It's not uncommon to be "stuck" in a job or career that's not really what you want to do with your life. One of the things that holds people back from making a career change is the amount of time it takes – some fields require five to ten years of professional training before you can actually start working.
If you're motivated to start a new career, but don't want to spend many years in the classroom before changing fields, massage therapy might be the right next step. In two years or less, you can complete a massage therapy program and be working in the field. For example, a program in massage therapy with a specialization in Shiatsu at the Acupuncture & Massage College can be completed in just 8.5 months.
Massage Therapy Coursework & Internship
Training generally starts with a set of academic courses in massage therapy covering the topics and skills you need to learn to work professionally. After that you'll embark on a clinical internship that allows you to gain real world experience treating patients. AMC has a Student Intern Clinic, where students perform a minimum of 130 treatments in a 164-hour program. For the duration of the internship, licensed professionals provide supervision and guidance to help students perfect their skills and prepare them to launch their careers.
It helps to complete a training program that helps you prepare to practice in the location you plan to live after graduating, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Once you've completed the program, you'll have to pass any locally-required exams to obtain a license or credential to practice. In many places this means taking the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.
Enrolling in a reputable high quality training program ensures that you'll have the training, clinical practice experience and knowledge to pass your licensing exams.
Going to Work
Some of the many reasons people choose massage as a next professional step include the flexibility and independence of scheduling and the variety of work environments. Whether you're juggling family, other professional pursuits and hobbies or just want the freedom to determine your own work schedule, massage can provide the flexibility that busy people need. The majority of therapists — some 67 percent — work as sole practitioners, but massage jobs in different locations are increasingly common – in medical facilities, corporate settings, spas and resorts, and even on cruise ships.
Massage is a growing and lucrative field. In 2015, the industry generated some $12.1 billion. Revenue from alternative health care, which includes massage therapy, is also increasing, with an average projected growth of 3.6 percent through 2020. There are an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 massage therapists and students in the U.S., according to the association, and the need for more trained professionals will grow each year.
To get started on your new career path today, call (305) 595-9500 and ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director at the Acupuncture & Massage College, and schedule an appointment.