Have a need to knead muscles? Consider a career as a massage therapist or, if you prefer the feminine French term, masseuse. There are over 80 different types of massage, so if a masseuse career is calling, get ready for intense, yet valuable and worthwhile, instruction and hands-on training!
Before you can lay your hands on a client, you'll need to complete a minimum of 500 hours of instruction from an accredited program (some states require up to 1,000 hours); then you must apply for a licensure/certification exam. Coursework in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, business, and ethics and hours of applied practice in various massage techniques will prepare you for your masseuse career, providing all the skills and experience necessary for a smooth transition from the training institute to the workplace.
Masseuse Careers: A Growing Field
Once you've completed your training and received your certification, an exciting and rewarding masseuse career awaits. In today's troubled economic times, which is likely leading many to seek the services of a massage therapist for stress relief, the employment outlook is bright: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for massage therapists is expected to increase 20 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations. The budding popularity of alternative medicine as a more cost-effective means to treat illnesses will also bolster growth in the masseuse career field.
If you pursue a masseuse career, you will most likely work less than 40 hours a week due to the highly physical nature of the job, states the BLS. However, if you factor in travel time (if you don't operate out of your own home), equipment set-up, and business functions (like billing), most massage therapists put in close to, if not more than, 40 hours. Be sure to use good technique, exercise regularly, schedule sessions well to allow for breaks, and take advantage of one of the perks of the job, getting massages from your fellow co-workers. Doing so will prevent injury, fatigue, or other problems that can plague massage therapists as a result of the intense physical demands of the job.
Where can you find masseuses and massage therapists at work? Today's massage therapists are employed in both public and private settings, serving clients of all ages in private offices, studios, hospitals, nursing homes, and other senior living facilities, airports, shopping malls, fitness centers, sports medicine facilities, even in private homes or workplaces. Some therapists may even float between several of these settings, so if you like variety, a masseuse career may be a great fit.
Masseuses/massage therapy professionals earned an average annual wage of $34,870 (about 15-20 percent of that amount is gratuities), as per May 2007 data from the BLS. For the top 10 percent of massage therapists, annual earnings may come in as high as $70,840.
A rewarding, hands-on masseuse career awaits. Don't wait to jump in!