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How to Become a Massage Therapist?

how to become a massage therapist

Do you enjoy helping people feel better?

Are you looking for a career that is both rewarding and has growth potential?

If so, then you may want to consider becoming a massage therapist. Massage therapy is a growing field, and there are many opportunities for those who are licensed and certified.

That’s why I decided to outline exactly How to Become a Massage Therapist in the United States. I will also discuss the duties and responsibilities, along with the different types of massage therapies available.

So, if you are interested in learning more about this exciting career path, keep reading!

how to become a massage therapist

What Is A Massage Therapist?

A massage therapist is someone who uses their hands to manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of another person’s body. They do this by applying pressure at specific points along that person’s anatomy using techniques such as kneading or tapping; these movements are known collectively as “massage therapy.”

The goal of any type of therapeutic work done with clients (including those receiving physical rehabilitation) should be both relaxation for them and pain relief if necessary so that they can resume their day-to-day activities healthily and comfortably.

Different Types of Massage Therapy

There are many different types of massage therapists, each with its own area(s) of specialization. Some common ones include:

Swedish Massage

This is the most popular type of massage because it is gentle on your body and can be deep tissue or light in pressure; Swedish therapists use long strokes to relax muscles, release tension from joints, relieve stress, and improve circulation.

Deep Tissue Massage

This type of therapy uses slow, firm strokes that work deeper into muscle layers than those used during a Swedish session; some people find this type of massage helpful for relieving chronic pain or tension headaches.

how to become the massage therapist

Sports Massage

Sports massage therapists are specifically trained to work with athletes and people who engage in physical activity; they use techniques that help improve performance, prevent injury, and speed up the healing process of injured muscles.

Thai Massage

A traditional Thai massage is performed on a mat while dressed in loose clothing; it involves stretching as well as pressure point work that helps relieve tension, improve circulation, and increase flexibility.

Trigger Point Therapy

This type of therapy focuses on specific areas of the body where there are tender spots or knots called “trigger points,” which can cause pain when they are pressed against other parts of your anatomy (such as bones); typically, these are treated with deep pressure until they release and relax again.

Pregnancy/Natal Massage

This is a special form of massage therapy designed for pregnant women; it helps to relieve common discomforts such as swelling, muscle cramps, and fatigue while promoting overall relaxation and well-being.

How To Become A Massage Therapist?

To become a massage therapist, you will need to complete an accredited program from one of the many schools around the country. These programs usually last between six months and two years, depending on state requirements for licensing exams or certifications needed.

In addition, most states require massage therapists to be licensed. To become licensed, you will need to pass an exam that tests your knowledge of the human body and therapeutic massage.

Numerous places to work…

After completing a program and passing any necessary exams, you will then need to find a job in the field. There are many places where you can find work as a massage therapist, including spas, salons, chiropractors’ offices, and even hospitals.

Finding a Massage Therapy Program

Many schools around the country offer accredited programs in massage therapy. You can also find some online courses if you prefer not to go back and forth between home and school every day.

how to become massage therapist guide

Massage Therapist Training and Licensing Requirements

There are many different types of massage therapists, and each one has its own set of requirements for licensing or certification. You will need to do some research on your state’s laws before applying so that you can make sure everything is in order when it comes time for the application process!

Some states require you to graduate from an accredited school before applying, while others only require passing scores on state exams.

Massage Therapy Salary and Job Growth

The average salary for a massage therapist is around $50,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on your experience, skills, and location. The job growth for this field is expected to be about 20% in the next decade. This means that there will be plenty of opportunities for people who want to pursue this career path!

Professional Massage Therapy Associations & Groups in the US

American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is a professional association for massage therapists with over 50 years of experience providing resources and support services to professionals like yourself!

National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) is an independent, nonprofit organization that has been certifying massage therapists since 1992. They also offer continuing education courses as well as public awareness campaigns about benefits associated with this profession!

Which Type of Massage Therapy Is The Right Career Fit For Me?

If you are not sure which type of massage therapist is the best fit for you, there are a few things that you can do to help make the decision.

First, you can talk to people who already work in the field and see what their experiences have been like. Second, you can take a look at job postings in your area and see which types of massage therapists are needed most. Finally, you can attend some career fairs or massages therapy workshops to get a better idea of what each type of massage therapist does.

Find your direction…

Once you have a good idea of what each type of massage therapist does, you can then start to look into the education and licensing requirements for each one. This will help you make an informed decision about which specialization is right for you!

A Day In The Life Of A Massage Therapist

Now that you have an idea of what it takes to become a massage therapist and what the day-to-day job duties might entail, let’s take a closer look at what one’s typical workday might be like.

First, as soon as you arrive for your shift, you will need to set up your workstation. This might include laying out massage oils, lotions, and towels, as well as setting up your computer or paperwork.

Always ask about injuries!

Next, you will need to greet your clients and ask them about any health concerns they may have or injuries that they are currently dealing with. Once you have a good understanding of their needs, you can then begin the massage therapy session.

During the session, it is important to constantly communicate with your client to get an idea of how the treatment is progressing. You may also need to adjust the pressure or technique depending on their feedback.

Document your progress…

After the session is complete, you will need to clean up your workstation and say goodbye to your clients. Finally, you will need to document everything that happened during the session and any feedback received from your clients.

how to become the massage therapist guide

Duties And Responsibilities

As a massage therapist, it is your responsibility to provide therapeutic care for clients through the use of various techniques such as deep tissue manipulation or Swedish relaxation methods. You will also need to communicate with patients about their needs to determine which type of therapy sessions are most appropriate for them.

In addition, you might be responsible for marketing yourself as an expert in this field by creating websites and social media profiles that promote your practice! The goal of these efforts should always be increasing exposure while maintaining professionalism at all times.

Resources For Massage Therapists

There are plenty of resources available out there to help anyone who is looking to get into the massage therapist career or expand their knowledge. This includes magazines such as Massage & Bodywork, websites such as Massage Therapy Journal, and online communities like the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Forum.

These resources offer a variety of information on the field, from tips for new therapists to advice on running a successful massage therapy business. They are also great places to connect with other professionals in the industry and learn from their experiences.

Why A Career In Massage Therapy?


  • You will be able to help people who are suffering from stress or physical ailments by providing massages that relax them and relieve their pain.
  • Many massage therapists also find satisfaction in knowing that they are improving someone’s quality of life with each session! There are many different types of massage therapy, so it is unlikely that you will ever get bored at work!


  • The job can be physically demanding because it requires long hours on your feet and a lot of manual labor.
  • It also does not pay very well compared to other professions, although the pay varies by location and experience level.

FAQ’s On Earning Your License In Massage Therapy

Q: How long does it take to earn a massage therapy license?

A: The length of time it takes to earn your massage therapy license will depend on the state you live in and whether or not there are any special requirements for licensing within that particular area. In some states, you may need more than 500 hours of training before becoming eligible, while others only require 250 hours total experience working as an apprentice under a licensed therapist.

In most cases, you will be able to take the licensing exam after completing your training. However, it is always best to check with your local governing body to make sure you are aware of all the requirements and deadlines involved in the process.

Q: What is involved in the massage therapy licensing exam?

A: The massage therapy licensing exam will usually test your knowledge on a variety of topics such as Swedish relaxation methods, deep tissue manipulation, and anatomy. You will also likely be tested on your ability to properly assess a client’s needs and provide them with an appropriate massage session. It is important to prepare for this exam by studying thoroughly and taking practice quizzes!

Why Not Become A Physical Therapist!

Firstly, our website has a few alternatives from my Massage Therapist Job Description, such as my Physical Therapy Technician Job Description, or even my Occupational Therapist Job Description, and why not take a look at Healthcare Jobs That Require No Experience.

Being a Physical Therapist can be extremely rewarding as a career, so check out the Introduction to Physical Therapy, the Acute Care Handbook for Physical Therapists, or how about Neurologic Interventions for Physical Therapy and Physical Rehabilitation which are all available online in 2023.

In addition, we also found these superb study guides; try using Physical Therapy Documentation: From Examination to Outcome, as well as the NPTE Secrets Study Guide: NPTE Exam Review for the National Physical Therapy Examination to help you prepare.

Final Thoughts

So now you know about what kind of career opportunities await those who choose this path.

While there may be some drawbacks like low starting salaries or the physically demanding nature of the job itself, the pros outweigh them substantially. Consider all the benefits, such as helping others relax after long days spent working or dealing with stress from their daily lives.

A massage therapist career is a great option for those who want to make a difference in people’s lives and have a flexible work schedule!

All the very best in your new career as a Massage Therapist!

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About Calvin Miller

Calvin has over 20 years of experience in a leading employment agency in Tucson, Arizona, and is passionate about finding the perfect position for everyone who uses the company’s services.

He lives with his wife, Annette, and their two sons Jake and Joseph.

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