Have you ever found yourself lost in the soothing rhythm of a masseuse’s skilled hands? That blissful dance, working out life’s knots and tensions–it’s almost magical. Have you ever wondered if this is the right career for you?

You’re not alone. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the massage therapy field is expected to grow 18% over the next decade. 

However, no job is without its challenges. The question becomes whether or not massage therapy is a good career for you. 

Let’s explore some of the benefits and challenges of pursuing a career in massage therapy. 

The Rise of Massage Therapy as a Career

Massage therapy is becoming a popular career choice, growing much faster than most occupations. This spike indicates an increasing demand, as many people look for alternatives outside of the traditional college system that drowns people in debt.

Unlike many degrees you can acquire at a four-year college, massage therapy takes less than one year to complete, costs less, and puts you to work immediately. 

Massage therapists can choose from several different career fields, including:

  • Medical massage therapy
  • Sports medicine
  • Onsite/personal massage therapy
  • Spa and resort massage therapy

With increasing job growth in upcoming years, expect to see more young people opt for a massage therapy career. 

The Benefits of a Massage Therapy Career

Looking beyond job opportunities, most people want a career they actually enjoy working in. Fortunately, massage therapy is often considered a rewarding job in and of itself.  

A Fulfilling Career

Massage therapy is fundamentally a medical profession, helping people soothe their aches and pains with the magic touch of your hands. Just being able to see and hear the results of your efforts in person makes massage therapy a rewarding career in and of itself. If you want a career where you can help people feel better, massage therapy is right for you.

Work-Life Balance

Many therapists have control over their schedules, letting them balance work with their personal lives seamlessly. Whether you work for yourself or a company, massage therapy jobs tend to have more latitude than many other traditional 9-5 jobs when it comes to choosing your schedule. 

Plus, you get to leave all your stress at the door–if there is any! Massage therapists get to clock out without working from home or over their weekends since their job is mostly confined to the work they do with their hands. 

Mental Health Benefits

Helping others physically can also benefit you mentally. One study reveals that giving massages reduces anxiety levels in therapists as much as it does in patients. That’s not all. It showed an impressive reduction in stress hormones as well, making this career more than meets the eye.

Mental wellness goes beyond reducing anxiety or stress, though. It’s also about fulfillment and happiness. As a massage therapist at NEPA School of Massage, you get opportunities every day to make a positive impact on someone’s life, which makes the journey well worth it.

Summary: Pros of a Massage Therapy Career

  • Increasing employment opportunities
  • Rewarding career where you help others
  • Licensing takes less than one year of schooling
  • Minimal debt
  • Job opportunities immediately out of school
  • Several different fields of work to choose from
  • Work-life balance
  • A low-stress job that is easy on mental health

Challenges and Considerations in Massage Therapy Career

A career in massage therapy, while rewarding, does come with its share of challenges. But just like any other profession, knowing these obstacles ahead can help you navigate them more effectively.

Physical dexterity

One key challenge is the physical demand. Massage therapy will require strength and endurance to provide quality service to clients on a daily basis. While not as challenging as loading trucks or moving furniture, it can be an unexpected challenger or perk, depending on how you look at it. 

Mental Fatigue

Beyond the physical aspects, mental fatigue is another consideration. While it’s true that helping others relax can contribute positively to your own well-being, overworking yourself could lead to burnout if not managed properly. Therefore, balancing your work-life schedule is critical to your success as a massage therapist. 

The Importance of Continuing Education

To stay licensed as a therapist, most states do require continuing education. On the one hand, this does keep your mind honed and updated on the latest practices. However, it can also be an annoyance, and it will cost you a small chunk of change out of pocket if your company does not pay for your classes. 

Economic Factors

Last but not least are economic factors. As much as we’d love for passion alone to pay our bills, therapists must consider their potential income versus cost of living expenses, particularly when starting out on this path. Luckily, there are many opportunities as a massage therapist to increase your salary by moving to different fields, gaining promotions, or starting your own practice. 

Summary: Challenges of a Massage Therapy Career

  • Requires physical strength and dexterity to be successful
  • Burnout is a real possibility if your work-life balance is off-kilter
  • Continuing education is required to maintain licensing
  • Salaries do vary by industry, and it may take time before you start earning better money

How to Start Your Journey as a Massage Therapist in Pennsylvania

Becoming a massage therapist can be one of the most rewarding career paths. It not only lets you help others feel better but also offers substantial mental health benefits. But where do you start? In the Keystone State, it’s simpler than you’d imagine to get going.

The first step is getting a massage therapy degree or certification through an accredited program like NEPA School of Massage. This institution gives high-quality education that aligns with the latest industry standards and techniques.

Next, consider gaining hands-on experience. You could volunteer at local wellness events or work part-time at spas or clinics. Real-world practice is crucial because it helps hone your skills and increase your confidence.

You’ll also need to pass the MBLEx (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination), which is required for licensure in many states, including Pennsylvania.

Finally, apply for state licensing through the Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy. [Learn More: 3 Steps to Become a Massage Therapist in Pennsylvania]

  • TIP: Join professional organizations such as AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) to connect with fellow therapists and stay updated on industry trends.

Is Massage Therapy a Good Career?

So, is massage therapy a good career? Absolutely! This journey can offer both personal and professional rewards.

It’s not just about economic opportunity either; from mental well-being to work flexibility, massage therapy is considered one of the highest-rated jobs in terms of job satisfaction. 

Begin your journey today! Start with a certified massage therapy school and gain your license in under one year. Many say it’s the best decision they ever made!

FAQs: Is Massage Therapy a Good Career?

What are the physical demands of the job?

Massage therapy can be physically demanding, as therapists use their hands and body to manipulate muscles. Maintaining physical fitness and practicing good body mechanics are essential to prevent strain and injury.

Are there opportunities for specialization in this field?

Yes, there are numerous specializations within massage therapy, such as sports massage, prenatal massage, medical massage, and more. Specializing can open up unique career opportunities.

​​How do I choose the right massage therapy school?

Research schools that are accredited and meet your location and budget preferences. Visit the schools, talk to instructors, and check their curriculum to find the best fit for your career goals.