Whether you’re just starting out professionally and determining your next steps, or you’re a workforce veteran, tired of the same old desk job and exploring a career pivot, massage therapy should be a top consideration for you. This rewarding profession offers a wide range of benefits for you to look forward to, both personally and professionally. 

Let’s take a look at exactly what you can expect from a massage therapy career.

Promising Job Outlook

For starters, one of the most exciting aspects of a massage therapy career is the field’s anticipated growth. Employment opportunities are expected to increase by 20% over the next decade, a promising statistic driven by a rapidly expanding demand for massage therapists. This demand can be attributed to several factors, including:

  • Continued consumer interest in prioritizing self-care and wellness
  • More and more individuals recognizing massage therapy as a viable way to treat pain, reduce stress, and improve overall wellness
  • Healthcare providers incorporating massage therapy and bodywork into treatment plans

What’s more, these factors won’t just come and go in the next few years. They’re here for the long run, meaning job stability as well.

Varied Employment Opportunities

Due to the rising interest in massage therapy, licensed massage therapists can expect to find work in a variety of environments, including:

  • Spas
  • Resorts
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation clinics
  • Physician/chiropractic offices
  • Hospitals
  • Fitness centers
  • Athletic training programs
  • Your own practice

Rewarding Work

As a massage therapist, you’ll have the option to generalize in a range of modalities or specialize in a specific one. Either route might feel challenging at times, as you’ll likely be dealing with clients facing a range of concerns, but it’s also very rewarding work. You’re able to help individuals feel better, whether it’s physically, mentally, or both. And, because of the variety of concerns you’ll help clients with, you won’t find yourself bored with your day-to-day tasks.

Low-Stress Career

Aside from the fact that you’ll be working in an environment made to be relaxing, a massage therapy career does not involve being in high-stress situations, exposure to harmful chemicals or machinery, or prolonged periods in physically tolling positions, like heavy-lifting or sitting. You’ll actually be engaging in gentle movements and light activity as you work on clients, which supports staying in shape.

Great Income Potential

What you make as a massage therapist will vary depending on where you live, the setting you work in, and the number of hours spent giving massages per week. It’s common for massage therapists to be paid by the hour to accommodate any fluctuations in working time week to week, and you’ll make tips.

You can choose to be a self-employed massage therapist or work for a business — both will offer you enhanced flexibility when it comes to your schedule, as well as the potential for income growth. In either path, you’ll be responsible for maintaining a sanitary environment, doing laundry, and marketing yourself to build your client base. Self-employed massage therapists will have additional responsibilities as well, such as renting a workspace, purchasing equipment and supplies, and completing administrative tasks (or hiring someone to do so).

Quick, Invaluable Training

Massage therapy is a highly intricate practice that will require you to go back to school in order to receive proper training and obtain your license. However, the duration of your schooling will be for a much shorter amount of time than a traditional degree or even training programs for other trades. 

The specific amount of time you’ll spend in massage therapy school depends on how many hours of training your state requires for licensure and whether you’re attending school full-time or part-time. The average state requires between 600 and 700 training hours, although there are a handful of states requiring fewer and others requiring more. Iowa, specifically, requires 600 training hours for massage therapy licensure. Even operating on a part-time schedule of 20 hours per week, massage therapy school can be completed in less than a year.

Your curriculum will consist of both theory and practical components, as well as business development. You’ll start with in-depth lessons in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and more before delving into the variety of massage techniques and modalities. Then, you’ll get real-world experience performing massage services on clients. By the end of your program, you’ll know everything you need to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) and apply for licensure.

Kick Off Your Massage Therapy Career at PCI Academy

Whether you’re just starting out in the professional world or making a much-needed career pivot,  thriving in this line of work and experiencing the many benefits of a massage therapy career is attainable with the right school. 

At PCI Academy, an NACCAS-accredited institution, our robust massage therapy curriculum has been approved by the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy and consists of both specialized coursework and practical instruction to fulfill the state’s 600-hour licensure requirements. Our flexible program schedules can accommodate your own, and we also assist with job placement as you near graduation.

Contact us today to learn more about PCI Academy’s massage therapy training, or apply now to set your education in motion.