The American Massage Therapy Association says that one of the hallmarks of a career as a massage therapy is to feel like you are in love with your work! It is a career in which you get to help people in an important, personal, and meaningful way that gives you very personal, yet professional, contact with the clients you serve. A career in massage therapy gives you an opportunity to express and demonstrate real concern about health and well-being in a manner that can be very rewarding both personally and professionally. Use our directory of beauty schools to find massage therapy programs to request information and get started! The goal of massage therapy is to relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation and a feeling of well-being. Clients should feel better when they leave your studio or office than when they came in.
There are many different types of massage and thus, a massage therapist can specialize in several modalities. Some popular ones include Swedish massage, acupressure, reflexology, sports medicine, orthopedics, deep-tissue, and others. Some therapists specialize in one particular type of massage, others offer a number of different types and allow their clients to select what they would like. Massage therapists need to be friendly and personable in order to attract a regular clientele. A broad array of people avail themselves of massage therapy services. Adults, seniors, pregnant women, athletes, and individuals who have suffered certain injuries may all seek massage therapy. Of course, different types of clients will have different needs and require different techniques and methods of handling.
Currently, the state of Alaska does not require that massage therapists be licensed in order to practice. Individual municipalities, however, may require that practitioners be licensed. Valdez, Alaska requires a license from the Health Department.
The City of Fairbanks requires that massage practitioners be licensed, and require that applicants meet at least two of the five following minimum requirements: Completed at least 350 hours at a state approved massage training school or program Hold current professional class membership in a recognized national massage organization Hold current certification by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or similar organization Have been licensed out of state within the past three years of application Have had two years experience within the last five years prior to application Massage therapy programs are offered in a variety of venues. Beauty schools often offer programs in massage therapy. Many community colleges offer associates degrees in massage therapy. Some four year colleges and universities offer massage therapy programs. Typically, 500 hours of classroom work are required, although some programs require 1000 hours. Programs may teach different styles of massage, or may be focused on one particular modality. All programs teach courses in anatomy, physiology, and kinesthesiology. If you are interested in being self-employed, it can be very useful to also take several business courses.
In Alaska, you will have to renew your massage therapist license by December 31st of odd-numbered years. You do not have any sort of grace period, but will be sent a reminder about 30 days before your renewal form and payment is due. You will also have to complete 80 hours of continuing education courses approved by the state. Four hours of that training will cover the topic of ethics. The cost to renew your massage therapist license is $60.
The demand for massage therapy services has been increasing, and, as a result, the career outlook for trained massage therapists in Alaska is very bright. The demand is expected to grow approximately 22% between 2012 and 2012. According to O*Net, the median income of massage therapists in Alaska in 2013 was $95,700, almost three times the median income in the lower 48 states! (www.onetonline.org/link/summary/31.9011.00). There may be a greater demand for message therapists in Alaska, due to the nature of many jobs within the state, which require physical labor and stamina, and can lead to injuries as well as just run-of-the-mill aches and pains that require the attention and ministrations of massage therapists. Anchorage may be one of the top paying metropolitan areas for massage therapy services.
Flexibility is a hallmark of massage therapist jobs. Especially if you are in business for yourself, you may set your own hours, although they will need to be sufficiently convenient for your customers, so evening and weekend hours are likely to be necessary. Massage therapists work in a wide range of settings: beauty salons and spas, physical therapists offices and some physicians offices, and independently, in their own offices. They also frequently work in hotels. Some massage therapists purchase portable massage tables and travel to their clients locations. Clients may be self-referred, or they may be referred by physicians or other health professionals and, of course, by referral from other clients. Typically, a massage therapist will conduct a brief interview and have the client fill out a questionnaire before the first treatment, in order to ascertain why the client has come, and what they are seeking from the treatment. They may request at least a partial medical history. A typical massage session lasts 30 or 60 minutes, although some last longer. Your client may talk during the treatment, in which case you need to be an empathic listener, or he or she may be silent. Many massage therapists play soft music in the background, and light candles for ambiance. Of course, outstanding service is key to building a successful practice. But if you would enjoy helping people to heal, you have excellent physical stamina and energy, and you seek a high paying, in-demand career in the state of Alaska, massage therapy may be a great choice for you! Contact schools in your area today to learn more about becoming a professional massage therapist!
The Alabama Board of Massage Therapy is located at 2777 Zelda Road, Montgomery, AL 36106. They can be directly contacted via phone, (334) 420-7233 or 866-873-4664, or by fax (334-263-6115). They do not have a direct email to be contacted at, but when seeking information one can request information by filling out a form providing their email address. Being a part of this organization and other professional ones allows massage therapists to network to gain access to needed information and colleagues. Below are a couple of those organizations and their websites to browse through: