The median yearly salary for massage therapists is $42,820 per year in May 2018. This includes not just the wages earned by massage therapists, but also the incomes of other allied health care professions and industries such as medical transcription, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, chiropractic, psychotherapy, and acupuncture. As with many other professions, massage therapists can increase their earnings by specializing or obtaining a specific license to perform a particular set of massage therapy techniques. Massage therapy is a broad field that encompasses several different types of techniques.
One type of massage therapists perform strokes that are similar to those of other massage therapists. These therapists are responsible for helping people relax and reduce muscle tension. Injuries are also common for massage therapists. Because most massage therapists do not specialize in sports medicine, there are certain occupational roles that can be performed by these professionals.
Some massage therapists do not work with sports injuries or with muscle injuries. These individuals can perform simple office procedures such as applying creams or ointments, applying dressings to cuts or scrapes, and using electrical stimulation equipment to help people affected by arthritis or other joint or muscle conditions. In some situations, communication skills may be needed for such jobs. For example, if the client cannot communicate how to apply creams or if the client needs directions on how to take an appliance to a particular location, then the massage therapist will need to make the call or communicate directly with the client to get the job done.
Most massage therapists work in offices located in health care facilities, although some also provide services in chiropractic offices, professional wellness centers, massage spas, or hospitals. The majority of offices provide full-time employment to massage therapists, although some may hire part-time workers to help with the business as a part-time basis. Most of these establishments have a job outlook that is positive for this industry, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Job outlook reports indicate that massage therapists will continue to experience growth in the future.
A job in an office does come with some advantages. For example, massage therapists are able to receive higher compensation than many of their counterparts. Many full-time workers make less than $20 an hour. A former student who has taken classes and passed an exam that qualifies him or her to work as a massage therapist could earn a substantial annual income. These individuals could also work from home in a comfortable space without having to relocate.
On the other hand, one drawback to the position of massage therapists is the fact that most healthcare professionals are required to undergo some level of continuing education each year. This requirement often interferes with the schedule of many individuals who are employed by healthcare professionals. However, there are other occupations that require fewer hours of education each year and do not interfere with the schedule at all. For example, teachers do not need to take continuing education classes during their career.
As massage therapists and other healthcare professionals to progress through their careers, it becomes more important to understand the job outlook for these jobs. Currently, there is a strong demand for experienced massage therapists and other healthcare professionals. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapists experienced growth in 2009, up to a growth of 3%. Job growth typically increases during recessionary periods and is expected to continue as employers help retain qualified workers.
Although there is a demand for massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other healthcare providers, they may not be able to find the job opportunities that they want. In addition, many healthcare providers who have retired or are changing locations have not been able to find permanent positions, so they may be leaving the industry. Fortunately, many job openings are opening up daily because of an overall increase in the need for healthcare professionals.