Health Occupations
& Technology

Massage Therapist

To be a successful Massage Therapist you should…

  • understand massage is both an art and a science of healing
  • be skillful in the use of hands to apply pressure
  • possess the ability to stand for long periods of time
  • have a sincere desire to improve the health and well-being of humanity
  • recognize the need for ongoing education to be a competent practitioner

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What will my job be like?

“Massage therapy is a profession in which the practitioner applies manual techniques and may apply adjunctive therapies, with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the client.” — American Massage Therapy Association definition of massage therapy

Practitioners’ specialization may include type of application, clientele, and technique. Massage therapy has a broad number of applications. Its range includes relaxation, stress reduction, health promotion, pain management, and injury recovery. Practitioners may choose to focus on one of these areas. The majority of massage therapists use several techniques in their work and may place the emphasis of their practice on something other than technique.

Massage Therapists may choose to specialize in:

  • Swedish – a gentle, relaxing massage
  • Pressure point therapy – for certain conditions for injuries
  • Sports massage – focus on muscle groups
  • Medical and hospital-based massage
  • Corporate and on-site chair massage
  • Relaxation and stress reduction massage
  • Massage for personal growth and wellness

Where could I work?

Massage therapists may work as self-employed practitioners, as salaried or commissioned employees, or as independent contractors. Many massage therapists have portable equipment and can visit a person’s home/office.

Other workplace settings:
  • Chiropractors Offices
  • Corporations
  • Hair Salons
  • Health Clubs and Fitness Centers
  • Holistic Health Centers Hospitals
  • Medical Clinics
  • Nursing Homes
  • Hotels, Cruise Ships, Spas, and Resorts
  • On-site (chair massage in offices, airports, public events, etc.)
  • Sports teams and events (amateur and professional)

What is the average annual salary?


What is the future of this career?

Employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 26 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.

What type of education and/or training do I need?

The training program curriculum should cover such subjects as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, theory and practice of massage therapy, hands-on practice under faculty supervision, ethics, and business practices.

Many schools offer a supervised student clinic that is open to the public and gives students the opportunity to work with a variety of people. Training programs may tend to emphasize certain styles of massage, so it is useful to find out if a school teaches a style with which you feel comfortable.

Connecticut requires 500 hours at a school approved by COMTA (Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation) or U.S. Department of Education.

Where can I get the education and/or training?

  • American Institute, West Hartford
  • Asnuntuck Community College, Enfield
  • Branford Hall Career Institute, Branford/Southington
  • Cortiva Institute, Newington/Westport/Groton

Do I need a license or certification for this career?

Connecticut requires 500 hours at a school approved by COMTA (Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation) or U.S. Department of Education.

Where can I get more information?

American Massage Therapy Association
500 Davis Street, Suite 900
Evanston, IL 60201
(877) 905-2700

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
(800) 296-0664

Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation
2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 302
Arlington, VA  22201
(202) 888-6790