Making a career change is always challenging, so you should make the most of all the help you can get when transitioning to a new role. If you feel like you have healing hands and want to become a massage therapist, you’re in luck! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of massage therapists will rise by an impressive 21% from 2019 to 2029. This rise is much faster than the national average for other professions. That means there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to help people relieve pain, reduce stress, and release tension through the power of massage.
We’ll go through the different ways to start your career as a massage therapist. But don’t forget you’ll need a professional job application that includes a well-crafted cover letter and a customized massage therapist resume to land your new role.
You are what you do, right? And, in a fitting turn, massage therapists have below-average stress and above-average flexibility than most workers.
They love helping people. And they can do it from their own homes, in salons, hotels, or wherever they like with a portable table. Let’s examine the steps to becoming a massage therapist.
Step 1: Learn about the profession
Not all massage therapists are the same. Learn about the various techniques out there and think about what you might like to specialize in. Do you want to work in healthcare in a hospital or as part of a clinic, or would you prefer to work in a spa?
All massage therapists use their arms and elbows to perform massages to help people. Still, the context in which this occurs can differ significantly depending on the type of massage you’re performing. The emphasis in a clinic is more likely on treatment plans and pain relief. In a spa or salon, you’re more likely to be offering clients the chance to unwind, relax, and de-stress.
Step 2: Choose a program
You’ll need to complete an accreditation program to become a massage therapist in the U.S. This entails 300-1000 hours of on-the-job training and theoretical learning.
The course length depends on how deep you want to go into the different techniques and how intricately you wish to study human anatomy and physiology. Most programs will also teach business skills, health and safety procedures, and massage therapy ethics.
Step 3: Obtain a License
You’ll need to pass an exam to obtain your license at the end of your program. This examination is usually a mix of a practical exam combined with a test of all the theoretical knowledge you’ve been learning. You’ll have to pay for your license exam, so be sure to study up!
The exam structure varies from state to state, so you’ll need to check the requirements in your state.
Once you’ve passed, you’re free to practice as a licensed massage therapist.
Step 4: Get a job
Then, it’s time to get a job!
You can choose to apply the business skills you learned during your course to be a self-employed massage therapist, or you can try to land a role in a clinic, salon, or spa.
67% of all practicing therapists are solo practitioners, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. This option gives you flexibility, but building a regular client base may take a while. You’ll need to be professional and upbeat, communicate clearly to your clients, and listen to patient needs. When starting, don’t be afraid to self-promote. You’ll need to rely on word of mouth for your services.
If you’re applying to a salon, create a well-thought-out job application. Without any previous experience, this is important to demonstrate why you want to work as a massage therapist, what you can bring to the team, and the skills you have learned during your training.
Step 5: Keep learning
Finally, an important point to remember is to keep learning. You should always look to enhance your skills as a massage therapist. Learn new techniques and keep an eye on the latest trends to ensure you stay at the top of your game.