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Is a massage therapist a career?

Is a massage therapist a career?

Massage Therapist is a profession of complete expert, clearly identified, for people who will work in a medical or paramedical environment to intervene on different audiences: Seniors, Dependent persons, Pregnant women, Professional sportsmen.

The Massage Therapist works in a therapeutic environment about health professionals: EHPAD, clinics, hospitals, psychological help centers, rehabilitation centers, professional sports centers, etc …

 The massages he performs are not for therapeutic purposes, but they respond to specific requests from the medical or paramedical profession.

The massage therapist intervenes in addition to medical care, nursing care, physiotherapy care, Its services remain under the authority of the doctor and caregivers.

Thanks to different massage techniques, the massage therapist contributes to reducing stress, preventing ailments, and improving the condition of his beneficiaries. It can positively affect the body’s posture, relieve back pain, help release tension, etc. It allows the body to function better by soothing pain, improving respiratory capacity, digestion, blood circulation, skin quality, or even sleep. The massage therapist promotes body awareness and provides the beneficiaries with appeasement, calm, personal appreciation (self-esteem), and stress resistance.

He is a player in prevention, preparation, advice, and intervention.

He must welcome clients, conduct massage therapy sessions, analyze requests for interventions, adapt the support to specialized audiences – older adults, pregnant women, athletes.

Friends, He must also be able to use stress and emotion management techniques and accompany his clients during the release of emotional burdens.

He must analyze the impacts of his practice and know-how to manage and develop a professional activity.

This training is carried out in modules of 2, 3, and 4 days spread over one year. You can also apply this training over several years.

What does a massage therapist do?

Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.

Does full-body massage include private parts?

A full-body massage usually includes your arms, legs, hands and feet, your neck and back, your stomach, and buttocks. The area around the breasts is usually massaged but not the breasts themselves. Even with a full-body massage, most of you stay covered most of the time.

Is a massage therapist a career?

A career in massage therapy offers many benefits, including high-job satisfaction, a good earning potential, and the ability to make real difference in the lives of others. However, as with any other career, there are some downsides as well.

At what age should you buy life insurance?

What I would have liked to have been told before becoming a massage therapist

When you decide to start a career, you don’t necessarily know what to expect; the school does not always reflect the daily reality of the professional environment.

Is a massage therapist a career?
Is a massage therapist a career?

I consulted several fellow therapists to get their impressions of the profession. We have come to 9 general facts that a person should know before starting studies in massage therapy.

1. An unstable schedule

Even if you create your schedule according to your availability, the customers will still manage it. Expect to have last-minute appointments so that you don’t know your schedule in advance and that you have free time between your clients. A busy schedule, according to your wishes, that is built over time by forging its clientele.

It can be good if you don’t like the routine. It is also an advantage to choose your availability when you are self-employed or if your employer allows it.

2. A variable salary

As the schedule is irregular, income will vary depending on the number of clients seen in a week. If you have family or financial commitments, it’s important to think about a game plan. It can also mean combining more than one job or working for different employers.

In addition, unless you have the energy of 3 atomic bombs, it is not possible to exercise 40 hours of massage per week. A therapist considered full-time will do approximately 15 to 30 massages per week. This figure depends on availability, traffic, and above all, the physical capacity of the therapist.

massage therapist salary

The average annual salary of a massage therapist ranges between $ 40,000 to $ 60,000 per year.

Please note: this does not represent only 15 to 30 hours of work since it takes the health questionnaire and follow-up with the client, the transition time between each session, dinner breaks, unfulfilled time slots, bedding, accounting, etc.

So, remember that the salary offered for a 60 or 90-minute treatment does not represent an hourly salary.

3. Diversified work

Surprise: by becoming a massage therapist, you will not only have to do massage therapy!

If you want to build a clientele, you will also need to touch on marketing and social media. In addition, to ensure that your practice is successful, you will need to retain your customers. We must not forget that the competition is strong and that a loyal clientele has been built up over several years. Being self-employed, you will also have to manage your finances and tackle accounting concepts.

If you hate these tasks, you can always choose employee status for a spa, clinic,, or center that will cover the financial aspect and recruit customers. However, be aware that only certain employers offer employee status.

4. A variety of professional statuses

A therapist can be self-employed independent worker (sole proprietorship), self-employed within a company, or employee. Each status has its advantages and disadvantages.

4.1 Self-employed self-employed worker

It applies when you own or rent a space to receive customers or when you receive at home. In other words, you are responsible for all expenses, such as equipment, room rental, or advertising costs, for example. On the other hand, all the profits go into your pockets.

4.2 A self-employed worker within a company

It is good to know that the majority of centers and clinics operate this way. You will have the status of a self-employed worker, but you will work for one or more employer (s), considered here as a “client.” According to your agreements, the latter will generally provide all the equipment necessary for your practice.

This work status is complex, and some companies sometimes have the reflex to apply rules designed for the quality of employees to self-employed workers for lack of knowledge or resources. If this is the type of agreement an employer offers you, you have to make sure that you also benefit from its advantages if you have to assume the constraints of self-employment status!

One of the puzzles also comes back to the question of taxes. Beyond $ 30,000 in income, you must register for the GST and QST files and charge them to customers. A delicate subject that requires the assistance of a financial professional so as not to have unpleasant surprises at the end of the year. A discussion with his employer may also be relevant.

4.3 Salaried employee

The status of an employee is the simplest when you work for a company, but the rarest. The companies that offer it are often large spas or busy clinics, only after several months of probation.

5. A variety of employers

If you decide to work for a company, know that each center has a different approach to its customers.

Some places will prioritize the amount of care, with minimal follow-up with the client. These are generally large spas with a not regular clientele since it is an occasional outing. The care given will be more oriented towards relaxation, which can be less physically draining than therapeutic care. From a financial point of view, this approach also makes it possible to see more customers in a day.

Other places will advocate complete follow-up with the client. You will have time to sit down and discuss the treatment. These specialized clinics are oriented towards therapeutic care, which may require more energy, but allow you to have a complete approach with your clientele.

Think about what is suitable for you and what type of therapist you want to be before you go with your resume!

6. The basic course may be insufficient.

Some employers will require two to three techniques. So the 400-hour course may not be enough depending on where you want to practice.

Two options are available to you:

  1. Complete advanced training in massage therapy;
  2. Carry out specialty courses (on average, 30 hours per technique) to complete your training.

7. Physical labor

Ok. You probably already knew that this is physical labor. On the other hand, several therapists find it difficult to follow the same pace from year to year.

Even if you follow the techniques taught during your training to spare your back and joints, it is normal to feel pain after several hours of treatment. So, it will be important not to forget what many do: take care of yourself!

SPA and beauty
Is a massage therapist a career?

Don’t be a poorly-shod shoemaker. Get treated as much as possible, take breaks, and do some exercise and strength training. The longevity of your career depends on it.

8. Prejudice against the profession

Although the profession is more and more recognized and widespread in Quebec, yes, you will still be entitled to derogatory comments from people, whether it’s a questioning of your expertise or statements of a sexual nature. Your courses and your professional association can equip you, if necessary, to respond to your detractors and to dispel their preconceptions.

9. A rewarding profession

After all of these caveats, we must give you the essential information of all; being a massage therapist is a gratifying job. Feeling that we are relieving people and giving them a precious moment of relaxation provides meaning to the energy we put into our work.

Massage therapy is a profession close to people. Therapists sometimes become natural confidants and help break the isolation.

It is also an intuitive and creative profession. You will evolve as a therapist; you will develop your style, which is why your clients will love you and be loyal to you. The best compliment you can receive is when your customers tell you that they swear by you!

Is a massage therapist a career?


“I have been practicing the profession of massage therapist full time for almost two years. I work at Espace Nomad in Montreal one to two days a week, and in an osteopathy clinic in Longueuil, three days a week in addition to receiving clients at my place sometimes”, confided Camille Jacob. She is not idle. And who has always had the status of self-employed worker?

“Rare are the places that offer you to be an employee, so it is a choice a little by default,” admits the massage therapist who, despite everything, finds himself there. “If I had the choice, I would choose the status of a self-employed worker because it is one of the aspects of the job that attracted me the most when I decided to do vocational training. Being in control of my schedule” tells the one who allows herself time off when she needs it.


“When I started in massage therapy, I kept my work in restoration as a financial back-up, but I stopped after a few months. I was fed up with catering,” explains Camille, who ended up living on her know-how at the rate of 15 to 25 messages per week.

“Certain times of the year, the demand for massage therapy is higher, such as the holiday season, long vacations, Valentine’s Day, etc. And some weeks, when I feel that my body is tired, I take fewer clients to be able to rest,” says the massage therapist, whose pay is quite variable. “Per week, I earn an average of $ 500, tips included. I receive more tips working in a spa, but I receive fewer tips as I massage more often at the clinic. “

During her first year of practice, she declared nearly $ 13,000 (before taxes and deductions) in massage therapy income for seven months. “For the year 2019, I should declare nearly $ 25,000 (before taxes and deductions) of income in massage therapy for ten months (Editor’s note: she had a two-month work stoppage). But I believe that many massage therapists decide not to exceed the threshold of $ 30,000 is declared income so as not to pay taxes and avoid charging them to their clients,” says Camille, who considers herself well paid for what she is doing.

“It is more profitable when I mass from home than when I invoice my services to a company. “

Take care of yourself to take care of others.

To those who are considering becoming a massage therapist, she gives some advice:

  1. Make an initiation into the massage technique that speaks to you. This initiation, generally two days, will provide you with a good idea of ​​the massage therapist profession. Above all, you will discover if you are comfortable massaging someone you do not know.
  2. “Shop” your school if you can. Each school offers different programs with different approaches. Camille asked massage therapists many questions that she knew to know their background, their training, and where they had followed these training.
  3. You must take good care of your body, especially if you want to do a lot of massages per week or if you want to have a very therapeutic approach. It is a job that can be very physical and grueling on your body. Find your tips to take care of your “work tool”: get treatment, play sports or physical activity, stay hydrated, eat good foods that nourish the body, stretch, etc. And above all, learn to recognize your limits and respect them! It is a beautiful job, inspiring and creative, so have fun with it.

Wanting to live off your passion thanks to the entrepreneurship

Anne-Sophie Casper, for her part, has just been certified and approved by the Fédération des massothérapeutes du Québec. “I trained in Swedish massage, chair massage, prenatal massage. Currently, I am in hot stone massage training and to become a baby massage instructor,” says the self-employed worker (by choice) who works from home.

“I have also had assignments for chair massage in companies and schools,” says Anne-Sophie, who has irregular working hours and the pay that goes with it. “I still do audiovisual production on the side. It’s a little safety net that is essential to be able to pay my rent,” explains the Frenchwoman, who hopes to be soon able to make a living from her activity with Radiant Orchid., the organization she has just launched.

“At the beginning, you have to define your clientele, target them, invest in your communication, make yourself known, etc. So there is more money that goes out than money that does not come in,” says the one who knows something about it.

health care
Is a massage therapist a career?

“In Montreal, the market prices are quite correct, even if colleagues offer meager hourly rates and ‘break’ the market despite themselves,” estimates Anne-Sophie before recalling that a massage in a spa pays off. , on average, $ 30 for a one-hour massage as a self-employed worker. “The positions offered are 95% with the status of self-employed and part-time.

The advantage of working in a spa is to have a regular clientele and to be able to work elsewhere as well. The disadvantages: the salary is lower, and the pace is sometimes significant for this already physical profession. ” What are you waiting for to make your next appointment? There is nothing wrong with doing yourself good.


 As a massage therapist, you will be responsible for evaluating the soft tissue and joints of the body to treat and prevent malfunctions, injuries, pain, and physical disorders that are late to improve s has muscular fitness, circulatory, and energy or of years a purpose of relaxation.

Your tasks will be:

  • Assess the condition of the customers and their therapeutic needs (evil individuals, session time, etc.) By performing motion and muscle testing and propose treatment plans;
  • Determine the necessary techniques that will use during the session;
  • Explain the procedures, risks, and benefits to clients;
  • Apply different massage therapy techniques, such as soft tissue and joint manipulation through tissue manipulation, relaxation techniques, hydrotherapy, fibromyalgia point therapy, standard mobilization techniques and joint pain, and administration of corrective exercise and self-help programs;
  • Suggest treatment plans be followed at home and provide information on techniques and exercises for improving posture, stretching, strengthening, relaxation and rehabilitation;
  • Éstablish and update records of treatments given to customers;
  • Sometimes, give introductory courses in massage;
  • Collaborate, as needed, with other health professionals, such as kinesiologists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians, and psychologists, to develop treatment plans for clients.

If you own your clinic, you also will have to perform various administrative tasks (accounting, PUBLICITY, monitoring your employees, etc.) And promote your services to the public. You can also work in a physiotherapy clinic, chiropractic clinic, relaxation health center, private residence for the elderly, etc.


  • A good health
  • Good condition and physical endurance because you will have to work while standing and exert a specific effort
  • Good manual skills and talent to perform manipulations and massages adequately.
  • Love and ease in working with the public because you will be in constant contact with customers
  • Listening to the patient ( calm, patience, and discretion ) because your work will allow your clients to get rid of their stress, and at the same time, some will tell you about their worries
  • Sound judgment and judgment, and leadership to be able to identify and establish the therapeutic needs of your customer
  • Thoroughness, attention to detail, and precision to properly massage clients, especially certain specific points of the body
  • Ease of communication and interaction with people and interpersonal skills because you will have to establish a particular relationship of trust with your customers
  • Sense of responsibility because you will be responsible for the quality of the work you do, and you will have to work alone
  • Autonomy and resourcefulness because you will generally work alone
  • Ease of working in a team because you will have to collaborate with other professionals (physiotherapists, chiropractors, kinesiologists, rehabilitation therapists, other massage therapists, other specialists in alternative medicine, etc.)
  • Sense of organization to properly plan your schedule (especially if you are self-employed)
  • Easy to adapt to various environments
  • Managerial and entrepreneurial skills are necessary if you want to open your massage therapy clinic. You will have to supervise staff, coordinate all clinical activities, manage supplies and manage financial operations.

Complete training of Massage Therapist:


  • 319 hours of lessons (1/3 theory, 2/3 practical)
  • 150 hours of individual practice.


  • 6,990.00 euros NET (training organization exempt from VAT)
  • In the context of personal financing paid in one go, reduction of 10%, or 6,291 euros net


  • Exam fees (file presented to the validation jury for the full title or the skills block): 200 euros net (training organization exempt from VAT)
  • Hindu Essential Massage Pack for Ayurvedic HEM massage training: 348 euros, including all taxes (290 euros excluding taxes). (This pack is mandatory to complete the HEM training and then allows the practice of fifteen additional treatments).


  • Seven hours daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The first five years of practice are the most difficult because you’re not used to the physical demands, and many massage therapists quit due to burnout. Acclimating to the emotional demands are difficult as well. Clients come to you with frustrations and complaints, often times breaking down and crying in the room.

Is a massage therapist a career?

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