Among the many choices of careers available to you today is one that is among the fastest growing in the country, namely massage therapy. In fact, it has been ranked one of the best careers in the medical field by respected magazine U.S. News and World Report since 2011. Becoming a massage therapist is not as difficult as you might imagine, and this career is undoubtedly rewarding. To learn more about how to become a massage therapist, read on.
The Work Massage Therapists Do
Massage therapy work is rewarding but can also be physically demanding. In addition to the physical exertion of doing the massage itself, massage therapists are typically standing and moving throughout their massage sessions. Depending on their job, they may also need to set up, take down and carry their massage table between locations. Massage training programs such as the one at East West College teach students about body mechanics so that they practice safely and without injury for many years.
Full time work for massage therapists is typically fewer hours than in the majority of other fields. Between 15 and 30 hours of massage per week count as a full time schedule for many massages therapists. This is because of the physically demanding nature of the job. In addition to performing massage, massage therapists typically spend time setting up equipment, doing marketing, completing client notes, setting appointments and a variety of other business tasks.
Education and Massage Therapy Training
Every state maintains its own licensing and massage therapy training requirements. The majority of states require at least 500 coursework hours. Education requirements usually include kinesiology, anatomy and physiology, pathology and hands-on massage techniques. In addition, there are usually other required courses such as ethics, communications and business management.
Certification and Licensing
The majority of states throughout the country mandate that a massage therapist must carry some form of license or certification in order to practice. This typically requires a candidate to complete the required number of hours of training at an approved school, and successfully pass an exam of some kind. It might be a national massage therapist exam or a state-designed and administered one. The most common requirement is passing the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.
To be prepared for this exam, aspiring massage therapists need to obtain training from institutions like East West College, who are dedicated to providing high-quality massage education centering on a solid understanding of the human body.
How to Become a Massage Therapist, About
Massage Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics