US News & World Reports included massage therapy among the top careers for 2011. In compiling the list, the authors considered data on job satisfaction, turnover, impending retirements, and employment satisfaction. They also spoke with labor and industry experts and gathered real-life stories about job satisfaction. The Labor Department reported that employment in massage therapy is expected to grow faster than average, up 19% between 2008 and 2018.
A quick overview of the benefits of working in the field might explain why massage therapy was among the top careers. The majority of massage therapists are self-employed, allowing the therapist to set his/her own hours. Others work part-time in a variety of venues, including spas, cruise ships, sport centers, and hospitals. Some practice massage therapy as a second job. Massage therapists can generally practice with only a license, with no degree required (state requirements differ drastically). In 2009, the average salary was $35, 230. In addition, the massage therapy environment is low-stress, often including candles, low lighting, and soothing music.
Massage therapists can work in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. They may treat injuries, reduce stress, or simply promote general health. They may use Swedish massage, reflexology, sports massage, or deep-tissue massage.
For more information about this top career for 2011, visit the American Massage Therapy Association website at www.amtamassage.org .