Massage therapists use touch to manipulate various muscles and muscle groups within the body. Therapeutic massage techniques are used to improve circulation, reduce stress, alleviate pain and help soothe and heal muscle injuries. Most states require massage therapists to be licensed or certified through the state. Only six states required no massage therapy licensing in 2014; however, this will be changing in 2015.
As of 2014, the states of Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont and Wyoming do not require massage therapists to be licensed or certified. Alaska did not require massage therapists to be licensed in 2014, but legislation has passed that will require massage practitioners to be licensed as of July 15, 2015. This does not, however, mean that you are completely free to practice massage therapy anywhere in these states without a license. Some city governments within these states have created their own laws about massage therapy certification. It is important to check with your local government before practicing massage, even if your state does not require you to have a license.
2016 Salary Information for Massage Therapists
Massage therapists earned a median annual salary of $39,860 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, massage therapists earned a 25th percentile salary of $27,220, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $57,110, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 160,300 people were employed in the U.S. as massage therapists.