Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.
Massage therapists work in an array of settings, such as spas, franchised clinics, physicians’ offices, hotels, and fitness centers. Some massage therapists also travel to clients’ homes or offices to give a massage.
How to Become a Massage Therapist
Massage therapists typically complete a postsecondary education program of 500 or more hours of study and experience, although standards and requirements vary by state or other jurisdictions. Most states regulate massage therapy and require massage therapists to have a license or certification.
Employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.
This occupation supported 132,800 jobs in 2012 and 168,800 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 27.1%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 22.6% in 2022 to 162,800 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 138,800, compared with an observed value of 168,800, 21.6% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 27.4% in 2024 to 205,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 168,800 jobs for 2024, 17.7% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.