MASSAGE THERAPISTS work the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasms, and stress; and to promote health and wellness. They massage clients, using manual techniques and other therapies, to positively affect the health and well being of the client. They apply alcohol, oils, or other rubbing compound and massage the body to encourage blood circulation, relax contracted muscles, or to relieve other conditions. They give steam or dry heat, ultraviolet or infrared, or water treatments at the request of clients or at the instruction of physicians. More physicians are prescribing therapeutic massage to help in the healing process of their patients.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $30,000 average per year ($14.50 per hour)
- A medium occupation (60,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.9% per year)
Some states require MASSAGE THERAPISTS to be licensed or certified. Regulatory agencies require a minimum of 500 hours or more of classroom training in massage and related subjects, such as anatomy, physiology, business ethics, first aid, and CPR from an accredited school; and the passing of an exam. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) certifies massage therapists who pass an exam testing their knowledge and ability to perform competently. Vocational schools offer accredited massage training programs.