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Posted on: August 18, 2016

If you're looking for a flexible career that involves helping others, you may want to consider becoming a massage therapist. These professionals help ease clients' pain by manipulating the body's muscles and soft tissue. Read on to learn more about the schooling required to enter the massage therapy field, and the salary and projected job outlook for this career.







Education Requirements


While the education required to become a licensed massage therapist varies by state, most programs at community colleges and vocational institutions require between 500 and 1,000 hours of study. This is a regulated industry in 45 states and the District of Columbia, which means a license or certification is required to practice. Typically, you'll need to pass either the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) licensure exam or an exam that's specific to your state.


Salary Range


On average, massage therapists earn a median annual salary of $38,040, though the highest ten percent of earners in the professional make approximately $75,000 according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both full and part-time positions are available, with about half of massage therapists working part-time. The job environment widely varies, with some who practice massage therapy working out of their homes or in their clients' homes, and others working in spas, physicians' offices, gyms, and other settings.


Job Outlook


Massage therapy is one of the fastest-growing careers in the nation, with an estimated 22 percent growth by 2024. That will result in approximately 36,500 new jobs in this field. The ideal candidate is physically fit and has empathy, integrity, and excellent communication skills. If you're looking for a flexible career that will allow you to earn a living with a two-year college degree, consider this fulfilling, enjoyable profession.


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