Massage therapists are in demand right now. For about the last ten years, massage schools have been closing and not as many people have been going to massage school. There are more spas, clinics and opportunities for massage therapists opening up than ever. The high demand for massage therapists creates a good job market where you will be able to have the power to negotiate your salary and benefits.
Wellness and Health Promotion Sector
The spa setting provides many opportunites for people coming out of massage school. Spas provide massage and other hydrotherapy services that create a luxurious atmosphere. Salt baths, salt rubs, mineral spring soaks, body wraps and much more! The spa experience is a great way to get away from stress and decompress for a few hours or a whole day or even a week! Hydrotherapy pools, vicchy showers and aromatherapy are often part of the spa experience.
There are many different types of spas:
- Day spa, which are a form of beauty salon offer day long spa experiences.
- Destination spa, a resort for personal care treatments provide weekend, week, and monthly getaways for a total immersion experience.
- Spa towns is a whole a town visited for the supposed healing properties of the water. There are thousands and thousands of these around world.
- Foot spas provide specific hydrotherapy soaks and treatments for the foot.
- Steam Rooms, Sauna services and hot tubs can be found as separate businesses or within a spas
- Spa (mineral water), from the sources in Spa.
- Spas usually offer mud baths for general health, or to address a variety of medical conditions. This is also known as ‘fangotherapy’. A variety of medicinal clays and peats is used.
Franchise jobs are in demand. Franchises came to the massage profession in about 2002 and have continued to increase in numbers. The people who buy a franchise have to pay large amounts of money to the franchisor – I have heard some cost between $300,000-$500,000 to start. Franchise owners have a lot of money invested and are not able to find enough massage therapists to staff the offices. This should give massage therapists the upper edge when negotiating pay and benefits. Many are offering to pay for massage school or provide other bonus payments to attract more therapists for their jobs.
Wellness centers include massage services in their offerings. They often are a one stop shopping for other wellness services too. They could include a fitness center, skin care services and more.
Sports and Fitness Centers are hiring massage therapists. High school athletic teams to professional sports teams are using massage therapy to help improve the performance of their athletes and help reduce injuries.
Animal massage spas are also cropping up with the demand for massage therapy in the care of animals – horses, dogs and zoo animals are benefiting from massage therapy.
Many massage therapists start their own business as one of the many options listed above. That involves having an overhead for the office as well as office expenses that need to be covered.
Medical Care Center
Massage therapy is used in the process of rehabilitation for injuries like strains and sprains as well as recovery from surgery. Massage therapists can be found in hospitals, pain clinics, headache clinics, labor and delivery centers as well as cancer centers. Hospice Massage is becoming more popular as massage has been found to help relax people at the end of life and is becoming part of the process of dying.
Massage therapy jobs are plentiful in the medical care centers. These positions require more training and experience than the basic entry level massage therapist right out of massage school. Massage therapists are trained in clinical massage which involves assessment methods to determine a massage session plan and follow up care if needed. These therapists learn to work with various medical conditions such as:
- Strains and sprains
- Pain – headaches, fibromyalgia, muscle and joint pain
- Recovery from surgery – open heart surgery, joint replacements etc.
Animals – horses, dogs, zoo animals, farm animals- are benefiting from rehabilitation massage therapies.
Massage Therapy Career Path
Typically massage therapists have started their careers in the wellness/health sector which usually provides enough clients to get more experience. Massage therapy in the medical sector usually requires more training and experience. Most massage therapists actually start their own business right out of massage school.