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Massage Therapy School - Career Options

Updated: Nov 23, 2018

There are many questions that one may have when making the decision to attend a massage therapy school.

Is becoming a certified massage therapist worth the effort? What are the career options for a massage therapist after school? What kind of salary would one expect to make after finishing massage school? These are all questions that should go into the decision-making process when choosing a massage school to attend.

First of all, attending a massage school and completing a massage therapy program is worth the effort. That's not to say that it won't be hard work. There are many things one must learn, including anatomy, human physiology, kinesiology, and business. All of these can be challenging but are a key component to understanding how both the human body works and how to run a massage business. Having the foundation of these understanding will give one a foundation to rely on for the rest of their careers in massage therapy.

After attending and passing a 500-hour massage therapy program and taking the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam, you submit your information to the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR) along with the fee and you become a licensed massage therapist in the state of Texas.

Once you have earned your license the career opportunities are almost limitless. Of course there are traditional careers that one could engage in, but because you will have the skill of practicing massage any business that serves that need can be done allowing you to effectively create any job you wish with the right motivation and work. Here are some possibilities for your career in massage therapy after you complete massage school:

Spa Therapist


Working as a massage therapist for a spa is one career path you could choose to go. This is a massage professional that works in a nice environment that typically has a set schedule and sees clients by the hour.


The primary benefit of working as a spa therapist is that your clients are typically provided for you. If you work in a location that is a tourist destination then almost all of your clients will be those visiting the location from out of town and very few will be regular customers.

Retail Massage


Because of the demands of current-day lifestyles, the need to relieve stress has never been more important to the market. People spend their days starting at computer screens and phones almost all of the day. They spend their time at work in front of a computer and then in front of their phone or other mobile devices outside of the office. Because of all of this the emergence of the retail massage location has exploded on the scene. One cannot drive more than a few blocks in any major American city without seeing a sign for massage on a shopping center pylon.


Working in this setting as a massage therapist allows you to both have a set of walk-in customers and to also build up a book of business made up of your own clients. If you are successful at building your own brand as a massage therapist you have a set customer base you can rely on week-to-week. You can fill in the blank spots in your appointment book with the walk through traffic that working in a retail massage establishment provides.


Besides there being an explosion of retail massage outlets across the country due to the stresses of modern day life, there has also been an uptick in sports massage therapy needs. Sports is a major part of life these days, whether it be the weekend warrior that is training to run a 5k or a Triathlon or the high school athlete that is trying to make an impression and get a college scholarship. This priority on athletics has opened opportunities for sports massage to help speed recovery and health.


The old saying is to do something you love or in a field that interests you. If you are a sports enthusiast yourself this career path affords the opportunity to work in two areas of interest for you, sports and massage. The other major benefit is the fact that sports and athletics is so popular and that more and more people are engaged in sport and concerned about their health. This means it will be an area of growth for some time.

Cruise Ship Massage Professional


Are you wanting to see the world while you work? This career may be for you. All cruise ships have massage as part of their offerings. People that take cruises are on vacation and tend to have expendable income to spend as part of their vacation plans. They also want to relax. The Cruise Ship Massage Professional can capitalize on these facts and make money from a steady stream of cruise guests as they travel from port to port.


You will have a fixed set of customers that come to you. There is no building of a customer list or having to create a regular set of clients that need to be culminated. The guests on board of a cruise ship have no other options to receive massages except for you. You have a captivated audience for your skills. There's also the benefit to travel.

Resort Spa Massage


When it comes to people vacationing and looking to have relaxing experiences in their down time away from work, resorts are a prime destination for vacationers and each of those resorts tend to have a massage spa to accommodate the relaxation needs of their guests.

Massage Spa at a Resort
Massage and Play. Resort careers have their perks.


For those that want to travel and see the world this may be the career option that best aligns with your desire. As stated, resorts around the world have massage spas that cater to the pampering of their guests. Most of these resorts are luxurious and set in beautiful places. Want to see the world. You can work at a different resort in a different place in the world every single year. Work during your shifts providing massage to clients and explore the location in your off hours.



The world is your oyster, as the saying goes. Whatever need exists for relaxation and healing for massage therapy you have the opportunity to create a business around those needs. You can build your own set of clients and do massage treatment for your clients how you wish. Each of the careers above can be a business of your own. You will have all the skills needed to open, run and succeed in any business discipline you choose as a massage therapist with the right massage and business education.


Being your own boss. That's the advantage of this path. It may not be for everyone, but being a business owner has many rewards. First of all you get all of the financial benefits that come with having a successful business. You get to set your own hours and the ultimate success of your career is in your own hands. It can be a lot of work, but very rewarding at the same time.

When you go to massage school and ultimately become a licensed massage therapist you have a skill that is in high demand. You can do many things to create a career that you want. Depending on what is important to you and your work-life balance you can craft a life that fits your desires and makes you financially and emotionally happy.


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