Massage Therapist

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Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.

Massage therapists typically do the following:

  • Talk with clients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results
  • Evaluate clients to locate painful or tense areas of the body
  • Manipulate muscles or other soft tissues of the body
  • Provide clients with guidance on how to improve posture, stretching, strengthening, and overall relaxation

Massage therapists use their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead muscles and soft tissue of the body to treat injuries and to promote general wellness. A massage can be as short as 5–10 minutes or could last more than an hour.

Therapists also may use lotions and oils, massage tables or chairs, and medical heat lamps when treating a client. Massage therapists may offer clients information about additional relaxation techniques to practice between sessions.

Massage therapists can specialize in many different types of massage, called modalities. Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, and sports massage are just a few of the many modalities of massage therapy. Most massage therapists specialize in several modalities, which require different techniques.

Usually, the type of massage given depends on the client’s needs and physical condition. For example, therapists may use a special technique for elderly clients that they would not use for athletes. Some forms of massage are given solely to one type of client; for example, prenatal massage is given to pregnant women.

Career Outlook: 
Career Outlook data is specific to New Hampshire State.
Number of Jobs 2010: 
1,432
Number of Projected Jobs 2020: 
1,574
Jobs Percentage Change: 
9.9%
Total Annual Openings: 
37
Growth Outlook: 
Favorable
June 2013 Entry Level Wage: 
$11.46
June 2013 Mean Wage: 
$21.74
June 2013 Experienced Wage: 
$26.88
Salary Range: 
$40,000 - $60,000
Education Requirements: 
Programs: 
Time to Complete: 
1 year

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
1 year

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
1 year

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
1 year

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
License and Certification Requirements: 
Coding Certification Required: 
Yes
Coding License Required: 
Yes
Certification(s) Required: 
Yes
List of Required Certifications: 
National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
Certification Requirements: 
To be certified, you must pass the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (MCBTMB) written examination.
License Required: 
Yes
License Requirements: 
To be licensed you must be at least 18 years of age or older and not be convicted of sexually related crime, or crime involving moral turpitude in the ten years immediately preceding application. You must graduate from a massage school with a 750 hour curriculum meeting specific content areas outlined in Administrative Rules; have Current Adult CPR and First Aid certifications; pass NCBTMB written examination or the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), and currently have the NCBTMB certification.
Career Categories: 

Types of Work:

Workplace Environment: 
Community-Based Setting or Patients' Homes
Hospital
Private Medical Practice or Private Company
Types of Interaction: 
Direct Patient Interaction
Independently