3 Major Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist in Florida
Therapeutic massage doesn't just have advantages for the people who receive it; it can also generate several benefits for the practitioners who provide it. And that's particularly true for Florida's massage therapists. They often get to enjoy a strong sense of physical and mental fulfillment because of the services they offer and the beautiful settings they work in. But pursuing a massage therapy career in this state can have additional upsides such as:
1. Favorable Career Outlook and Exceptional Variety
Florida is one of the world's most popular travel destinations. And it is also home to a huge number of retirees who move to the state to enjoy the sun and a more leisurely lifestyle. As a result, this region is a terrific place to pursue a career in massage therapy.
In fact, in 2015, Florida had the second-highest level of employment for this vocation in the nation.* And from 2014 to 2022, the number of massage therapy jobs in Florida is expected to grow by 15.5 percent.** It's easy to see why when you consider additional facts like these:
- About 98 million visitors came to this state in 2014 alone.***
- In 2013, Florida's per-capita disposable income was nearly 5.6 percent above the national average. And between 1990 and 2014, it grew by about 113.8 percent.**** (The more money people have to spend, the more they consider spending it on services like therapeutic massage.)
- People over the age of 45 represent more than 45 percent of the state's population.† And in 2012, that age group accounted for almost half of all massage therapy consumers nationally.‡
Plus, since their services can be performed for a wide variety of reasons, it should come as no surprise that massage therapists can be found in many different settings. After all, sports and tourism are both big industries in Florida, which means that a lot of opportunities exist in spas, resorts, fitness centers, and even sports teams' headquarters. Some massage therapists in the state even get the chance to work in exotic locations while aboard cruise ships, which set sail from ports in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and other Florida cities.
In addition, many of the state's massage therapy professionals are self-employed, with some operating their own massage clinics or providing mobile massage services at their clients' homes or offices.
2. Appealing Wages
In 2015, the average hourly wage for massage therapists in Florida was $20.31. But when you consider the great potential to earn sizable tips from wealthy clientele or to operate your own business, the possibility exists to make a lot more than that. And, generally speaking, the more massage techniques you've mastered, the more you can earn.
3. Relatively Fast Training and Quick Career Entry
You don't have to spend very long in school to get the training necessary for becoming licensed in this state. In fact, some massage therapy programs take as little as about 7.5 months to complete. It just depends how in-depth you'd like your education to be. If you'd like to learn more advanced techniques, then you can find options that take no longer than about 16.5 to 24 months.
Regardless of the training you decide on, you will ultimately need to attain a Florida massage therapy license. By law, anyone who performs any kind of massage services for compensation in this state is required to be licensed by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy. The requirements involve:††
- Completing at least 500 clock-hours of massage therapy training from a board-approved school or through a 12-month apprenticeship program
- Passing one of three exams: (1) The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), (2) the National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage (NCETM), or (3) the National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB)
- Passing a criminal background check
- Completing continuing education courses including a two-hour Prevention of Medical Errors course, a three-hour HIV/AIDS course, and a 10-hour Florida Laws and Rules course (all of which are sometimes included in the massage therapy programs at board-approved schools in the state)
Interested in Learning More?
Start by exploring a selection of massage therapy schools in Florida. It's as simple as entering your zip code to find the schools nearest you!
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on May 20, 2016.
** Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, website last visited on September 17, 2015.
*** VISIT FLORIDA, website last visited on September 17, 2015.
**** Statista, website last visited on September 17, 2015.
† Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research, Florida Estimates of Population 2014, website last visited on September 17, 2015.
‡ American Massage Therapy Association Massage Profession Research Report, website last visited on September 17, 2015.
†† Florida Board of Massage Therapy, website last visited on September 17, 2015.