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Massage Therapy Industry Information

April 29, 2011

As we all know, massage therapy is popular therapeutic and relaxing treatment modality. Here are some interesting facts and figures about the massage therapy profession gathered from the US Department of labor and published in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition.

  • In 2009, 42 States and the District of Columbia had laws regulating massage therapy in some way. In unregulated states, local laws may be in effect.
  • Massage education varies greatly from state to state with the mean requirement at about 500 hours of education in a variety of topic matters such as anatomy, pathology and modalities.
  • In States with massage therapy regulations, workers must obtain a license after graduating from a training program and prior to practicing massage. Passage of an examination is usually required for licensure. In most cases, therapists are also required to renew their license periodically and complete continuing education (CE) hours.
  • Massage therapists held about 122,400 jobs in 2008. Of those about 57% were self employed.
  • Employment of massage therapists is expected to increase by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment will grow as more people learn about the benefits of massage therapy.
  • Demand for massage therapy should grow among older age groups because they increasingly are enjoying longer, more active lives and persons aged 55 years and older are projected to be the most rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population over the next decade.
  • Demand for massage therapy is presently greatest among young adults, who lack the concerns about massage that previous generations had.
  • Median hourly wages of massage therapists, including gratuities, were $16.78 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.36 and $25.14.
  • Most therapists who work 15 to 30 hours per week consider themselves to be full-time workers, because when time for travel, for setting up equipment, and for completing business functions, such as billing, are added, a massage therapist's hours per week may very well be more than 40 hours.
  • About 48 percent of all massage therapists worked part time and 19 percent had variable schedules in 2008.
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