Medical Massage Therapist

Medical massage therapists use touch to manipulate a client’s muscles.

Medical massage therapists use touch to manipulate a client’s muscles.

Massages are not just for the sore or stressed-out. They can be used in conjunction with physical therapy, surgery, or medication to treat a variety of medical conditions. In the medical world, massage therapists manipulate the soft tissues of the body to relieve pain and expedite the healing process


Fast Facts

Minimum Education Required: Massage Therapy School (1-2 years)

Top 3 Skills: Patients Interaction, Tactile Sensitivity, Physical Strength and Coordination

Average Starting Salary: $18,000/year


Job Description

A massage therapist, you guessed it, gives massages. However, there is more to medical massage than giving a good back rub. Licensed therapists understand human anatomy, and know how to manipulate which muscles to lower stress, promote blood flow, and release knots or cramps.

Many massage therapists work freelance, going to patients homes or offices on an appointment-only basis. Others work in spas or day-time practices. Hospitals and sports medicine centers hire massage therapists who focus on the medical aspects of their work.

This job involves lots of one-on-one time with patients. Good communication skills and comfort woking closely with people (literally, hands-on), are necessary. Therapists generally set their own hours, but some are hired on a weekly schedule.


Requirements vary greatly by state, but most require the completion of a massage therapy training program. These programs, which cover theoretical and practical massage, can require up to 500 hours of coursework.

A high school diploma or GED is generally required for admission.


Again, it varies by state, but most require either state licensing or national certification. Check your local health board for specific requirements.

Job Outlook: Good

The BLS predicts a 20% increase in employment between 2010 and 2020, which is above the national average. The median income for a massage therapist working in 2010 was approx. $35,000 a year.

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