Cool Job of the Month

Massage Therapist

Are you looking for a flexible, rewarding job where you will be constantly interacting with the public? Was physical education one of your favorite subjects in school? If so, consider massage therapy!

Why it's cool

  • You can earn $25 up to as much as $60 per hour to make people feel better.
  • Your family and friends will be indebted to you for the free massages you can give.
  • You can work in a variety of settings, such as business, medical, sports, or holistic healthcare.
  • You may massage the muscles of famous athletes.

Requirements for the Job

  • Sensitivity
  • Physical Endurance
  • Strength (although this depends on the type of massage you choose to specialize in)
  • Manual dexterity/agility
  • Good communication skills
  • Good business skills (if you open your own practice)


To become a certified massage therapist you must complete a 2-3 year program at an accredited college and pass an exam given by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

Most academic programs require at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. The massage therapy program is very intense, with a focus on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, histology, ethics, and pathology, in addition to hands-on clinical experience in massage therapy clinic. Schools may differ in their styles of massage, so it is important to decide which type of massage interests you. Listed below are a few examples:

  • Aromatherapy:
    Use of essential oils with massage that appeal to both tactile and olfactory senses!
  • Reflexology:
    Use of pressure points on the feet, which are presumed to affect all parts of the body.
  • Shiatsu:
    A form of massage that is similar to acupuncture, as it involves applying pressure to the locations of the energy meridians of the body.
  • Sports Massage:
    Pre and post-event massage that focuses directly on the muscles involved in various types of sports.
  • Swedish Massage:
    Deep pressure nmassage to the muscles in the direction of the flow of blood to the heart.

Career Path/Average Salaries

In 2012, the US average annual salary is $17.23 hourly or $35,830 annually. It is projected that this occupation will grow 20%-28% by the year 2020. The salary you earn will be based upon your clientele (the more people you treat the more money you will make), the number of hours you work, and your experience (as you become more experienced, you can charge more for your services).

Related Occupations

  • Chiropractor
  • Kinesiologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant
  • Naturopath
  • Physiotherapist
  • Physical Therapist Assistant

JVIS Report

  • You should consider this job if you have above average Basic Interest Scores in Personal Service, Medical Service, and Life Science.
  • Your JVIS Report should show one or more of the following occupation groups under your Top 3: Service Occupations, Health Service Workers, Medical Diagnosis and Treatment Occupations, and/or Sport and Recreation Occupations.

For more information contact:

  • American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)
    820 Davis Street, Suite 100
    Evanston, IL 60201-4444
    Phone: 1-877-905-0577
  • National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)
    1901 S. Meyers Rd., Suite 240
    Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-5243
    Phone: 1-800-296-0664
  • MASSAGE.CA Massage Therapy
    581 Huron St.
    Toronto, ON M5R 2R6
    Phone: 416-929-9759
  • Canadian Sports Massage Therapists Association (CSMTA)
    1030 Burnside Rd. W.
    Victoria, BC V8Z 1N3
    Phone: 250-590-9861