Massage therapist job description

Backgrounder On Being A Massage Therapist: One of the primitive healing methods, rubbing was considered as bodywork therapy as early as 4,000 years ago when Hippocrates, who is considered the “father of medicine”, said that doctors must be versatile and knowledgeable on a lot of things, including rubbing. Now more popularly known as massage therapy, it involves applying pressure on sore areas of the body such as back, arms, legs, and feet. It also makes use of other methods of rubbing such as kneading, rocking, and compression.

A Massage Therapist Duties

Massage therapists follow different techniques in order to manipulate stiff body tissues to relieve individuals of bodily pains caused by injuries, stress, and surgeries, among others. Some clients simply enjoy the health benefits they get from massages.

General responsibilities of massage therapists:

  • - Perform initial interview of the client and create a client profile that details information about their health issues and medical history
  • - Refer and update client portfolio before and after each massage session especially when a certain client is being treated for a specific medical ailment. However, only those massages and therapy sessions performed within the medical facility should be included in the report.
  • - Respond positively to client’s requests in terms of levels of pressure during the actual massage session
  • - Ensure to apply the appropriate pressure and touch in order to avoid any bruising or injuries to clients
  • - Maintain proper hygiene before and after massage sessions by disinfecting hands
  • - Maintain good rapport with existing clients to ensure client loyalty

Job limitations:

  • - Should refrain from misrepresenting themselves in terms of their training qualifications and educational credentials
  • - Should not prescribe any medications or drugs for treatment

Personality Traits of a Massage Therapist

Massage Therapist Duties

To ensure a successful career, following are some desired qualities that employees look for in people working as massage therapists:

Good communication skills – being in this field means one will have maximum client face-to-face interaction before, during, and after each session. This is always to ensure that the client’s needs are met as well as to be able to correctly evaluate whether or not to continue the same therapy session or move on to a different modality. In addition, this helps put clients at ease.

Good listening skills – it is very important that therapists are good listeners and can actually “decipher” what clients mean by what they (clients) say. Sometimes, clients find it difficult to explain their pain or the cause of such pain, thus, knowing and being in tune with your clients’ feelings and needs is important.

Nurturer – massage therapists must have the natural instinct of wanting to help and care for the client since most of the people seeking help are individuals who experience physical pain. To become successful in this field, therapists must have the desire to understand and care for patients.

High sense of dedication – dedication can easily be seen and felt by clients when they see that their attending therapist is well prepared during every session, ready to attend to clients’ needs, and willingness to answer all questions that the client might have.

Where You Can Find Massage Therapists

Usually, massage therapists are employed in hospitals, wellness salons, fitness centers or gyms, sports facilities, and nursing homes. However, because of lifestyle changes and pressures at work, massage therapists can now find employment in private offices, shopping malls, and even at airports. For some, this mobile job allows them to travel from one place to another just to keep up with the demands of their job.

Job Outlook for Massage Therapists

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 123,000 massage therapists employed in the US alone, and of this number, almost 60% were self-employed, meaning, either they put up their own massage business or worked as free contractors. Employment growth is also expected to increase by at least 19% until 2018, thus, making massage therapy one of the emerging careers to consider.
Massage therapists can easily be employed anywhere in the country, however, to increase chances of success, therapists should find jobs in the city or tourist locales.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010 Edition, Massage Therapists, on the Internet at

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Average Massage Therapy Salary

Experienced massage therapists typically earn in excess of $60,000 per annum while those just starting out earn $18,000 to $25,000 per year.. Learn more about the salary for a massage therapist for more information.