Overview and Job Duties
After a long, tiring day, there isn’t much that’s better than a nice massage to revitalize the body and mind. The professionals who provide this service are known as therapeutic massage technicians,who operate under careful guidelines and proper training to ensure their clients’ safety and relaxation. The massage therapy field is growing rapidly and currently boasts an impressive number of specialties; more than 80 forms of massage therapy are available for study, if you wish to practice a certain type. Further, the wide variety of job sites offers a flexibility not commonly found in other industries, as many therapists work right out of a home office and set their own hours. If this sounds interesting to you,keep reading to learn more about the responsibilities and requirements of being a massage technician, and then apply for a massage therapy degree program to start your exciting new career.
A therapeutic massage technician manipulates different muscles and joints in the body to bring about several responses from their clients: relaxation, stress relief, pain relief, general wellness, and injury rehabilitation. After interviewing a new client to determine the most troublesome area or areas, the therapist decides on the massage technique best suited to that client’s needs. Whether the desired result is to relieve stress on tired muscles, ease chronic pain, improve blood circulation, or simply help a client unwind after the normal rush of the day, massage technicians can make a world of difference.
Common places for these technicians to work include chiropractic offices, sports medical centers, hospitals, healthcare centers, gyms, and rehabilitation centers. They could also set up their own offices or carry out work from home. While this is very appealing, keep in mind that this is a physically demanding job which requires great stamina and manual dexterity, as well as the mental dedication to work for long periods of time, sometimes going hours without being able to sit. Most therapeutic massage technicians work at least 40 hours per week, so while they generally earn more than other technicians, they work hard for their pay.
The demand of massage technicians will always be high, which might increase their employability in the years to come.
The national average salary of a therapeutic massage technician is around $60,742 (salary.com).
To begin this exciting new career, you first must acquire an associate’s degree to gain a basic, solid foundation. From there, you will enroll into a massage therapy program,which usually includes hands-on instruction along with coursework in physiology, ethics, human anatomy, massage techniques, therapeutic exercise, and business management. Once you have completed at least 500 hours of post-secondary education and acquired some practical experience, you can apply for certification to verify your knowledge of techniques and practices, and finally begin working in a professional setting. Standards and requirements vary from state to state; some require more education than others, while some require more or less by way of certification. Check with the health board of the state in which you plan to practice to ensure you meet all minimum requirements.