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Massage Therapy Schools and Programs

Massage therapists relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote general well being by manipulating soft tissue to improve circulation and remove toxins. There are more than 80 different types of massage therapies, including deep tissue massage, hot stone massage, and sports massage.

How to Become a Massage Therapist

Massage therapists work in a wide variety of settings including gyms, spas, massage studios, medical facilities, schools, clients' homes and offices, and even in airport terminals. Regardless of the setting, massage therapy is physically demanding as massage therapists are on their feet and using their own muscles to make their clients feel better. Massage therapists who travel to client sites often must bring their own massage table and linens, and so they must be strong enough to lift and carry their own gear.

Massage Therapist Outlook

Approximately 64 percent of massage therapists are self employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and 42 percent work part time (defined as 30 hours per week or fewer). AS of 2006, there were approximately 118,000 massage therapists working in the U.S. The profession is projected to grow 20 percent between 2006 and 2016, a rate faster than that of other occupations.

Massage Therapist Pay

As of May 2008, according to BLS statistics, the median annual wage for massage therapists was $34,900. The lowest 10 percent of therapists earned a median annual wage of $16,670, while the top 10 percent earned a median annual wage of $69,620.

Massage Therapist Education

As of 2006, 38 States and the District of Columbia had laws regulating the practice of massage therapy. To become a massage therapist, most States require that you earn a degree, certificate, or diploma from an accredited school and pass a State or national exam. See your State Web site for requirements specific to where you intend to practice.


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