If you are here because you are thinking about a career in massage therapy, then settle in. You and I have a lot to talk about before you choose a school, take your licensing exam, and get your Florida massage license.
If you are here because you are already a massage therapist moving to Florida, you should skip the below and go here.
Why You Are Here
You like helping people
Do you dream of helping others feel better physically and emotionally through the simple gift of touch? Do you feel like you are being called to be a massage therapist? Does your ideal job include helping people relax, reduce physical pain, improve sleep, and decrease stress levels? If so, then you really should consider becoming a massage therapist.
There are many different populations to provide massage services in Florida. You may be interested in working with seniors, Florida tourists, athletes, hospice clients, mothers-to-be, or stressed-out office workers. As a massage therapist, you can work with a variety of people, or focus on finding your niche with one population. You probably already have one in mind.
Different job opportunities
Lots of massage therapists are entrepreneurs and work for themselves. But there is also a variety of job opportunities for massage therapists in Florida. You can work in spas, travel to client’s homes, work in your own home, a massage clinic, hospital, hotel resort, chiropractic clinic, or even on cruise ships.
If you are ready to see if massage therapy is the right career choice for you and learn lots more about finding the right massage school in Florida for you, then you have landed on the right page.
Ask Yourself This
First, have you asked yourself some hard questions? There are a few of you I want to save a lot of time and money before you choose a massage therapy school in Florida. Not everyone is suited for life as a massage therapist. In my twenty years as a massage therapist, I have seen many people fail to give this career choice the attention it truly needs.
Do you know of someone that spent a lot of their time and money on massage school, graduated, began their first job, and then quit within the first few months or years? I do. I do not want that to happen to you.
The most important question I have for you before we begin the search is this.
Do you enjoy helping others?
Seriously. As a massage therapist, your days are about helping others. Massage clients are usually very kind and appreciative. But, sometimes, you will be helping difficult and demanding people who want a massage NOW.
Here are a few other questions to ask yourself:
Again being a massage therapist is not all flowers and roses and the burnout rate is high. Becoming a massage therapist requires some important discernment before you choose a school. Schools make money off of students and may only tell you all the good to get you to enroll.
School guidance counselors know very little about the field and the general public has a distorted view of our profession in many areas. In my twenty years of being a massage therapist, I have helped thousands get their massage license in Florida. This career is not for everyone.
Do you understand the physical demands of a job in this field?
Massage therapy is a physically, and sometimes emotionally, demanding job. Learning proper techniques helps you avoid common injuries associated with being a massage therapist. And learning boundaries helps with the emotional aspects of the job. A good massage school should prepare you for both these common issues.
Do you like science?
Are you ready to learn a lot about muscles, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and pathology?
I have heard a lot of people say, “I just want to massage! Why do I have to learn all this other stuff?” Because it is important! You need to know what muscles to address for certain conditions and pain patterns. You also must know all of the medical conditions which potentially make massage unsafe for a client.
Are you prepared to continuously learn and keep up with new research and educational opportunities, even after you complete school?
After you are done with your Florida-required 500-hour massage program and pass your licensing exam (the MBLEx), and finally have your licensing. You are not done learning. Continuing education helps you keep up with research studies on massage, as well as learn new techniques.
In Florida, we are required to keep learning. We must complete courses on human trafficking, massage laws and rules, and ethics. There are also hands-on courses to help us continue to learn and grow as professionals. Plus, continuing education is an excellent opportunity to network with other therapists and learn from some of the best in the field.
Do you understand building your own business takes tremendous amounts of time and energy? Not only that, it is going to be your responsibility?
Believe it or not, massage clients are not going to just be lining up at your door the day you sign rent or lease papers. And your family alone will not be enough to support you. Worse yet, they will not be doing the never-ending laundry at the end of the day. Those sheets on the table from each client will not wash themselves.
Has anyone told you this?
The average salary in Florida for a massage therapist is $45,000-$55,000. Keep in mind, many massage therapists only work part-time and are able to have very flexible schedules if they work for themselves. You may see that a massage is $75 an hour. But most massage therapists do not make that entire fee per hour. Employees only make a small fraction of that.
Even self-employed massage therapists have to schedule in time between clients to clean and put new sheets on the table. We must write progress notes about our last client and prepare for the next client. That takes time and is unpaid. However, there are massage therapists that make over $100,000 and even some that make over $70,000 part-time. They are in the minority, but it is possible.
Your Next Steps
The truth is, a massage therapy career can be very challenging. If you go into it with unrealistic expectations you may be disappointed and find yourself regretting your career choice and moving on within a year or two. It happens a lot. This is one of the reasons there is always a demand for new graduates.
However, if you are ready to meet these unique challenges, the massage field can be an exciting, rewarding, and profitable career choice. As someone that has practiced massage for nearly twenty years, I can say that I am incredibly happy with my career choice. If I could go back, I would choose it again. Should you decide massage therapy is right for you, I wish you the same – a long and happy career.
Ready to look for schools?
It is time for you to continue on to the next part of this article, Choosing a Florida Massage School.
If you have any questions, or even dreams you want to share, go ahead and post them below or email me at [email protected]. Colleagues, if you have any advice, please post it below and help others with their career choice.