Day 3, Massage Therapist


So much prejudice gets thrown around when you hear of someone working in massage. Massage therapists however beg that you differentiate between their career and that of the masseuse that you watched in that romantic film last night.

The difference between a masseuse and a massage therapist:

A masseuse is said to typically have less training and not go by the ethical standards a massage therapist would (happy ending ring a bell?).-This doesn’t apply to ALL masseuses so I don’t want to generalize.-Massage therapists are certified in their training and in many countries have to pay a licensing fee and continue their education.

What massage therapists do:

Their main aim to help bring their clients pain relief of the muscles.

They have many tasks in order to be able to do this: Talking with clients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results, evaluating the problem areas of the clients body, massaging the problem areas effectively, giving the clients tips on how to avoid further physical pain and keeping track of the clients progress.


Personality and skills required for this position:

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or extrovert as talking is not the main focus of this job. However, good communication skills and empathy are important on your part. You can’t be afraid of touching people, encounters with body hair and sweat etc. are inevitable. Being “job fit” is crucial, i.e. good hand dexterity and stamina. It is important that massage therapists takes care of their bodies, getting a frequent massage and exercising are recommended. Must be able to self promote as the massage industry is very competitive.


How to get into this career:

Completing a massage course is necessary to become a certified (legal) massage therapist. These course duration’s range from a month (these are usually online courses) to 4 years (if you are studying to specialize in your massage qualification). A mixture of study and hands on training is preferred. From there you can approach the companies you are looking to be employed by or start your own massage business.

Many countries, depending on your area of massage, require you to periodically renew your licence and continue training.


The working hours:

Unsurprisingly, self-employed massage therapists hours vary depending on their willingness to work and client base. Therapists employed by institutions have regular working hours.


The pay:

As a 2012 American survey concluded the average annual salary for massage therapists was $35,970. In South Africa (I always have to check out whats going down in my hometown yo!) according to R 215,148.


The pros:

-Very mobile friendly- you can work almost anywhere from an office to a beach.

-You can easily work for yourself.

-If you are self employed you get to decide on your service fee.

-Very flexible working hours, especially if you are self employed (as 46% of massage therapists are).

-Tangible results a.k.a you see positive changes in clients daily.

-Employment in this career is projected to grow at an above average rate.


The cons:

-Many customers come in expecting more than just a massage…

-The massage industry is very competitive

-Pay can fluctuate greatly unless you are employed by a company (and in that case your pay check is often low). While some months may bring you great profit others may lead you to find yourself living off bread and water.


Side self note*

I’m proud to say that today I took a step out of my comfort zone and phoned a local massage therapist  as part of my research. Felt really good. As they say “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”


My conclusion and rating on this career:

I’m all about a flexible schedule and mobility in work also I love touching humans 🙂 Those parts have almost sold me to this career. Buuuuttt… I can imagine this job erring on the side of becoming mundane and unstable. The positives still outweigh the negatives for me and so this career earns the respectable rating of 8/10!

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