No matter how the economy appears today, people are always seeking massage therapy to manage stress and relieve pain. So if you’re considering a career in massage, you can relax and know that your services will always be in demand.

Massage Therapy Schools

Most states that offer a massage therapy license require therapists to graduate from a 500-hour-plus massage therapy training program. Choose your school carefully, since you may be required to complete a program that’s accredited by a national agency like the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.

Though massage therapists are only required to fulfill 6 to 18 continuing education units each year, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) reports that they complete more than 20 hours instead. Perhaps that’s because there’s always something new and exciting to learn in the field, including more than 80 different types of massage, such as Swedish, hot stone, sports, and deep tissue massage.

Massage Therapy Jobs

There are so many places to find a massage therapy job : spas and salons, hospitals, medical offices, senior care facilities, private homes and businesses, health clubs, airports, hotels, malls, and more. You might even choose to work for yourself – according to the AMTA, sole practitioners or independent contractors account for the largest percentage of practicing massage therapists.

The fact is, massage therapy career opportunities are endless. You can work in a corporate setting, where 38 percent of massage therapists are employed. How about massage on a cruise ship, where you can reap the benefits of an all-expenses-paid international career? And don’t forget about health care settings, in which 25 percent of therapists are making a difference for those who can benefit most from the healing power of massage.

Check out these stats that underscore the lure of the massage industry:

  • The AMTA estimates that there are 280,000 to 320,000 massage therapists and massage therapy school students in the U.S.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects massage therapy employment to increase 19 percent by 2018, faster than the average for all occupations.
  • In 2009, massage therapy was a $16 to $20 billion industry, according to AMTA estimates.
  • Almost half of all massage therapists in the U.S. worked part time in 2008, reports the BLS, and about 57 percent had their own massage therapy business.
  • According to the AMTA, the average massage therapy salary is $45 an hour, including tips.

Learn more about massage therapy schools and degrees today.

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