mean passing some type of exam before receiving your license.  In Colorado, you will need to pass both a written and practical hands-on exam that ensures you have the knowledge to effectively and safely provide massage therapy to your clients. In order to test, you’ll need to show proof that you completed schooling that meets the state-mandated requirements.

Of course, this type of education process will also ensure you have the skills necessary to go out and compete for the kinds of jobs you want.

Although every curriculum is different, at the best schools, you can count on:

  • Receiving hands-on massage training with advanced massage techniques including deep tissue and myofascial release
  • Receiving a massage equipment kit at the beginning of the program, so you have everything you need to complete the program
  • Recognizing the importance of interpersonal communication for retaining clients and marketing to grow your list of customers
  • Benefiting from hands-on instruction provided by licensed massage therapists with years of industry experience.
  • Participating in community projects where your newly-learned skills will be recognized and valued
  • Preparing to sit for your state’s massage licensing exams

As you can imagine, it’s extremely important that you learn from experienced licensed massage therapists who can teach you about helping your customers achieve their health goals and show you the right way to work with these customers so they become loyal patrons.

Similarly, hands-on training is vital. No one will hire you to massage clients if you haven’t already had lots of experience with doing it. This is why having a massage clinic onsite is so important. It provides you with plenty of experience to get a job as soon as you complete your program and pass your state licensing exams.

Would You Like a Career as a Licensed Massage Therapist?

If you love the idea of helping people for a living and all the variety this job will entail, we’d like to help you take the next step.

Contact us right now and we’ll send you information about our program, so you have a better idea about the path forward.

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