If you have spent even just a few minutes under the healing touch of a skilled massage therapist, you know the effect that a massage has. The many benefits of this therapeutic approach include stress relief, pain reduction and the release of muscle tension. To make things even better, the person getting massaged is not the only one enjoying benefits. Massage therapists reap a lot of rewards from their job, and you might be surprised to learn the following facts about the massage industry.
Who Gets Massages?
- Lots of people get massages! Figures from a 2014 survey performed by the American Massage Therapy Association show that 15 percent of American adults received a massage during the previous year, while 29 percent had gotten a massage in the past five years.
- All sorts of folks, not just spa clients, enjoy massage therapy. However, spas are where most people get their massages, according to the AMTA 2014 survey. Athletes, teachers, senior citizens and even children with autism are among the many people who benefit from the therapy. These people go to the homes or offices of massage therapists. They also get therapy in a medical setting, at a health club, or at a chain or franchise that specializes in massage therapy.
- The primary reason that people get massages is medical, with 54 percent of survey respondents citing this reason. Pain relief, pain management and relaxation are other top reasons, with pampering, rehab, relieving soreness and maintaining fitness making up the other reasons.
Who Are Massage Therapists?
- Massage therapists have the ability to specialize in a wide variety of approaches. Examples include deep-tissue massage, reflexology, orthopedic massage, sports massage and acupressure. Each modality brings its own special skills and techniques, and it’s common for a massage therapist to focus her work in several of these areas.
- Most massage therapists begin the job as a second career, and they are overwhelmingly female, at 88 percent. Most work alone and put in an average of 18 massage hours weekly. That 18 hours does not include time spent on the business aspect of massage (on activities such as bookkeeping, scheduling and marketing, for example). Moreover, the demands on a person's strength and stamina often dictate that a massage therapist should not work a 40-hour workweek even if he or she wanted to.
- Massage therapists earn a median salary of $37,180 per year according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2014. The highest 10 percent commanded excellent money, earning $71,950 a year, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,460.
What’s the State of the Industry?
- Massage is about much more than using your hands to make people feel better. With their clients, massage therapists discuss health issues, symptoms of potential issues and goals for a massage program. They inspect their clients’ bodies to find points of tension that need work. Therapists also educate clients on ways to stretch, relax, strengthen muscles and enhance their posture. They also take note of client progress.
- A massage might last a mere five minutes or stretch to more than an hour. Therapists often use lotions and oils, as well as massage tables and chairs. Music and incense often relax a client.
- Massage is used as part of a whole-body approach to treat conditions such as headaches, fibromyalgia, blood pressure, alcohol withdrawal, back pain, carpal tunnel, and fatigue and pain in cancer patients.
- The job outlook for massage therapists is nothing but glowing. Growth is expected to be 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There’s never been a better time to get into the business. Part of the reason for that demand is the increasing acceptance of massage as an effective approach to pain treatment and overall health.
- Most states regulate massage therapy, and in these states, massage therapists need to undergo formal education and pass an exam. In other states, regulation may be at a local level. Even in places that do not have such regulations, certification and formal education enhance a therapist’s credentials.
- To work at many places, a massage therapist must graduate from an approved program, pass an exam as well as a background check, and carry liability insurance. He or she must also have CPR certification.
- Chiropractic offices are the most frequent source for massage therapy referrals. Hospitals and medical offices are other common places that refer clients for therapy.
- Repeat clients make up the bread and butter of many massage businesses.
- Massage therapists start with an average of 661 hours of training and undergo about 21 continuing education hours a year.
Does a possible career in massage therapy sound like something you would enjoy? Contact ECPI TODAY for the scoop on earning your Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy. It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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Gainful Employment Information – Massage Therapy - Associate’s