If you’re reading this, then you probably already know that being a professional massage therapist is the greatest thing in the world and that the only thing standing between you and a 4-hour work day that pays good money is the educational rite of passage known as massage therapy school. How hard can massage school be, after all? A few months of sitting in a desk, some hands-on practice, and then you’re guaranteed a job as a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), right?
The Reality of Massage Therapy School
Yeah...the first paragraph is mostly sarcasm, but you obviously knew that (studying massage therapy will require book smarts).
Massage School is a serious commitment, but it is fun. As a strange side note, Belushi (1948-1982) was found dead by his Physical Therapist, who stopped by to give him a scheduled massage.
Joking aside, the decision to enroll in a massage therapy program is something to take seriously.
Not because massage isn’t fun (it’s actually is very fun), but because massage school tuition isn't cheap and requires 9-months of study that may not necessarily lead to the fun and lucrative career that you were originally expecting.
Not to mention, that even after completing a massage therapy program (like the 9-month program offered at our school of massage therapy in Miami), you will still need to take and pass a state licensing exam before you can even legally apply for a job as a massage therapist in Florida.
And after passing the state licensing exam, you will then need to find and apply for a job as a massage therapist. And while passing the Massage Board Licensing Exam (MBLX) is something to celebrate, don’t think that having LMT after your name will guarantee you a job that you love or any job at all; keep in mind that the duties of being a licensed massage therapist (LMT) vary from environment to environment.
For example, some of our graduates work on cruise ships around the Miami-Dade area, which requires living at sea for periods at a time. While this environment pays wells, it may not be a good fit for you if don’t like to travel frequently and/or hate tourists. Instead, it may better suit you to work at a centralized location with recurring patients, such as at a chiropractor's office or a spa resort.
While all this may seem confusing and even a little frightening, my intention is NOT to discourage you from applying to massage therapy school.
Rather, I want to make sure that you have the right information needed to decide on whether or not attending massage therapy school in Miami, Florida (or elsewhere) and working as a licensed massage therapist (LMT) after graduation is a goal you wish to pursue.
As such, we (the helpful staff at Acupuncture and Massage College in Miami, FL) have put together an awesome series of blog articles to help understand EVERYTHING you need to know about massage therapy, massage therapy school, and working as a massage therapist.
By the end of the series, you will have sufficient information needed to make an informed decision about whether to pursue a career in massage therapy.
While becoming a massage therapist in Florida is not right for everyone, those that have faced and overcome the professional challenges of the job will let tell you that working as a massage therapist offers a balance of personal freedom, financial stability, and career satisfaction that is not found in many of today’s jobs.
However, like all good inspirational movie plots, becoming a massage therapist begins with a cheerful thought, usually of wanting to better your life, which later gets crushed by the harsh reality of realizing that there’s more work required than you initially thought, then you learn from your mistakes, make some adjustments, and fight on. After that, you become triumphant and Hollywood (California, not Florida) makes a cool movie about your life starting Will Smith.
All joking aside, we know that overcoming those hard moments forge us into stronger people.
And it struggle seems worth it. Professional massage therapists are in demand right now. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of massage therapy jobs is predicted to grow by 26% until 2027 and the annual mean wage for massage therapist in Florida is $46,790 a year. Not bad for a career that doesn't require four years of college study.
This massage therapist took personal freedom to a whole new-level...maybe too far?
But before we begin to analyze the details about this amazing career, we're going to discuss what massage therapy is as a health practice and what it looks like when applied to a profession. In the next article of this series, we will discuss massage as a medical practice.
This way, you can decide if massage therapy is something that appeals to you.
If you want keep reading more about massage school and a career in massage therapy, download our massage therapy career guide below. If you have any questions about the massage program at Acupuncture and Massage College, feel free to call us at 305-595-9500. You can also stop by for a campus visit. We are located at 10506 North Kendall Drive, Miami, Florida 33176.