The Definitive Guide: How To Become A Massage Therapist
What is a Massage Therapist?
Do you have the magic touch? As a massage therapist, (also known as a masseuse) you will manipulate soft tissues, muscles and joints with a range of motion and strength. You will provide treatment for medical conditions or injuries, as well as for relaxations purposes and promote general wellness. There are many different types of massage such as shiatsu, sports, Swedish and deep tissue. You could work in a spa, a hotel, or a private practice.
Hours of Work
As a massage therapist, your hours will vary based on whether you are working for yourself, part time or full time. Regardless of this, you will need to be prepared to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends as your clients will book appointments at these times. If you work for yourself you can pick your own hours, however you will need extra time to do your own accounts, marketing and administration. This could add up to a full 40-hour week.
So, what will your main responsibilities be as a Massage Therapist?
Duties typically include:
- Take detailed medical histories from clients
- Design sessions based on client needs, symptoms and desired results
- Listen to clients and adjust sessions as accordingly
- Offer clients information about further relaxation techniques to use between sessions
- Document client conditions and progress
- Provide a comfortable, safe and relaxing environment for clients
- Clean and maintain massage rooms
- Keep an eye on stock of supplies such as oils, lotions and candles and re order when necessary
Key Massage Therapist qualifications
Do you have the qualifications to get the job?
A degree is not required for this career. It is beneficial to have GCSE grades A*-C and biology is preferred as you will need to know the ins and outs of the human body and the muscles before being allowed to massage clients.
After gaining your GCSE’s, you will need to take a specific course in order to learn about the anatomy and physiology, different massage techniques, health and safety, history and philosophy and many other aspects. Some courses you could look into are:
There are different levels that you could work towards, and different companies will require a different level of education. As in any career, the higher level you obtain, the better your job prospects and most likely, the higher your salary will be.
Vital Massage Therapist skills
Want to know if you’ve got what it takes? These are the skills you’ll need for the role
- Communication skills
- Great customer service
- Physical strength
What is a Massage Therapist’s salary?
Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty…
The average starting salary is around £15,000, but this will depend on the amount of hours you work. After gaining more experience you could earn around £30,000 or more. If you work for yourself, your salary will go up as your client base increases.
How to become a Massage Therapist?
Now that you know what a Massage Therapist does, how do you become one?
There are a few routes that you could consider when starting out as a massage therapist.
If you are itching to start your career you could look for an apprenticeship. This will enable you to begin working and training immediately, usually with a one-day college release where you will gain a qualification alongside your job. This will give you the chance to gain experience whilst learning. An apprenticeship wage is usually considerably lower than a normal working wage, however your salary will increase once you are qualified.
Once you have either completed an apprenticeship or a beauty therapy/massage course, you can decide to either start your own business or work for an already established brand. There are perks to both options and if you are keen to be your own boss, you could gain experience within a company before deciding to do it alone.
How to develop your Massage Therapist career?
You might decide that you want to develop your career, but how?
You could work for a larger company with a larger client base. This might offer more hours, more services and possibly training opportunities to expand your skills.
If you have the travel bug, there are many opportunities aboard cruise ships where you could work in the spa. This will give you the chance to travel the world whilst working. You could pursue this with companies such as The Onboard Spa by Steiner
Another way in which you could develop your career is by setting up your own business. This will be challenging but rewarding. You will have the privilege of choosing your own working hours, but you will be responsible for much more than just massaging you clients. You will need to manage every aspect of the company. From there you could work towards growing the business by hiring staff and eventually opening up new branches.
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