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Benefits of a massage therapy career

Updated on May 29, 2016
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Erin Shelby is passionate about living a lifestyle that aims for financial freedom. She writes about personal finance and other topics.


If you’re leaving your current career but haven’t chosen a new one, have you thought about becoming a licensed massage therapist? Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this job to determine if it may be right for you.

Fast-Track Training

The qualifications to become a licensed massage therapist (L.M.T.) vary from state to state, but typically, certification can be obtained in less than two years. This is certainly quicker than a four-year degree, making it convenient for career changers or those entering the work force for the first time.

Flexible Hours

If being your own boss is your dream, becoming a massage therapist could be your business. Renting space in a hair or makeup salon can give you a work space and a way to gain more clients. Or, you could travel to clients’ homes to provide professional services. Either way will give you the ability to set your own hours by being self-employed.

World Travel

Licensed massage therapists have unique possibilities to work at hotels, spas and cruise ships around the world. If you’re interested in relocating, this career can open those doors for you.

Practical Knowledge

Massage therapy students learn extensive knowledge of the human body, specifically anatomy and physiology. This information is required to pass the state licensing exams, also known as the state boards. This knowledge, while detailed, can be useful for anyone curious about how their own body works or how its parts are connected.

Work Environment

Part of a massage therapist’s job involves the environment he or she creates for the client. This may be achieved through using scented oils or lotions that have a soothing effect. Other times it may involve playing mellow music. Clients may become so relaxed that they fall asleep. Consider if this is a work environment that you would enjoy.

Earnings Potential

Licensed massage therapists can earn one dollar per minute, thus making an hour-long massage yield $60 before taxes.

Cost of Schooling

Depending on where you choose to attend massage therapy school, the cost can be very expensive. The cost can be equivalent to a public or private university and financial aid is not always available.

Intensity of Training

The training for this profession is not a breeze. Online lectures are typically not available for this course of study. In some states, the pass rate for the state licensing exam is 40 percent – meaning that only 40 percent of test-takers pass the exam the first time. In addition to attending lectures, students must complete clinical hours, which are massages on clients for which they are not compensated.

Physicality of the Profession

Earning $60 per hour sounds promising, but one must consider how many hours he or she will be able to work. Massage therapy is a very physical profession and this must be considered when estimating the number of hours the therapist will be able to work. For some, this is not a profession that the therapist will be able to work 40 hours per week due to the physical energy needed.

© 2013 erinshelby


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Right now, I'm going to start training in Reflexology. It is being offered for free by our national labor department, here in the Philippines.

      By the way, thanks for leaving some positive comments on one of my hubs. Your gesture is much appreciated.