Video:Massage Therapist Career Profilewith Jes Shuford
A highly independent and creative career, massage therapists reap many benefits from working in solo practices or as contractors. But is this profession right for you? Take a walk in a massage therapists shoes for a day and see.See Transcript
Transcript:Massage Therapist Career ProfileHi, I'm Jes Shuford, a licensed massage therapist here for About.com. And, today I'm going to show you what it's like to be a massage therapist.
Skills Needed for Careers in Massage TherapyI first became interested in becoming a massage therapist because I was a professional dancer, actually. Coming from an environment where I was working with my body a lot. And I got interested in how it worked, how it functioned, how injury happened. How the body heals and recovers from that. A massage therapist really needs to like people a lot.
You need to have a deep respect and fascination with the human body. Every person's body is a whole different story and sort of a new book that you're opening and there's always something to learn with each client that you have. You need really good listening skills and sensitivity. You need to be kind of a self starter. It's a profession where you're not going to have as much as others. You need to be self motivated. You need to be able to guide yourself and steer yourself.
Educational Requirements for Massage TherapistsEach state has different requirements for the amount of education that's necessary to become a massage therapist. New York requires a thousand hours of education, which usually ends up being about 2 years of school. In that time you will study anatomy, physiology, kinesthesiology, all of those sciences, as well as massage technique and business and ethics and those things. And, then there's a lot of practice time, practice clinics involved in there. So, you're actually getting your hands involved on the public people.
And then, in New York, after you've completed the education, you apply to take the licensing exam, but it does vary from state to state. I've been a massage therapist for seven years. I really love my job. I really love what I do. It's been really an honor to work so intimately with people and their bodies and help people feel better.
Private and Contract Massage Therapist CareersA massage therapist can work for themselves and be in private practice or you can be an employee or an independent contractor and work in a variety of different environments. There's spas, hospitals, health clubs, hotels, maternity centers, chiropractors offices, so, there's a wide range of a lot of different environments that you can be in and each of those environments is going to bring you a sort of different clientele. A different kind of people that you're working with. And, a lot of massage therapists work in more than one environment just for a little variety. So, that you're not always doing the same kind of work on the same population that you've got.
So, I do the vast majority of my work as an independent contractor at a spa in Manhattan. And also see occasional private clients in my home office and occasionally do their homes.
Creating a Mobile OfficeThe table is portable and it folds up and I pack it all up in a bag with my sheets and linens and oils and music and clock and all of the things that I need to cart on over and set up in their home.
You get out of it, what you put into it. So there are some massage therapists who work part time and minimally and there are others who pour a lot of energy into private practice. You can definitely make a respectable living and the more you self promote, the more that you develop what it is that you specifically do. Obviously the greater your income potential.
Massage Therapist Time ScheduleI'll begin my day by checking voice mail and e-mail and doing any scheduling I need to do with private clients. Frequently then, I'll leave for the spa where I'll spend the bulk of my day.
Sometimes I work afternoon and evenings there, sometimes I work morning and afternoon. If there's time on either end of that schedule I may see a client privately.
Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.