Massage Therapy Career Overview - Southwestern Illinois College

Job Description

Massage Therapists

Evaluate their client’s needs

Determine treatment plans

Use specialized massage techniques to meet goals

Provide spa treatments

Maintain clear client boundaries

Create a safe & effective environment

Facilitate the body, mind & spirit connection

Massage students meditating
Student performing massage

Customer Benefits

Promote healing

Relieve stress

Manage pain

Improve circulation

Decreased stiffness

Decreased joint inflammation

Performance Essentials

To successfully complete the program and practice as a massage therapist, students must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Interested students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Career Resources

The American Massage Therapy Association or Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals websites provide career information.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides additional career information.

Career Opportunities

Massage Therapists work in a variety of settings:
  • Private Practice
  • Hospitals
  • Health Clubs/Fitness Centers
  • Sports Medicine Centers
  • Resorts
  • Stress Reduction Centers
  • Massage Therapy Clinics
  • Chiropractic Offices
  • Corporations
  • Spas
  • Salons
Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, most massage therapists work part-time due to the physical demands of the occupation.

In addition, employment of massage therapists is expected to increase by 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment will grow as more people learn about the benefits of massage therapy.


Independent Contractors

As an independent contractor, a new graduate can earn $30-$50 per hour.

Hourly Wages

Working for an hourly wage, such as at a clinic or spa, the earnings are generally $15-$25 per hour.


A self-employed massage therapist with increased skill and a larger client base will have the highest earnings.