Careers in Massage Therapy are in demand and the demand is growing. There are many paths that you can follow or forge new paths. Before embarking on this exciting career it is important to know what you are getting into as it can help you decide on what track to take. The process of choosing a career path begins with basic massage therapy school. Each state has different massage licensing requirements so start there. Find out how many hours of training you need to get your massage license. Basic massage school is usually 500 – 1000 hours of education.
Massage schools will usually have a main focus of either a clinical/medical track or a wellness/spa/relaxation focus. Some will give you an overview of each track. The important thing in massage school though is to learn the basics which will be the foundation of either tracks.
You usually will need additional training to work in a rehabilitation clinic, hospital/hospice/assisted living center/nursing home, spa center and with a sports team or athletes.
You can even choose to take a completely different track and work in industrial/commercial environments in chair massage or with animals of all types.
Right now you can even create your own massage therapist career path!
Massage as rehabilitation for injures and conditions.
Massage therapy is used to help with many health conditions such as headaches, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, musculoskeletal injuries and conditions such as arthritis, herniated discs, strained/sprained muscles and much more.
Rehabilitative massage therapy will require extensive training in anatomy/physiology and pathology as well as learning to apply what techniques you have learned to the various conditions. You can also learn new techniques and methods to work with various health conditions such as orthopedic massage methods.
Hospital Based Massage therapy
Working in a hospital will require not only more advanced training than most massage schools provide, but also a knowledge of working with medically frail clients and being able to work around hospital environment and all their equipment, rules and regulations and doctors/nurses.
Sports Massage Therapy
Working with professional sports teams as well as the everyday athlete working out for better health requires a deeper knowledge of how the body is involved in those sports as well as rehabilitation massage. Professional athletes demand special training and skills in pre-event, post-event and rehabilitation massage therapy.
Animal Massage Therapy
Working with animals of all types is becoming more popular. We are just seeing the beginning of this career track with more states calling for special massage licensing requirements. You can work with dogs, horses or even any zoo animal!
Take your love of animals and desire to help and turn it into a career as a Animal Massage Therapist Career. This is usually not taught in basic massage school but it taught later through continuing education. Some states like WA State have a separate licensing requirements for becoming an animal massage therapist .
Applicants must meet one or more of the following:
- To practice animal massage on large animals, the 300 hours of instruction must be related to the performance of animal massage on large animals.
- To practice animal massage on small animals, the 300 hours of instruction must be related to the performance of animal massage on small animals.