Massage Therapist Career: Advantages and Disadvantages

A career as a massage therapist can be extremely rewarding. The work you perform can be very fulfilling, as you get the chance to directly and positively impact someone’s life. You also have the opportunity to start your own practice, where you have total control over the hours you work and the money you make. However, while you are thinking about all of the benefits to this career, you also need to take into consideration that, like any other career, there is a potential downside associated with a career as a massage therapist. These disadvantages can be experienced by both, the therapist working herself or, one working in a spa or medical facility. Below, you will read about some of the advantages and disadvantages you should consider as you learn about how to become a masseuse.

Massage Therapist Advantages

Schedule. One of the great benefits of this career is that the job is not your typical 9am-5pm. As a practitioner of massage therapy, you have a lot of flexibility concerning the hours you’re available to work. If you open up your own private practice, you have total control over when you work. If you choose to work for someone else, you’ll discover that many therapists work part-time. This will allow you to schedule your appointments in the evenings, or even on the weekends.

Mobility. You don’t have to worry about being tied down to one specific area. Because there are so many places where a therapist can work, you have a lot of freedom in moving around and getting to experience the different work environments. Spas and medical facilities exist all across the country. You won’t have any problems finding work, should you need to relocate.

Money. A job in this industry can be a very lucrative one. The money you can potentially earn depends on a number of factors. As mentioned previously, if you open your own practice and work for yourself, you can choose how much to charge for your services. Also, depending on how many different types of massage therapy (modalities) you specialize in, you can potentially earn more money. As a masseuse, you also have the opportunity to earn tips. As your experience and reputation go up, so too will your earnings.

Massage Therapist Disadvantages

Long Hours Standing. This job is one that can be physically taxing on your body. As such, it is not hard to get burned out. If you’re constantly seeing patients and performing services, without taking breaks, you’re more prone to injury. Performing massages can be very hard on your hands and upper extremities. Mostly, injuries fall into the category of overuse. As such, you’ll want to ensure you enact the proper amount of self-care as possible. Seeing as how a career as a massage therapist demands a lot from you, you need to make keeping yourself healthy a top priority.

Money. We’re talking about money again. The money you earn as a licensed masseuse can also be a disadvantage. This business is client-based which means your pay is directly affected by the number of clients you see. Less clients means less money. To prepare for when you’re not bringing in as much money, you’ll want to make sure you’re good at budgeting and saving. If you can, and are interested, try to seek out spas that pay therapists by the hour.

Unrealistic Client Expectations. Some of your clients may expect for you to completely rid them of their pain and discomfort. Given that this is an unrealistic expectation, massage therapists can be negatively affected as this can result in dissatisfied clients. It will be your duty to correct the clients beliefs so as to not have them expecting permanent healing. It might help to discuss everything up front before beginning treatment. Remember, you’re reputation plays a huge role in building up your clientele.

As with any career, there are advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you are interested in this career because you enjoy helping people. Becoming a massage therapist for the right reasons will go a long way towards having a great career. Good luck as you continue to learn more about how to become a massage therapist.

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