Your Massage Therapist Career Guide: How to Get Started

Have you always wanted to become a massage therapist? Are you concerned that you don’t know how to get started?

There are more than 334,000 massage therapists in the US. That sounds like a lot, but the demand for massages is increasing.

A massage therapist career gives you the ability to make a real difference in someone’s life. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

How to Become A Massage Therapist

Becoming a massage therapist is a relatively straightforward process. There are five main steps to becoming a licensed massage therapist: 

1. Massage Therapy Program

The first step is to complete a certificate or diploma program from an accredited massage therapy school. This program will cover the basics: medical terms, the body, ethics, anatomy, and some business skills.

2. Practical Requirements 

You need a certain number of hours of hands-on massage before you can write your licensing exam. Each state has different requirements. Often your school will help you obtain an internship, or you can get your hours working at their massage clinic. 

3. The Licensing Examination

Each state has different requirements, and some states have a specialized exam you must pass before you can apply for your license.
The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) is the primary standard.

4. Apply For a State License

You need a license to work as a massage therapist in your state. When you submit your application, you need to prove that you’ve met the first three requirements. 

5. Complete a Certification

If you complete a certification in a specialty such as palliative care or sports massage, it can make the process of acquiring your license much easier.

The Massage Therapist Career Path

There are many opportunities for a qualified massage therapist in the wellness industry. Massage is very popular, and you can take advantage of the current self-care trends.

Once you earn your certificate or diploma in massage therapy, you can take your career in the direction that interests you. 

Here are some career possibilities for you to consider:

  • Open a practice or become a mobile massage provider
  • Provide massage for sports teams
  • Work in a senior center
  • Focus on therapeutic massage for pregnant women
  • Work at a massage clinic
  • Give massages at spas or resorts
  • Give rehabilitative massages at health and wellness centers
  • Work with animals providing veterinary massage

As you can see, there are many different opportunities for a massage therapist. It’s up to you to decide on your career path.

Expand Into Other Areas

Once you’ve become a licensed massage therapist, you can add additional certifications depending on your interests.

Reiki is an ancient Japanese practice that channels energy to heal the body.

Reflexology is the practice of using points on feet, hands, and ears to heal parts of the body that correspond to these points.

Sacral cranial therapy uses visceral manipulation of connective tissues to release blockages and reduce chronic pain.

Become A Massage Therapist

Now that you understand the process of getting started in a massage therapist career, you can take your first steps today. Taking the time to do your research always makes it easier to create a plan.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, be sure to use the simple search feature to find more information on massage therapy programs. You can also find more advice in the Education category.


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