Why Being a Registered Massage Therapist Might be your Dream Job
Massage therapists provide an invaluable service to people who are in pain, recovering from injuries, or experiencing stress. Massage therapy speeds up the healing process, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and can help restore emotional balance.
For most massage professionals, that’s the main reason we chose this job: we care about other people. We want to help our clients get better and stay well. We’re attracted to the health care and wellness field, but we want to make more of a one-on-one connection with our clients than would be possible as an EMT or a nurse (not to mention being able to avoid the high stress, long hours, and potential burnout so common in those jobs). Massage therapy is one of the most accessible, adaptable, and personally satisfying careers in health care.
Massage therapy could be a satisfying career for you if you are empathetic, active, and ready to learn. Over our 20 years training RMTs, we hear a lot of stories about why students choose massage, and still find it rewarding five, 10 or 18 years later.
Massage therapy may be the right career for you, if:
A flexible schedule suits the way you live
With the start of covid, Canadians traded full-time, in-office jobs for work from home and setting their own hours. Post-vaccine, many of us are still doing that, or wish we could. It’s great to be able to do an errand midweek, or volunteer for the Grade Four field trip.
Massage is that flexible: block out time to accommodate your other responsibilities and make up the time by opening your calendar earlier or later a couple of days a week.
Night owls can work more evenings, and larks can start early. If you can work evenings or early mornings or weekends, you will be doing your 9-5 clients a great service, and it will give you a competitive edge.
You have had enough of office work
Some people thrive at a desk and find making sense of a balance sheet or facilitating a zoom conference suits them perfectly. If you have tried that, and it is not for you, think about a career that lets you stand up and be active while you work. As we’ve written about before, sitting is dangerous work!
You like learning about health and how bodies work
Massage is a good choice for you if you have a background in sports, yoga Pilates, or another health care field. Much of the massage school curriculum is about the human body and how it works. You will graduate with a thorough knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the systems most affected by massage therapy.
You don’t have be an expert on human anatomy before you start our program, though! We have designed our program to be accessible to students from all backgrounds. If you meet the basic academic entrance requirements, the only other things you need are a passion for the subject matter and a willingness to work hard. This is thanks to the quality of our curriculum material, and the way we teach it.
Often, our best students are people who were nervous about going back to school because they weren’t star students in high school, or because it’s been a while since they were last in a classroom.
Our program is built specifically to meet the needs of adult learners, and our blended-learning program can accommodate the different ways that students learn. Learning the science, theory, and other academic material when it’s combined with hands-on learning and you can apply the knowledge in a practical way.
“I’m not much of a classroom person – I find it hard to sit and listen to a lecture,”, says Karen Goforth, a 2017 Vicars grad. “So that it was only four classroom days a month worked really well for me. It was hands-on and I got to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time, and then take it home and digest it myself and reread. That setup worked really well for the way that I like to learn.”
You want be fully qualified and ready to practice in less than two years
Massage therapy is one of the most accessible of the health care careers.
In regulated provinces, massage schools are required to teach anatomy and physiology, pathology, orthopedic assessment, treatment planning, medical terminology, and other subjects to a specified standard. Their hands-on education includes many hours of supervised work experience. When they meet their first clients as RMTs, they have the knowledge and experience they need to be fully effective.
In unregulated provinces, providing this level of preparation for national “entry-to-practice” standards is optional. It is expensive for schools to meet the standards, but good schools know it is what our graduates need for success.
MH Vicars School was an early adopter of the national standard and one of the first schools in Alberta to have achieved accreditation from CMTCA, the same authority that accredits schools in the regulated provinces: BC, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and PEI.
You want job security and a living wage
As standards for the profession have risen across Canada, the profile of the well-trained professional has risen with it. Good massage therapists are in higher demand than ever. Research evidence of the value of massage piles up, and it has become increasingly common for other health professionals to view RMTs as part of their patients’ health care team. Doctors regularly recommend massage for rehabilitation following surgery or injury, to promote flexibility and increase range of motion for older adults and people with disabilities, and to provide relief to those with chronic pain.
And with this growth in respect from other professions and the public, job security for RMTs is better than ever. Most years, between 95-98% of our grads are fully employed (or working as much as they want to) by the end of their first year in the profession. Even with covid precautions in place, our grads report that they’re booked for weeks or even months in advance. Especially in smaller centres, many are no longer accepting new clients.
Talent.com reports an average salary of $67,500 for massage therapists across Canada (higher in regulated provinces). Your income will rise as you build a reputation for effectiveness, and generally be higher if you are self-employed.
You can be your own boss
Massage therapists can work anywhere that they want to. You can find MH Vicars graduates in dedicated massage clinics, in clinics or health centres alongside physiotherapists and chiropractors, at gyms, at corporate or industrial work sites, at resorts and hotels, and even in their own homes.
Most Vicars graduates work for themselves. They rent a room in a larger clinic or a gym, have clinic space in their own homes, or start and operate clinics that employ other massage therapists or other practitioners.
The Massage Therapy Program at Vicars could be the pathway to your ideal career. We have campuses in Calgary and Edmonton and a schedule that is designed to work with your lifestyle. For more information and to speak with our friendly admissions team, call us toll-free 1-866-491-0574 or sign up for an online open house!