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Massage Therapy: Career Paths, Pay, Benefits, and More

Texas Massage Therapist School

A career in massage therapy can be fulfilling, flexible, and fun when well-aligned with your interests and goals. Here's everything you need to know about career trajectory, pay, and other components for massage therapy, in order to make an informed decision.

How long is massage therapy school?

At the College of Health Care Professions (CHCP), you can earn your Massage Therapy Certificate in 30 weeks if you enroll in our day program and 43 weeks if you enroll in our evening program. That means you can have a meaningful, fulfilling career with just six to ten months of training compared to the two to four years of education required for most professions.

How is the career outlook for massage therapists?

The job outlook is great for massage therapists, especially those who are trained through a licensed massage therapy school like CHCP. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth is much faster than the average at 22% through to 2028. What this means for you is that if you seek out a certificate in Massage Therapy and obtain a state license, it is very likely that you'll be able to secure employment and that there will be a demand for your services. This growth in demand for massage therapists can be attributed to several factors: There's a societal trend toward self-care and natural, non-invasive treatments for illness and injuries. Massage therapy fits the bill.

 

Where do massage therapists work?

Students from accredited massage therapy programs are often drawn to the career due to the flexibility; while there are few part-time or self-employed bankers and teachers, massage therapists have those options and many more. Here are some of the most common types of employment for massage therapists:

·  Employed.

Massage therapists are often hired by spas, hotels, holistic healing clinics, physician practices, and fitness centers into full-time, part-time, or flexible roles. These massage therapists are typically paid an hourly rate for their work and are often eligible for full benefits.

· Contracted. 

Many spas and clinics contract massage therapists, paying them a set dollar amount per service they provide. This gives the massage therapist control over their own schedule and earnings, but the downside is that they are responsible for their own taxes and benefits.

·  Self-Employed in a Practice.

Some massage therapists pay booth rent in a spa, salon, or wellness clinic and then run their own business with the benefits of the larger organization, like a receptionist, scheduling software, and group discounts.

·  Self-Employed and Independent. 

Massage therapists also have the option of pursuing entrepreneurship—owning their own business and either renting or owning their own office space. Massage therapists who start and run their business independently have the opportunity to grow their practice by hiring additional massage therapists or professionals providing complementary services.

It's common for the massage therapist's career to progress in stages. Perhaps, initially, they choose to work for a spa or hotel to take advantage of guaranteed hours, established clientele, full benefits, and the relatively low risk associated with full-time employment. Next, they often move over to an independent contractor or booth rent model, which provides them with experience marketing their services, managing a small business, and developing relationships with vendors that are mutually beneficial. Finally, some massage therapists move onto independent business ownership to enjoy flexible hours, creative freedom, and the greatest profit. It's important to note that some will never choose entrepreneurship (and you don't have to, either) due to the higher level of risk involved.

While you develop your career by seeking out the salary, flexibility, and the solid client base you'll want, you can also advance your career by learning new techniques and treatments. By diversifying your skill set to include different kinds of massage, like raindrop therapy, hot stone massage, and maternal massage, you can expand your offerings for current clients, leading them to book several services in one appointment, while marketing to a larger audience.

How much do massage therapists make?

According to ZipRecruiter, average massage therapy wages vary from state to state, ranging from around $20 per hour to around $29 per hour. Because these are average rates, entry-level massage therapists generally make less while experienced massage therapists and those skilled in additional treatments make more. It's also important to understand that income will vary depending on the employment model chosen.

To learn more about a career in massage therapy or take your first step toward becoming a massage therapist, turn to one of the best Texas massage therapy schools around. Visit The College of Health Care Professions online or in person today. Our friendly team is excited to share everything they know with you and connect you with past and current students who can share their experiences with you.