14 Pros and Cons of Being a Massage Therapist

The demand for massage therapists is increasing.

Many people have discovered successful careers in the field of massage therapy.

This guide will provide you with a list of the pros and cons of being a certified massage therapist.

This information will help you determine whether it is a good career choice.

It will also educate you on what to expect.

Pros of Being a Massage Therapist

Massage therapy can be a rewarding career for those interested in taking on the challenge.

Here is a list of pros that you could expect if you decide to make your way down the path to becoming a massage therapist.

1. Start Work Immediately

As soon as you graduate as a registered massage therapist, you can begin employment soon after.

By 2026, the demand for massage therapists is expected to increase by 26 percent.

Following graduation, you will have the option of working for a company or working independently.

If you choose to work solo, there’s no need to gain company experience prior.

This is the beauty of being a massage therapist.

2. Flexibility

Working as a massage therapist means that you will have a lot of flexibility.

This is especially true if you choose to work independently.

You can create your own schedule to meet your needs.

For example, if you are a parent or a student looking to pursue a career in nursing, you will have enough flexibility in your schedule to include other things.

 A career in massage therapy enables you to train for another profession, attend school, or take time out to spend with your family.

3. Option to Travel

Being a massage therapist for a company gives you the ability to travel as you please.

If you always wanted to travel, this is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Now you can visit the Effiel Tower or even check out Chiang Mai, all without spending anything traveling there.

This benefit only comes with working on cruise ships or with spas that are located worldwide.

4. Select the Work Environment of Your Choice

A career as a massage therapist enables you to choose the perfect working environment that matches your personality, etc.

Clients will also gravitate toward you, and it will be highly satisfying, to say the least.

This can be a dream job for those who are serious about it.

After receiving your license as a massage therapist, you can choose whether you are more fit to practice independently and earn more, or if you value your paid time off and want more stability working for a company.

Additionally, there are other options available, such as working in a chiropractor or a medical office.

5. Not a lot of Stress

Massage therapy allows you to provide stress relief for clients.

But, in the process, you will also understand the importance of relieving stress, thus making it a priority for yourself.

You deserve to take some time for yourself to relax as well.

Many massage therapists make time for themselves and receive weekly massages.

By taking time for yourself, you can continue to deliver proper care for your clients.

6. Feel Good to Help Others

The majority of clients you come across will be suffering from some sort of pain, thus the reason they are receiving a massage.

Other clients you help may be suffering from high levels of stress or anxiety.

You can feel good knowing that you are helping different types of people, suffering from a wide range of things.

For example, you may encounter a client who is suffering from autism or perhaps a cancer patient who is experiencing debilitating pain.

Just knowing that the power is in your hands to relieve another person’s pain should bring you a lot of joy.

7. Active Lifestyle

With a massage therapy career, you’ll quickly learn that you are always on the move.

This can be a good thing for many people because it helps them remain fit and active.

Massage therapy involves immense movement all day long.

This is equivalent to spending several hours working out.

In the process, you will have learned how to practice adequate body mechanics, all of which will keep you fit.

Cons of Being a Massage Therapist

Massage therapy isn’t for everyone.

So, before you jump into the world of massage therapy, be sure to check out these cons to help you determine whether this is a job that can deliver everything you’re looking for.

1. Limited Hours

Massage therapy is a physically demanding job.

Many massage therapists only work up to 30 hours a week and realize that their hours are extremely limited.

They may not be able to mentally or physically handle working long hours every day.

While you may want to work overtime, you’ll soon learn that it’s not so much as possible in this line of work.

2. Takes a Toll on Your Body

As mentioned earlier, massage therapy is physically demanding.

It involves you having to work with your hands all day, every day.

Many times, it can even turn into some unwanted health issues.

This is commonly seen in therapists who have not undergone proper training in learning how to care for themselves as well.

If you already have health issues and feel that this job can further exaggerate them, then you may want to think twice about becoming a massage therapist.

3. Challenging Clients

Not all, but some clients may be challenging.

You may run across a client every so often who is demanding and challenges you in ways that you may have never imagined.

Massage therapy schools can teach you various ways of creating boundaries and making the environment comfortable and safe for both yourself and your clients.

Fortunately, many massage therapists know how to find ways to deal with challenging clients and still go on to enjoy their careers.

4. Challenging Work Environment

Besides working with challenging clients, you may find the work environment also challenging.

Massage therapy can be stressful.

If you work for a company, you could end up working with difficult bosses and coworkers who don’t get along.

The good news is that you have many options as a massage therapist.

You don’t have to stay in a negative work environment.

Since massage therapy is so demanding, you can easily find other means of employment, whether it be working with a new company or working independently.

5. Tough to Earn

Unless you are self-employed as a massage therapist, it will be challenging to earn a lot of money.

If you choose to work for a company, you can receive benefits.

However, on average, massage therapists make $39,860 annually.

This may not be enough for many.

While being self-employed comes with its own set of challenges, you can make more money, work from home, and even have much more flexibility in your schedule.

But, there are also drawbacks to being self-employed, as it isn’t for everyone.

6. Standing All Day

Being on your feet all day may sound good to some people.

It may even pose an advantage for others since it can reduce your risk of developing different health problems.

But, being on your feet all day also requires you to wear properly fitting shoes with adequate support, especially if you have foot problems already.

As mentioned earlier, if you don’t have the time to put into taking care of yourself properly, you will easily burn yourself out.

7. Free Massages

Another downside of being a massage therapist is that many of your closest friends, family members, and even your spouse may feel obligated to receive free massages.

While it may sound nice to be able to provide for your loved ones whenever they’d like, it may get old quickly.

This is especially true if you are just burned out from taking care of your clients all day.

The best way to go about this situation is to set boundaries with your loved ones and explain that it may not always be possible for you to be at their beck and call.

14 Pros and Cons of Being a Massage Therapist – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Massage TherapistCons of Being a Massage Therapist
1. Start Work Immediately1. Limited Hours
2. Flexibility2. Takes a Toll on Your Body
3. Option to Travel3. Challenging Clients
4. Select the Work Environment of Your Choice4. Challenging Work Environment
5. Not a lot of Stress5. Tough to Earn
6. Feel Good to Help Others6. Standing All Day
7. Active Lifestyle7. Free Massages

Should You Become a Massage Therapist?

Being a massage therapist has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

If you start off on the right track and receive a quality education, you will have the best chance at experiencing these benefits firsthand.

However, you will have to get over dealing with challenging clients and being on your feet all day.

Ultimately, you will have to decide whether working for a company or being self-employed is a better option for you.

If you can put the bad to the side and not forget to take care of yourself in the process, you will be on your way to a rewarding career as a massage therapist.  

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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