Work Out the
Kinks of Your
Career: Pursue
a New One in
Massage Therapy

For the person looking for a new career direction that involves helping others, health care, and plenty of opportunity, massage and wellness schools offer students the chance to make a lucrative living while satisfying these desires. Massage therapy schools train students to enter this growing field with the skills and business know-how to capitalize on the industry's rapid growth and popularity.

Just how popular has massage therapy become? According to the 2004 Massage Therapy Consumer Survey, commissioned by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), over 21 percent of adults surveyed received a massage in the past 12 months. And the educational opportunities at massage therapy schools have grown just as much as the clientele. The survey indicated there are 1,135 massage therapy schools that offer programs of a minimum of 500 in-class hours. That's an 80 percent increase from the 628 programs that existed in 2002.

Schools that prepare students for massage careers cater to a wide spectrum of students with varying career goals and study habits, but they do have several things in common. To successfully complete a massage education, students must possess a passion for working with people. If you love contributing to your community, and devoting your time and energy to improving their health and quality of life, massage/wellness schools will satisfy that instinct. For the person who values flexible work hours, a variety of employment opportunities, and the ability to work either independently or with peers, the flexibility of a massage therapy career is an important benefit. Work environments for massage therapy include spas and hotels, to physicians' offices and clinics, beauty salons, group practices, and even home offices.

Experience, credentials, and career rebirth await once you've completed a massage/wellness schools' curriculum. However, before enrolling in a program, make sure the school you chose best suits your ultimate career goals in massage therapy.

According to the AMTA there are several things you can do to educate yourself before you choose from among massage/wellness schools. The first part is easy -- get a massage from several different massage therapists and speak with them about how they began their massage therapy career, where they studies, and opinions they have on the field as a whole. There's no better way to educate yourself about the field of massage therapy than by consulting with massage therapists themselves.

When enrolling in a program, be sure to hone in on the exact type of massage therapy you'd like to practice. Massage/wellness schools generally offer a wide variety of disciplines -- some programs focus on relaxation massage therapy, whereas others are geared more toward rehabilitative or more medically inclined practices. Be sure the program you're pursuing coincides with the niche you'd eventually like to work in.

Explore programs at massage/wellness schools and get your massage therapist career started today!

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