If you are looking for a career that offers you a lot of freedom and flexibility, you may want to consider becoming a massage therapist. There are many career opportunities within this field, and you can choose to work in a clinic setting, or branch out on your own. If this is something that interests you, the first thing you need to do is sit down and look at the industry itself, as well as the pros and cons of becoming a massage therapist. Once you have decided that you do want to go into this line of work, there are several things that you will need to do.
1. Research Licensing Requirements
In most states, you will be required to have licensing of some kind. In fact, some areas require that you have a license for certain types of massage, and not for others. You will need to research local requirements in your area before you begin training. That way, you will know exactly what you need for training in order to qualify for licensing.
2. Find a Training Program
The next step in the process is to look for the best training program in your area. There are loads of massage schools you can get the training through, so it is important to really do your research to make sure that you find the training that is going to put you onto the career path that you want. Most schools teach basic massage techniques, as well as specialized techniques. Look for one that caters to your particular interests. Some of the best training programs to look into include:
3. Look Into Specializing
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, there are many career opportunities within the field of massage therapy. You may be interested in specializing in one of the specialty areas, especially when you are just getting started. Look at the massage techniques you are most interested in, and decide if you would like to specialize in any of these areas. Just make sure that you have overall training, so you are able to work anywhere without being restricted.
4. Get Financing
Unless you have saved up enough money to pay for your training, you will need to get financing. Most massage schools are fairly pricey, with tuition rates ranging from a few thousand dollars to well over $10,000. Most schools do offer some form of financial assistance, and there are also federal student loans, which your school can help you obtain.
5. Get Licensed
Once you have received your training, you may be required to get licensed, depending on the rules in your jurisdiction. Ask your school for help to understand all of the requirements for obtaining your license. Some states also require National Certification, and many are accepting a different exam that is from the Federation of Massage State Boards
6. Look Into Certification
You may also want to find out about becoming certified. This is not something that is required by all jurisdictions, but it can help to increase your career opportunities. Ask about the National Certification Board of Massage Therapy, which offers an exam-based program for certification.
7. Get a Business License
There are some states that do not regulate massage therapy, and if you want to open your own business, you may need to get a specific business license. The requirements vary between states, so you will need to check your locality to find out what the permit and licensing requirements are. If you decide to have employees, you will also need to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN).