Is a Career as a Massage Therapist a Good Choice for You?

If you have been thinking about a career change you might have thought about training to become a massage therapist. Many people that are already massage therapists will tell you that it is a great career. Some of the benefits include a flexible schedule, working with interesting people, helping people feel good, and of course, the financial rewards.

These are just a few of the things massage therapists like about their career. But, just like when you decide to start any new career, it is important to consider why you are interested in this field and what kinds of skills you need to have, before you take the jump to start your training.

Besides learning proper massage techniques, there are several things that you’ll need to learn before you can start a successful massage career. You definitely need to have great people skills. People come to massage therapists to feel better so an excellent bedside manner is critical. Some people like to talk or like to listen to you talk while they are being massaged and others like complete silence. No matter what kind of personality you have, you will need to provide the client with the kind of social interaction that they are looking for. You will have to market yourself because even if you work at a group practice you’ll need to bring in clients. Networking is an important part of your job.

Being a massage therapist is physically demanding, especially at the beginning. You need to be in good shape and take care of your health. You need to be able to stand for long periods of time and you need to have good upper body strength. Without these abilities, you will not likely be able to stand up to the physical demands of massaging for long periods of time throughout the day.

Do you like to touch people? Do you hug often and feel comfortable giving back rubs? If you don’t particularly like touching others then massage therapy is likely not the right career for you. If you’ve never tried this before and you aren’t sure, offer to give a back rub or a light shoulder massage to friends. See how you feel about it. Do you feel comfortable with hand to skin contact? Are they comfortable with you? Does their body relax when you touch them or do they become rigid and tight? These are a few things that can give you hints about whether or not you should become a massage therapist.

Finally, consider what they training requirements are in your area. Are you willing to get the necessary training to become a licensed massage therapist?