Massage therapy is growing rapidly in clients and recognition. As the baby boom generation ages and massage therapy gains approval among health care professionals, more clients are seeking out trained, certified massage therapists. According to a 2004 study commissioned by the American Massage Therapy Association, 21 percent of adults received a massage in the last year, a 13-point increase from 1997. There are now between 260,000 and 290,000 massage therapists in the U.S.
A massage therapy career offers choice
A massage therapy career offers you tremendous choice about where and how often to work. A 2000 AMTA poll showed that 41 percent of massage therapists worked full time (more than 17 one-hour sessions a week). You can choose whether to start your own practice, work as a contractor, or be an employee of a spa or other business. You can choose to specialize in certain types of massage (like therapeutic, sports, or relaxation) or types of clients (like athletes, pregnant women, or the elderly). Some settings where you can practice massage therapy include:
?Hotels, spas, and resorts
?Offices of physicians or chiropractors
?Nursing homes and hospitals
?Fitness centers and sports events
How become a massage therapist
The first step to a massage therapy career is to enroll in a training program that meets the requirements of the state and city in which you practice. Check local regulations to see which programs qualify. For example, does your state require you to attend an accredited school? After that, you will want to become certified by passing the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. You?ll then need to complete any additional licensing requirements of your state and city.
Source for all stats:
American Massage Therapy Association, ?Becoming a Professional Massage Therapist,?
Publish date: February 10, 2011