Professional Masseur: Job Description & Career Requirements

Mar 25, 2019

A masseur, or massage therapist, performs specialized techniques that help relax and manipulate muscles. Masseurs work in a variety of fields, and they include sports medicine, reflexology and aromatherapy. Read on to find out more about this occupation.

Career Definition for a Masseur

Masseurs help clients with pain, stress and physical ailments by massaging and kneading muscles and soft tissues, in order to help their clients relax their bodies. Masseurs will also advise clients on relaxation techniques to help prevent muscle problems and relieve stress. Masseurs study a client's physical history and prepare and apply oils to the client's skin in order to improve the massage experience.

Required Education Training from technical school or community college and certification
Necessary Skills Knowledge of body and muscles, interpersonal skills, professionalism, money management, business
Median Salary (2017) $39,990 (for all massage therapists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 26% (for all massage therapists)

Education Required

Training and certification are required if you want to have a career as a masseur. Training programs are available at some technical schools and many community colleges. Certification programs take about one year to complete. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,, you need to pass either the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage to become certified and practice.

Skills Required

A masseur must understand how the body's muscles interact with one another and know how to treat specific body parts. A masseur works on a one-on-one basis with clients, so interpersonal skills and professionalism are essential. Many masseurs are self-employed and need to understand money management and have business skills.

Economic and Career Outlook

Masseurs can find employment opportunities in spas, hotels and fitness centers. The BLS predicted much faster than average employment growth of 26% for massage therapists from 2016-2026. Many masseurs are self-employed and need to have the ability to build a client base for consistent success. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, the median hourly wage for a massage therapist in May 2017 was $19.23 while the median annual wage was $39,990.

Alternate Career Options

Some skills you need to become a masseur may help prepare you for careers in other areas.

Physical Therapist Assistant and Aide

While assistants normally earn associate's degrees in physical therapy, aides usually enter the profession with a high school diploma and gain their training while on the job. Working under the supervision of physical therapists, these professionals work with patients recovering from surgeries, illnesses or injuries. Many job opportunities were anticipated from 2016-2026, with much faster than average growth of 30% predicted by the BLS. In 2017, physical therapist assistants earned a median salary of $57,430, while aides took home $25,730 yearly.

Athletic Trainer

Needing at least a bachelor's degree in athletic training, in addition to a certification or license in most states, these trainers work with people of all ages in the prevention and treatment of muscle or bone illnesses or injuries. Much faster than average employment growth of 23% was projected by the BLS for the 2016-2026 decade. These trainers, according to the BLS in 2017, earned a median yearly wage of $46,630.

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