Massage Therapy is a Fulfilling and Rewarding Career

Massage Therapy is a Fulfilling and Rewarding Career

If you have been contemplating a new career, now would be the time to consider massage therapy. Massage therapy is used to relieve the many aches and pains associated with major and minor injuries. To become a massage therapist, there are important qualifications needed — a specific type of education, certain licenses or certificates, and some key characteristics.


While a typical two or four year degree is not necessary for massage therapy, there is still a need for extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system. Specialized education programs for massage therapy are typically available in private schools, community colleges, or public postsecondary institutions. The type of program determines if a diploma or a certificate will be earned and how long it will take to complete. To apply to a massage therapy program, applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent. Curriculum is a mix of classroom study and hands-on practice and includes a few required courses such as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and pathology. Programs can also be further specialized for certain modalities, such as sports, rehabilitative, or oncology massage.

Licenses, Certificates, Regulations

After completing a massage therapy program, the next step is to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam, more commonly referred to as the MBLEx. After passing the MBLEx, it is time to apply for a state issued license or registration for each state that you intend to work in. In addition to passing the exam and receiving state license or registration, other requirements may need to be fulfilled to pass a background check, have liability insurance, be certified in CPR, or complete continuing education credits to periodically renew license or registration. For more specific information, contact the state licensing board where you intend to practice.

Key Characteristics

Being an effective massage therapist requires a few skills that cannot be taught in a classroom. You will need physical stamina to stand for most of the day while giving treatments. Strength and dexterity are needed to exert the correct amount of pressure through the necessary movements while manipulating a client’s muscles. Interpersonal skills including empathy help create a positive experience for you and your client while taking care of the problems they have. Time-management skills are also extremely necessary to use the time allotted effectively to meet the goals of the client.


If you’re ready to make a change to a fulfilling career like massage therapy, make sure you have the right educational program, the specific licenses, certificates, or registrations needed in your state, and some key characteristics. If you are considering a career in massage therapy, many of our individual owners throughout our 550 + franchised locations partner with local massage schools to promote a new career in massage therapy. Please reach out to your local spa for next steps. If you already have a license and the characteristics mentioned, check out our most current open positions here: