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Career Profile: Massage Therapists

Perform therapeutic massages of soft tissues and joints. May assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength, or propose client therapy plans.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 144,600 people employed as massage therapists in the United States. The median annual salary is $43,600. Entry level employees earn approximately $22,580 per year and senior employees earn approximately $79,150 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Use complementary aids, such as infrared lamps, wet compresses, ice, and whirlpool baths to promote clients' recovery, relaxation, and well-being.
  • Confer with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to determine how massage will be most helpful.
  • Massage and knead muscles and soft tissues of the body to provide treatment for medical conditions, injuries, or wellness maintenance.
  • Maintain massage areas by restocking supplies or sanitizing equipment.
  • Apply finger and hand pressure to specific points of the body.
  • Develop and propose client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used.
  • Perform other adjunctive therapies or treatment techniques in addition to massage.
  • Maintain treatment records.
  • Assess clients' soft tissue condition, joint quality and function, muscle strength, and range of motion.
  • Provide clients with guidance and information about techniques for postural improvement and stretching, strengthening, relaxation, and rehabilitative exercises.
  • Treat clients in professional settings or travel to clients' offices and homes.
  • Refer clients to other types of therapists when necessary.
  • Prepare and blend oils and apply the blends to clients' skin.
  • Consult with other health care professionals, such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians, and psychologists, to develop treatment plans for clients.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
144,600
Annual Openings:
23,300
Increase in Openings by 2030:
32%
Annual Salary Range:
$22,580 - $79,150
Education Requirements:
Some college