Who Becomes a Massage Therapist?

August 14, 2023

What do a spa owner, a nurse, and a former mechanic have in common? They all have chosen to become massage therapists!

A diverse range of personalities, skills, and goals contribute to the qualities of an accomplished massage therapist. Picture the spa owner wanting to grow her business offerings, the nurse who wants to provide a holistic approach to his client’s condition, or even the mechanic looking to switch careers. Each person may have chosen massage therapy for a different reason, but there can be similarities between them that will help them thrive in this profession. 

While no single trait or disposition defines a good massage therapist, people with certain common characteristics often choose massage careers. Below are five examples:

I. Beauty/Wellness Business Owners Seeking Skill Expansion

Examples: spa or salon owners, estheticians, wellness centers, entrepreneurs

You might be an entrepreneur or have already acquired your own business and are looking for ways to expand it or your skills. Salons often provide massage therapy as a personal care package, and it’s a fantastic way to make your clients feel even more pampered. Adding massage therapy to your skills allows you to widen your customer base and bring in more revenue for your spa.

II. Individuals with a Passion for Healing or Helping Others

Examples: medical students, holistic nurses, physical therapists, chiropractors, social workers, life coaches

If you’re the type of person who gravitates toward helping others and wants to encourage healing in an impactful way, massage therapy offers a compelling path. Unlike the lengthy and intensive commitment of medical school, a massage therapy program can be completed quickly (in as little as one year) with a more affordable financial investment. It allows individuals who are considering a career in the medical field to help others without extensive schooling. The hands-on nature of massage therapy aligns well with those who have a passion for patient care and encourages a holistic approach to wellness. As a massage therapist, you can actively contribute to your client’s well-being, augmenting other treatment modalities like chiropractic or physical therapy in a more flexible and dynamic healing role.

III. Tactile-Kinesthetic Learners

People who like to use their hands in work, for example: contractors, mechanics, drummers/guitarists, painters, farmers, roofers, plumbers, athletic coaches

Another group of people who may succeed as massage therapists are tactile-kinesthetic learners (people who work well with their bodies and hands). If you have a sensitivity to touch that helps you understand the somatic sense better, you may succeed in a heavily hands-on field centered around physical contact. This can look like drummers who have rhythmic skills and responsiveness in their hands or contractors who have experience working with manual dexterity and physical coordination.

IV. Individuals Seeking Supplemental Income and a Flexible Schedule

Examples of this can be: artists, musicians, single parents, bartenders, restaurant workers, parents whose kids are in school

A career in massage therapy can provide you with a lot of flexibility and control over your schedule. A full-time massage therapist works only about 25 hours per week, with the ability to choose where and how they practice. With this flexibility, individuals looking to earn extra income with part-time or freelance jobs often choose to work in massage therapy. There are various settings where you can find opportunities like this: spas, clinics, or private practices, just to name a few.

V. Those Seeking an Alternative Career Path

Examples: people considering a trade school, graduating high schoolers looking for an alternative to traditional college, those wanting to go back to school for a different career, office workers who want something more active

The uncertainty of attending college is not confined to just graduating high schoolers. In fact, there is a diverse scope of individuals who want to explore nontraditional avenues as they redefine their career paths. Massage therapy offers an alternative to conventional academia with hands-on learning and highly transferrable skills. Massage therapy programs can be completed in just a year (full-time) or two (part-time), so you’ll have the opportunity to enter the workforce earlier, equipped with practical skills. This allows you to save time and money while gaining real-world experience and earning an income. Whether you’re a recent graduate or seeking a career shift, massage therapy welcomes you to a world where personal growth can align with professional fulfillment.

As this profession becomes increasingly important in the health and wellness arenas, the need for more therapists rises. This demand allows you to personalize your own style and approach to fit not only your client’s needs but your lifestyle as well.

There are endless kinds of personalities, backgrounds, motivations, and skill sets that lead individuals to a career in massage therapy! If you think massage therapy is the career path for you, visit the Program Overview page to learn more, or reach out to us at hello@massageschoolny.com.