Massage Career Guidance

Massage Career Guidance

Find massage school resources here, including career options, information showing how to choose a school, and important statistics on the field.

For 2,500 years, medical practitioners have recognized the benefits of massage. In 400 BC, Hippocrates discussed "friction" in his writing, and the ancient Chinese have used pressure techniques for centuries. Even ancient Egyptian tomb paintings depict massage being performed.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, practitioners of massage developed new terminology and issues concerning proper technique were debated. Swedish massage, one of the most popular forms of massage, was developed during this time. Despite its prevalence in civilizations for so many years, massage carried a stigma for quite some time and did not become reputable until the 19th century.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 97,000 massage therapists working in 2004, two-thirds of whom were self-employed. Median hourly wages for massage therapists were $15.36, including gratuities. In fact, massage therapists tend to derive as much as 20% of their income through gratuities. The job outlook for massage therapists is expected to increase faster than average through 2014.

There are over 80 types of massage one could specialize in, including shiatsu, hot stone, and trigger point. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia regulate the practice of massage. There are more than 300 accredited schools in the United States where students can pursue a massage education. The listings here at can help the aspiring massage therapist find a terrific program of study.

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