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How to Become a Massage Therapist?

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Massage therapists help when your body feels tight and stiff, making you feel good and relaxed. In this post, we'll learn what they do, where they work, how to become one, their salary, and their job outlook. ‍

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What is a Massage Therapist?

A Massage Therapist (MT) is also known as Massage Therapy Technician. They are healthcare professionals trained in various massage techniques. Their primary role involves using touch to manipulate the body's soft tissues. This promotes relaxation, pain relief, and well-being. They identify their client’s specific needs and develop treatment plans for them.

What does a Massage Therapist do?

MTs perform a range of duties and responsibilities categorized as follows:

  • Assessment and Consultation: Conduct assessments to understand clients’ medical history, concerns, and goals.
  • Massage Techniques: Use of Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Hot Stone Massage. These techniques are vital for success, depending on the client’s condition.
  • Treatment Planning: Creating customized treatment plans based on clients’ conditions and preferences.
  • Documentation: Maintaining accurate records of client information, progress, and treatment plans.
  • Client Education: Providing guidance on self-care practices, stretching exercises, and promoting wellness.

Where can a Massage Therapist work?

You have the flexibility to work in various settings as an MT. Whether you want to work at a city hospital or a nearby clinic, it is possible. The healthcare facilities you can work at include:

  • Spas and wellness centers: A spa is a calm place where people go to feel relaxed. As a massage therapist in a spa, your job is to use gentle touches to make people's muscles feel better. Doing this helps them feel less stressed and refreshed, giving them a sense of renewal.

  • Chiropractic or physical therapy clinics: You'll work with the doctors here to provide massages that relieve aching muscles and aid movement. People who come here will feel less pain and be able to move around more freely. 

  • Sports and fitness centers: You will massage patients before and after fitness activities. The massage will be able to help athletes perform better and prevent injuries. 

  • Hospitals and rehabilitation centers: As a team member, you'll provide massages to relieve stress and pain. Your massages will help patients relax and experience less pain. 

  • Working in your own space: In this instance, you are the owner of a small business. People will receive custom massages from you, and you'll ensure their comfort.

Steps to Become a Massage Therapist

You don't need 2 to 4 years to become an MT. It's faster than you think, and the requirements are easy to meet. Becoming an MT is a step-by-step process. Here are the things you have to do:

  • Meet prerequisites. Most programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs might have more requirements, so meet them before applying.

  • Enroll and complete the program. To start, look for a program that suits your schedule and interests. In these programs, you'll learn how to do various massages and topics like how the body works. The time it takes to complete the program can span several months to a year and a half.

  • Passing the licensing examination. To secure licensure and certification, understand your state's specific requirements. This includes graduating from an approved massage therapy program and passing an exam. States use the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) for exams. It is a test administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. 

Be aware of any extra requirements your state might have. It can include a background check, liability insurance, or CPR certification. So, make sure you fulfill these prerequisites before applying for your license.

Essential qualities of a Massage Therapist

Every job requires specific qualities for you to be effective. Massage therapy also demands particular attributes to achieve success. If you work on developing these skills and traits, it will help you succeed as a Massage Therapist.

  • Communication Skills: You need to listen and talk with clients, so you can understand what they want and give them a good experience. By doing this, you'll make clients happy by meeting their needs, and you'll also create a better connection with them.

  • Decision-Making Abilities: You have to determine the best treatments for each client based on their needs. Doing this gives clients the correct massage, making them feel renewed. 

  • Empathy: Your clients might be hurting, so you must show care and understand their feelings. By doing this, your clients will feel comforted and understood, making their experience more positive.

  • Integrity and Confidentiality: You must keep clients' private information safe and be trustworthy. As an MT, you must abide by privacy laws and standards. 

  • Physical Stamina and Strength: You will perform several massages, and some techniques need strength. You must build up your stamina and strength to provide a worthy massage to your clients. 

  • Time-Management Skills: You must ensure you have enough time for each client. Doing this lets your clients get the full massage they paid for, and you will feel relaxed about time. It keeps everything running smoothly.

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Where can I find Massage Therapist certification classes?

You can search for institutions that provide a massage therapy program. These institutions offer thorough instruction, practical training, and advice on the licensing procedure.

Dreambound offers a range of vocational training programs to kick-start your career. It's simple! Enter your zip code to find a massage therapy certification class near you. We have the resources to offer you the most affordable courses. You can even pick your payment options and class schedule to fit your schedule. Explore your options now!

Massage Therapist salary and job outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists MTs under healthcare support occupations. Specific salary data for massage therapists may vary. According to the data, MTs had a mean annual wage of $57,060 and an average hourly wage of $27.43 in May 2022. There will be a growth of 20% for the job prospects in this field for the next decade. This equates to about 25,200 job openings every year.

Final thoughts

Embarking on a career as an MT can be a rewarding and fulfilling path. Through the art of massage, you can alleviate pain, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being, creating a profound sense of satisfaction. If you aspire to a career that allows you to work your magic in helping others, becoming a Massage Therapist may be the perfect path for you!

Explore Dreambound's in-depth guides, each shedding light on the unique requirements and challenges in cities across the US. For more insights, be sure to check out our other guides.

Harold Roldan
Written by
Harold Roldan

Harold Roldan is a Growth team member at Dreambound. With a background in IT, he works with data and automation to improve team efficiency and workflows. He spends his free time playing musical instruments or studying data, computers, and technology.

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