A frequent massage therapist comment is: “I feel fortunate to have found work I love.” Massage Therapy is a career that helps people in meaningful ways while providing a good measure of personal contact.
If it’s a career you’re looking into, you need to know there’s no such thing as a standard massage therapy practice. What it is, though, is flexible with respect to hours (full- or part-time), independence, and variety of locations…from massage offices and salons, to home practices, hotels, health clubs, and more.
Massage therapists are involved with care for a variety of medical issues, from injury rehab to clinical depression. The bottom line is massage therapists create soothing client environments, provide massages to alleviate client health or pain issues, keep track of a client’s progress, and regularly check-in with clients to ensure they’re comfortable.
But, before anyone can work as a massage therapist, he or she must enroll in, and complete, a massage therapy program that includes anywhere from 300+ to 1,000 hours of training over several weeks of concentrated education, or up to two years. Then you’ll likely need to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx), though not every state’s licensing requirements are the same. Check with your state’s regulatory board to ensure the program you choose meets all requirements.
If your state also requires you to be certified, board certification can be secured from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, one of the most important elements of the career may be joining a professional association. Organizations like the AMTA provide liability insurance, continuing education opportunities, discounts on products and services, and access to mentors and advisors.
Fortis campuses in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia offer a Massage Therapy program that prepare graduates to sit for the national certification examination. They offer a path to a rewarding career as a massage therapist, whether in a spa, rehab clinic or hospital, other health and wellness centers, cruise ships, resorts and hotels, or in a self-employed private practice.
As we said, massage therapy offers very flexible career options.