massage therapist giving back massage to client

5 Places to Work as a Massage Therapist

Massage therapy is a widely varied field, with techniques designed to address an assortment of clients, problems, and health goals. It is no wonder, then, that professionals in this sector are found in so many different environments. Use this guide to narrow down your options and determine which opportunity aligns best with your career objectives.


1.  Spas and Wellness Centers

These facilities make up most of the massage therapy sector. They are generally considered to be great opportunities for developing and maintaining relationships with a strong client base. In these settings, you are likely to encounter a diverse clientele, as well as employ a range of techniques in your work to meet a variety of needs.

The highest traffic times for these establishments are evenings and weekends, and so you must be prepared to work outside usual business hours. Additionally, spas and wellness centers typically offer lower salaries and have a greater work demand than some of the alternatives below, due to large overhead expenses and operating costs. However, this depends greatly on the particular spa, so do your research before deciding whether to pursue a specific job opportunity in this industry.


2.  Clinical/Medical Organizations

There is a wide range of options for those interested in clinical, medical, or rehabilitative massage therapy. Hospitals, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, and clinics specializing in sports medicine are just a few examples of possible facilities that utilize massage therapy. Working in such an environment, you might help rehabilitate athletic injuries, ease mothers’ discomfort during pregnancy, or deliver preventive services to ensure continued health.


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3.  Vacation Spots

Massages are a great way for weary travelers to rest, relax, and recuperate. Businesses like cruises, hotels, and resorts frequently employ massage therapists. Depending on the specific establishment, potential perks range from working in exotic locations to access to top-of-the-line equipment and facilities. Though it is unlikely that you will develop a solid client base by working with vacationers, these venues nevertheless provide a regular stream of work.


4.  Mobile Massage

Between busy schedules and muscular aches, there are many reasons people prefer not to travel for a massage. Mobile massage therapists fill this need, meeting customers wherever they are. This strategy can also help you make first contact with new potential clients. Unfortunately, it also means you have to cover travel expenses and transport your own equipment back and forth. You also have far less control over creating a relaxing environment. Two of the most common venues for mobile massage are corporate offices and in-home visits.


5.  Private Practice

Self-employment is a popular career choice for many massage therapists. As appealing as the ability to set your own hours and potential to work out of (or close to) your home may be, however, there are some important questions to consider before diving in headfirst.

  • Would you work alone, or with a small team? Will you miss interacting with your co-workers?
  • Do you have a large enough client base to get started?
  • Are you comfortable managing the business and financial side of your work?
  • Do you have the resources you need to get started?

Launching your own private practice can seem like an unreachable fantasy, but with plenty of preparation, hard work, and motivation, you can make it a reality. If you choose to take this path, make sure to get advice from knowledgeable friends, family, mentors, and many other resources to ensure a smooth start.


Every field has advantages and disadvantages, but knowing how they relate to your own strengths, skills, and goals will help you identify the best workplace for you. So, where is your dream massage therapy job?

By Erin Coursey, iHire | September 21, 2016
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