The publication U.S. News & World Report recently came out with a list of the 50 best careers of 2011, and massage therapy was one of the careers it selected. While I’ve linked the article above, I wanted to summarize the main points today and ask massage therapists if they agree with the claim made by U.S. News, that massage therapy is one of the best careers going.
U.S. News ranked massage therapy as a top career because employment opportunities in the field are supposed to grow more quickly than in other fields, with 19 percent more jobs available by 2018 than in 2008. While the article notes that the massage therapy industry was definitely affected by the recent recession, it says there is an increasing number of massage clinics and spas opening to cater to an increase in demand for massage services.
Another benefit of the massage therapy profession is the high pay. The median income for a massage therapist is over $35,000 per year, with an average hourly rate of $17. This is pretty good for a career that requires no college degree, U.S. News notes.
Downsides to the profession, according to the article, are the stress and difficulty of establishing a client base and managing one’s own career. The high activity level of providing massage therapy, meanwhile, can, ironically, lead to repetitive stress injury and fatigue among therapists.
Overall U.S. News recommends the massage therapy as a career to people with a friendly personality, strong communication skills, and an interest in specializing in a form of massage therapy that will make them stand out among other therapists in the area.
Comments to the article on U.S. News’ Website were largely positive, with many therapists adding that the career is highly rewarding, as it improves the lives of the people they work on. Was there anything else that the article missed or got wrong? Are job opportunities in massage therapy growing or stagnant? Let us know by commenting on this post.