Increased Demand For Massage Therapists WA
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Department states in its Occupational Outlook Handbook that there will be an increased demand for massage therapists in the coming years, especially in Washington. The publication also stated that the increasing acceptance of massage therapy as a medical tool is part of the reason there will be a steady rise in the demand for a massage therapist.
Furthermore, there is also an improved perception and appreciation of massage therapy among young Americans as a way of reducing stress through relaxation. The Bureau also stated that the willingness of medical providers to recommend therapy, as well as, an increased will for insurance providers to cover the cost of some therapies is another reason for its growth. There will also be a likely demand for massage as health care providers are increasingly seeing the importance and incorporating it into treatment plans. However, limited coverage for massage services by insurance providers affects its effectiveness in health care.
Upon research, there is an observation that there are approximately 1300+ massage therapy programs, colleges and training all throughout the United States. For massage therapy training, the students are made to study the structure and functions of different parts of the body in courses such as kinesiology, physiology, and anatomy. It is crucial that therapists have a clear understanding of how the body works and how the various systems within the body interact, as well as, ethics and procedures that correspond to their client’s well-being.
There are different massage types and modalities to be taught to students to enable them to master the various techniques of massage. They must be made to understand the different methods which may be up to dozens, which should allow the physical and mental aspect of health and relaxation to be mastered.
The United States Department of Labor estimated in 2014 that there were 168,000 jobs held by massage therapists, almost all are self-employed business owners, while the remaining few are independent contractors or are employees of other business owners to help run business which includes sports organizations, medical offices, health clubs, and spas.
As of May 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that $39,860 was the median annual wage or $19.17 per hour for massage therapists in the United States. This implies that 50% of the massage therapists earned higher than that amount as well as lower than that price. The most top 10% earned $74,870 while the lowest 10% earned $19,720 from a combination of wages and tips. The state of Washington ranks as one of the top paying states for the massage therapist occupation with annual mean wage of $55,920 with approximately 4,030 employed in Washington in 2016.
The fact that therapists work by appointment, their weekly hour input varies significantly, and for this reason, most of them work part time. Apart from all the time spent giving massages, some other activities take up their time including continuing education, booking clients, taking client’s notes and other general business activities. This practice is also gaining respect and acceptance as a way of treating and improving general well-being, and for this reason, most states are adopting licensing requirements and standards for massage therapists. Washington is one state that has licensing standards for the massage industry and practitioners.
There are also some other set of people who have a regular demand for massage services, and this number keeps increasing which will ultimately lead to increased openings in the field. A perfect example is teams that employ the services of massage therapists to help their athletes recover from injuries and manage pain.
It takes a while to build a client base sufficient to maintain business, and in states that regulate massage therapy, there should be other opportunities for therapists who complete formal training and pass a professionally recognized exam.
Marketing and networking should be taking seriously by massage therapists because they need a lot of referrals to keep the business growing. It could also be beneficial to join a professional body or association which could help stabilize the air of uncertainty surrounding the business. Also, completing education in multiple modalities can contribute to attracting a wider range of clients.
The demand for massage therapists is also prompted by an aging population and broader acceptance of alternative medical practices. The aged are beginning to understand the benefit of massage for a more active life. Some organizations have even started offering massage therapies to employees to help deal with on-the-job stress to improve productivity. More so, the health insurance companies have a growing understanding among them that massage therapy’s benefits to the human health and have for that reason, have started offering massage therapy cover in the plans.
Established and potential massage therapist can say on this basis that the future is bright. There is a great deal of flexibility and opportunity of each to work independently. For those that enjoy interacting with several people, the platform favors that however, it must be noted that the pay is fair and growing. There is also an increased enrollment by students in massage schools.
In conclusion, the job outlook for massage therapist will increase by approximately 22% which is higher than the average figure for most occupations as stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the continuous growth in the demand for massage therapy, there will be an expected increase in openings for years to come.