Choosing a Career in Massage Therapy: From Education To The Perfect Job This Vocation Requires Planning
Some people choose a career in massage therapy to fulfill a desire to help others through this touch profession. Others seek out this line of business to find a more flexible work schedule than the typical 9 to 5, or to “get away from the rat race.” Whatever the reason, the profession of massage therapy has a lot to offer.
Learning a hands-on skill such as massage therapy requires hands-on training. Massage schools offer a variety of programs to meet the needs of today’s working adults. Many massage schools offer night and weekend classes, or accelerated day classes. Depending on the country, region or municipality massage education requirements can have vast differences.
Steps to finding the right massage school
• A potential student should visit the school in person, preferably meeting some of the instructors, the director and even other students.
• Graduates of the school may be able to give a reference to a potential student about the experience they had. This can be helpful for some to interview several graduates before choosing a massage school.
• If a massage school has a student clinic this may be a good way to interact with students, get a feel for the training and style. If a potential student wants to take it a step further booking an appointment with a seasoned graduate would be an option as well.
• The future student of a massage school should also consider what career path he wishes to go down and find the best training that will get him there. For example, a massage school that emphasizes a lot of anatomy and physiology (A&P) with cadaver classes may be right up the alley for someone interested in medical massage. The same school may be too focused for a student planning to go the spa track and needing training in many styles of massage.
Types of Jobs for Massage Therapists
These settings are common places a massage therapist might find work as either an independent contractor or an employee. Some massage therapists will work in several career tracks before finding the career that best suits the needs and skills of that practitioner.
• Spa Employee – working in a spa setting can be hard work but very fun for some practitioners. The more modalities of massage this person has the more marketable he is.
• Cruise Ship Contractor – ideal for someone that can pick up and leave for several months at a time. Demands will be similar to a spa but can be very fun for the more adventurous type.
• Independent Massage Practitioner – popular with self-starters who work well independently and want to set their own hours and routines. Business classes and programs will be very helpful to the independent practitioner to have a solid practice.
• Corporate Chair Massage Therapist – will work either independently or for a business that contracts chair massage to large companies, hotels and for events. Often done alongside an existing practice since contracts aren’t always available to keep a practitioner busy full-time.
• Celebrity Massage Therapist – only a handful of massage therapists will work with the “stars.” The practice should be set up where actors, actresses and socialites live or work frequently. Attention to privacy will be especially important to gain the trust of a high-profile client and as a customer.
• Medical Massage Therapist – this practitioner may work in a clinic, hospital or independent practice setting. Sessions focus on helping people recover from surgeries and injuries or working with those diagnosed with medical conditions.