A Career in Massage
Massage therapy is a rewarding and interesting profession. It offers full and part-time employment opportunities.
Massage Therapists are currently being employed in:
- the medical and paramedical industry in medical centres, with osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and in rehabilitation centres
- the health and fitness industry in clinics, sports clubs and gymnasiums
- the sports industry, by sporting teams, clubs and individual athletes.
- the recreation and tourism industry in major hotels, health resorts and retreats
A significant proportion of Massage Therapists are self-employed, operating their own clinic sand businesses.
To massage effectively and with care, a Massage Therapist requires theoretical knowledge of the structure and function of the body, practical training in applied massage therapy techniques and the following personal attributes:
- interest in health and natural science
- physical and mental stamina
- manual co-ordination, dexterity and sensitivity
- patience and concern for people
- balanced and confident personality
- responsible and mature attitude
- sensitivity towards clients
- clean and tidy disposition.
Income varies according to level of qualification and area of specialisation. Currently Massage Therapists employed by other specialists can earn between $20 and $50 per hour. Self-employed therapists can earn between $40 and $90 per hour.
Where do I study?
If you are serious about a career in Massage Therapy, you will need to study at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). RTOs offer courses that are government accredited and nationally recognised.
In 2002, National Competency Standards were introduced for Massage Therapy as part of the Health Training Package.
The current, nationally-recognised qualifications for Massage Therapy are the HLT40312 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice and the HLT50307 Diploma of Remedial Massage. There are also nationally recognised qualifications in Traditional Chinese Medicine Remedial Massage (Tui Na) and Shiatsu. For information on which courses are recognised for membership of AMT, please go here.
RTOs vary widely in educational content and delivery hours. Courses offered through the TAFE system tend to be longer and more comprehensive but there are many, reputable private colleges offering quality training too. To search for qualifications and RTOs, please visit http://www.myskills.gov.au.
AMT does not recommend courses that are delivered via distance learning.
Below is a checklist of important considerations when researching an appropriate place to study:
- Is the college a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)?
- Will my Diploma be nationally recognised?
- How many hours of face to face lessons are there to complete?
- How much does the training cost?
- What is the maximum class size? (student/teacher ratio should be low for practical massage subjects)
- Is the course part time or full time?
- Will I be recognised as a provider with the health funds on completion of the course?
- What subjects/educational content is covered?
Be wary of Colleges that claim that they can fast-track your education or those that set up dodgy-sounding Associations to accredit their courses. eg The International Body Pounding School of Massage Therapy is Accredited with The International Body Pounding Association and is a founding member. If in doubt, ask how many members the Association has and how long they have been in existence.
For more information or advice, please contact AMT on 02 9211 2441.