Massage therapy — a method of reducing stress or relieving pain in the body’s soft-muscle tissues through the use of touch — is a rapidly-expanding career field that offers flexible working hours and great income potential.
While many massage therapists work in clinics, chiropractic offices, hospitals, and spas, some are considered to be “traveling” therapists, providing services at their client’s location, while other therapists enjoy the benefit of working out of their home. Regardless of where they work, however, most massage therapists are self-employed and are responsible for maintaining their own supplies and equipment.
Massage therapists offer their services to a variety of individuals who suffer from the daily pains of conditions such as whiplash or carpal tunnel syndrome; athletes in rehabilitation from sports-related injuries; or anyone who simply wants a massage in order to relax.
Overview of Massage Therapy Schools in Delaware
There are several schools in the State of Delaware that offer the required training necessary to enter the field of massage therapy:
Students in massage therapy school will study anatomy and physiology, massage therapy techniques such as Swedish massage, ethics, and business skills.
Massage Therapy Licensing Requirements in Delaware
The State of Delaware’s Board of Massage and Bodywork recognizes two professional designations for massage therapy: certified massage technician and licensed massage therapist (LMT). A certified massage technician designation requires a minimum of 300 coursework hours at a state-approved school, while an LMT designation requires 500 hours. Certified massage technicians are prohibited from using the terms “therapist” or “therapy” to describe themselves or their work, and are only licensed to work on clients that have not been medically diagnosed or referred by a doctor or chiropractor. LMTs, on the other hand, are permitted to designate themselves as therapists and may work with all clients, including those that have been diagnosed with medical conditions. To obtain a license, LMTs must also pass the National Certification Exam or the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).
Employment Outlook for Massage Therapists in Delaware
While the 2012 median pay for massage therapists is approximately $40,350 per year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Delaware as holding the fifth highest salary in the U.S. at $51,540 per year. According to the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, the career of massage therapy is projected to grow by more than 20 percent between 2010-2020, a faster rate than other employment fields.