Job Outlook for Massage Therapists
One is hard-pressed to find a career within the medical field that does not have a bright and promising future with good employment prospects as well as high earnings potential. This is no exception for a career as a massage therapist. In fact, the growth in that particular industry is higher than in many others for a variety of reasons.
The phenomenal and rapid growth of the healthcare industry is a given fact in today’s culture. Not only do more and more people rely on professional healthcare for issues they might have ignored a generation ago, but the population as a whole is aging rapidly. This is because of a longer lifespan and the aging of the so-called Baby Boom generation. High demand for healthcare translates to increased demand for even non-traditional forms of healing, such as massage therapy. Therefore, there is a strong potential for steady growth in that field, which results in great employment prospects.
As more research is performed on the benefits of massage therapy, its use as a form of rehabilitation for medical injuries is growing. While at one time, the necessity of the industry was called into question, now is has garnered widespread acceptance within the medical community. As a result, some insurance companies will now cover the cost of private sessions. This leads to a higher demand for services, which in turn increases the job prospects for massage therapists.
Nowadays, massage therapists can be found in numerous, sometimes unexpected settings, such as fitness centers and resorts. Nursing homes and hospitals may employ them, and you can always find them in private homes or offices. Some businesses now hire on-call massage therapists to visit a workplace and offer stress-relieving massages to busy employees while on the job. With such a wide array of settings available, the potential for finding employment within the industry has grown exponentially, allowing for greater job security.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2010 that the mean annual salary earned by a massage therapist is $39,770. When evaluated against the minimal level of training which is required to practice, this rate alone is fairly high. However, this amount is far from the peak level of income which can be attained, as some massage therapists can earn over a $100,000 per year.
The salaries of massage therapists are affected by a number of different factors, foremost among them being the setting of the practice. A practitioner working for an upscale spa in an elite neighborhood in a large city will obviously earn more per session hour than a small-town private practitioner in a small office setting. Plus, as with any business, strategic advertising and marketing can make or break a career.
Earnings for a massage therapist are also impacted by the level of initial training achieved as well as the amount of on-the-job experience. An employer is likely to pay higher wages to a practitioner who has completed a more advanced study program. Likewise, the number of years of experience in the field performing actual hands-on massages will impact salary.