Sports Massage Therapy Careers:
How to Get Started
Is massage therapy a career field you are considering? If you are looking for a hands-on career that allows you to work with athletes and help them reach their full potential, a career in sports massage therapy could be your calling.
If you are ready to take the next step in reaching your career goals, gaining information about sports massage therapy schools and careers is a great place to start. Here are some factors to consider.
Personal Skills for Sports Massage Therapists
Before you decide on a sports massage therapy career, it can be helpful to consider the personal skills that can contribute to success in this challenging career field, and decide if it's the right match for you. As with most healthcare careers, sports massage therapists must have a healthy dose of people skills. If you're good at putting people at ease, and are a good listener, perhaps this is the right fit for you. In addition, helping to improve the muscle function and health of others requires personal strength and fitness—you must have the strength to perform deep massage techniques, and the stamina to be on your feet for the duration of your appointments.
Post-Secondary Education in Sports Massage Therapy
Once you have decided on sports massage therapy as your career path, one of the most important steps is to gain a post-secondary education related to the field. Sports massage therapy schools can provide you with both clinical and theoretical training, allowing you to gain the necessary skills and knowledge for success. The clinical side of your training can teach you the variety of massage therapy techniques used to alleviate pain, promote rehabilitation, and prevent future injuries. You can also gain a solid background in anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology, as well as the body mechanics of different types of athletes.
Many programs will also include an externship, which can give you the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience. In addition, some sports massage therapy schools even support an on-site clinic, which provides you with supervised time working on actual clients.
Research your Career Options
Upon graduation from a sports massage therapy school, it can be extremely helpful to conduct a bit of research about the available career options, and the level of demand within those areas.
The employment rate for massage therapists is expected to increase 19 percent by 2018.* These same statistics show that about 57 percent of those already in the business are self-employed. However, there are other options available outside of a private practice, including:
- Professional sports teams
- Health clubs
- Rehabilitation clinics
- College athletic departments
Now that you have considered the above facts about joining the sports massage therapy industry, if you are ready to take the next step—browse through the available directory of massage therapy schools today!
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, web site accessed on Nov. 3, 2010.
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