Is Massage Therapy the Career for Me?
Massage therapy is a fast-growing field with an expected 22% increase in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024. If you choose this occupation, you will work with patients in need of help with conditions ranging from anxiety to arthritis. If massage therapy interests you, answer these questions to determine if it is the right career choice.
|Do you have excellent communication skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you a people person?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy taking care of others?||Yes or No|
|Do you value your integrity?||Yes or No|
|Are you physically fit?||Yes or No|
|Do you manage your time well?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable promoting yourself?||Yes or No|
|Are you interested in science and anatomy?||Yes or No|
|Is personal hygiene important to you?||Yes or No|
|Do you think analytically?||Yes or No|
Why Do I Need These Attributes?
Do you have excellent communication skills?
Clear communication between client and massage therapist is critical to establish expectations, desired outcomes, and parameters. In this career, you will need to listen carefully to the concerns and wishes of each client and clearly outline what your massage will entail.
Are you a people person?
Along with the technical skills required to provide effective services, massage therapists need to possess exceptional interpersonal skills. You should enjoy making conversation, have a good sense of humor, and, generally, like interacting with other people.
Do you enjoy taking care of others?
Clients come to massage therapists both for relief of physical ailments and to relax and escape from everyday pressures. You should have a nurturing personality, and care about providing clients with a relaxing, therapeutic experience.
Do you value your integrity?
Working as a massage therapist means you'll have access to clients' confidential information about their physical and emotional health. Your trustworthiness will be paramount to retaining clients and obtaining new ones.
Are you physically fit?
Massage therapy can be physically taxing. In this job, you will spend much of your time on your feet, bending over clients and using your muscular strength to apply pressure and massage. You will need to personally focus on maintaining strength, stamina and manual dexterity throughout your career.
Do you manage your time well?
As a massage therapist, clients will book your services for a finite amount of time. While communicating and establishing relationships is critical, you will need to manage your time to make sure that you also provide the massage services expected within the time allotted.
Are you comfortable promoting yourself?
Roughly half of massage therapists are self-employed so, if you choose this career, there is a good chance that you may work for yourself. To effectively do so, you will need to actively market your business and promote your services within your community in order to gain new clients.
Are you interested in science and anatomy?
Your training to become a massage therapist will include the study of subjects such as anatomy, physiology, and pathology. You will need to know about various muscles, how they function, and how they affect the human body as a whole.
Is personal hygiene important to you?
Massage therapists work in close physical proximity to their clients. You will need to pay close attention to your personal hygiene, ranging from your breath to lingering food or tobacco odors on your clothes and hair.
Do you think analytically?
In this career, you will need to analyze information provided by your clients to evaluate their conditions and determine which type of massage will be the best therapy for them.
How Do I Proceed?
If your answers to more than 50% of the questions above were 'yes', massage therapy may be the career for you. While there is no national standard education requirement for massage therapists, most train via post-secondary programs available at colleges and universities. In order to qualify for one of these programs, you will need a high school diploma or its equivalent. Most programs require at least 500 hours of classroom study and clinical experience. Upon completion of a training program, most states will require you to be licensed or certified before working as a massage therapist.