A career in massage therapy is one of the most rewarding professions you'll find in the health care field. Some of the benefits of pursuing massage include: An expanding industry and demand for services, flexibility in scheduling and workplace environment, and an accessible career path. In fact, you can complete a degree in massage therapy in less than a year.
Types of massage
Students of massage therapy often study a variety of massage modalities and courses, including: Shiatsu, Swedish massage, medical massage and the biosciences. There are a range of techniques within Asian and other systems of medicine. Different schools may offer different areas of focus.
Enrolling in a program
If you have decided that a massage therapy career is right for you, the next step is enrolling in a massage therapy certification program. Some factors to consider when enrolling in massage school:
- The length of the degree program
- Whether the school offers a specialty certification, such as Shiatsu
- Academic prerequisites
- Financial aid services
- Preparation to take board certification tests
- Clinical experience
- Job placement assistance upon graduation
Since massage is a health care discipline, most students will receive CPR and First Aid training and certification while pursuing a degree. Some schools may also offer hands-on clinical experience, which helps with getting a job upon graduation.
The fast-growing field of massage therapy ensures graduates of programs in the field can find work in a wide array of settings, including:
- Private offices
- Fitness centers
- Sports medicine facilities
- Spas and resorts
- Physicians’ offices
- Cruise ships
- Clinics and wellness centers
One of the largest groups in the field consists of self-employed massage therapists who run their own practices. You'll have a variety of options upon graduation, depending on your needs and interests. Since it's a flexible job, you'll often be able to set your own hours, anywhere from part- to full-time.
According to Salary.com, the median salary for a massage therapist is $47,520, with a scale range of just under $38,000 to more than $61,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that massage therapy employment is expected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024 as demand for the service grows. This is a much higher rate of growth than other professions.
The Acupuncture and Massage College
The Acupuncture and Massage College offers a degree in Massage Therapy program that students can complete in 720 hours over the course of 8.5 months. Students graduate with 164 hours of hands-on supervised clinical practice and a certification in Shiatsu.
As part of the degree program, students learn energy work as well as structural bodywork modalities, Eastern and Western theories of medicine, and techniques to treat specific pain and dysfunction, as well as promote health and healing. The program exceeds standards set by national certification, and by most state and municipal governments for licensing.
For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department.