Employment of massage therapists is expected to grow faster than average. Opportunities should be available to those who complete formal training programs and pass a professionally recognized examination, but new massage therapists should expect to work only part time until they can build a client base of their own.
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.
Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists. The number of spas, which employ a large number of therapists, has increased in recent years and will continue to do so. At the same time, there are an increasing number of massage clinic franchises, many of which offer massages cheaper than at spas and resorts, making them available to a wider range of customers. In addition, as an increasing number of States adopt licensing requirements and standards for therapists, the practice of massage is likely to be respected and accepted by more and more people.
Massage also offers specific benefits to particular groups of people, whose continued demand for massage services will lead to overall growth for the occupation. For example, as workplaces try to distinguish themselves as employee-friendly, providing professional in-office, seated massages for employees is becoming a popular on-the-job benefit. Older citizens in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities also are finding benefits from massage, such as increased energy levels and reduced health problems. 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. However, demand for massage therapy is presently greatest among young adults, who lack the concerns about massage that previous generations had.1