These days, there's a growing demand for professional massage therapists. People see the value of massage services in terms of improving physical health—plus there’s the enjoyment of feeling pampered and having reduced stress levels.
If you're looking for a stable, rewarding career that doesn't require years upon years of formal education, then you might want to consider getting a certificate in massage therapy. Before you begin pursuing this career, however, there are some things you should know.
Available Massage Credentials
First of all, understand that there are many possible areas of expertise that you may want to consider exploring when you enroll in a massage therapy program. Some common areas of practice these days that you might want to consider include:
- Prenatal massage
- Chair massage
- Medical massage
- Sports massage/therapy
Depending on where your specific interests lie, the education path you pursue may vary. If you're looking to have the most in-demand skills, then you may want to consider certification in sports massage or prenatal massage, both of which are very popular specialties. No matter which path you choose, make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited.
Getting Board Certified: Is It Worth It?
Regardless of the specific path or specialty you decide to follow, ask yourself whether or not you want to get board certified. Most states require licensing; board certification is on top of this, but completely voluntary. Generally, however, the answer to the question is yes, it is worth it. That's because being a board-certified massage therapist will lead to more clients by demonstrating your commitment to the highest industry standards while increasing your credibility with potential clients.
In order to become board certified, you must generally complete your school certification in addition to a certain number of experience hours. From there, you may also need to have a background check done to ensure that you have a clean record in order to be granted board certification.
Possible Massage Career Paths
With certification in massage therapy, there are many directions in which you could take your career. Some popular industries include:
- Medical and healthcare
- Sports and sports medicine
- Spa and salon
- Franchise positions
Furthermore, if you can build up a large enough client base of your own, then you could eventually work as a self-employed massage therapist, giving you the ability to work as your own boss and set your own schedule!
What To Expect
If you're interested in enrolling in a massage therapy program, then start by deciding on a specific area of study as explained above. From there, depending on whether you're enrolling part time or full time, you may likely finish your program in one to two years.
At that point, you can become board certified and immediately begin practicing in the field, either as an independent contractor or by getting hired in by a spa, medical facility, or other business. From there, you can enjoy a rewarding career where there's plenty of room for advancement and self-improvement!