A career in massage therapy offers the opportunity to help others attain health and well-being, maintain a flexible schedule, and earn a good wage. Learn more about the job outlook and salary potential for massage therapists in the United States.

Massage Therapist

Massage therapists are health care workers who manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body to promote health and well-being. People seek treatment from massage therapists to heal injuries, treat ailments, reduce stress, and relax after over exertion. With professional training, you can find satisfying work as a massage therapist, often setting your own hours and rates.

Massage Therapist Training

Massage therapists use over 80 different types of massage modalities, including reflexology, Swedish massage, and deep tissue massage, and they may use these different techniques on different clients depending on their age and condition. It takes at least 500 hours of study to become a professional massage therapist.

Training includes specific massage techniques, physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, business management, and ethics, and usually results in a diploma or a certificate. You can find massage therapist training online if your schedule needs to be flexible or you want to avoid a commute. In addition to this formal education, you'll need strong communication skills and the ability to make clients comfortable in order to attract repeat business.

Most states require some sort of professional training and licensure through examination before you can legally practice massage, and some also require continuing education throughout your career. Massage therapist training online is available to fulfill these requirements.

Massage Therapist Salary and Career Outlook

Most massage therapists work part-time hours actually doing massage, though you may put in over 40 hours total when it comes to paperwork, finding clients, commuting, and setting up your massage space.

Here's an idea of a massage therapist salary, as well as job growth you might expect in the coming years:

CareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean WageProjected Job Growth Rate
Massage Therapists105,160$45,88023.5%
2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Opportunities for advancement (and higher earnings) include managing an office where you work as a massage therapist or teaching massage. If you own your own business, you may increase your rates over time, as you build your reputation with more experience and satisfied clients.

With some professional training, you can start a career in massage therapy. You can bring relief and health to your clients, work as little or as much as you want, and earn a great wage.


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed August 30-31, 2018: Massage Therapists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/massage-therapists.htm; Massage Therapists, Occupational Employment and Wages, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319011.htm;


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