What does a massage therapist do?

Massage therapists provide their clients with physical relief, using their hands, fingers, arms and elbows (in some cases, even feet) to apply pressure to, stretch and manipulate tissue. Depending on the medical history of a client and the specific ailment they’re presenting with, a massage therapist will determine which techniques are appropriate in their treatment. While many use massage simply as a way to relax and alleviate stress, the therapeutic nature or massage make it a useful tool in treating injury or chronic inflammation in muscles, ligaments and tendons. Massage therapists are also responsible for keeping client notes, managing their appointment schedule and undertaking periodic professional development programs to hone their skills.

Tasks:

  • Conduct client health and injury check
  • Maintain notes on client progress
  • Apply various massage techniques
  • Discuss health plan with client 
  • Identify potential ongoing health risks

What skills do I need to be a massage therapist?

Massage therapy is a job that requires you to be neat, clean and inviting, able to comfortably talk with their clients about their needs in a professional manner. As massage therapy is such a hands-on job, a respectful approach must be taken to the treatment of your client’s body. You’ll need to be an excellent communicator, with a calming and competent demeanour able to explain why certain techniques are being used and how they will help. A genuine care for the health and wellbeing of others will make this job a rewarding and attractive career path for many. 

Skills/attributes
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Respect for clients’ personal space
  • Manual dexterity
  • Professional demeanour
  • Understanding of body systems

Specialisations

There are a number of specialisations available to you if you pursue a career in massage therapy. You can tailor your training to suit your interests and desired career path. 

Sports Massage Therapist

A sports massage therapist deals specifically with athletes, from club level to elite and Olympic level. A sports therapist has a particularly thorough knowledge of the treatment of soft tissue, ligament and tendon injuries that arise during the course of sporting events and the various processes of rehabilitation.

Remedial Massage Therapist

A remedial massage therapist offers therapeutic relief and rehabilitation on a general level, dealing with recurring discomfort and stress management or acute soft tissue problems. They also offer their clients strategies and preventative measures to ensure the ongoing progress of their rehabilitation.

Relaxation Massage Therapist

Relaxation massage therapists use various massage techniques for the purposes of stress relief, management of anxiety and improvement of general physical and mental wellbeing. Relaxation massage therapists may also use aromatherapy oils or lotions to help to induce relaxation in their clients.

Study pathways for massage therapists

Look for a course that offers both technical knowledge and hands-on experience to get the most out of your studies.

Getting Started

Choose a course that will equip you with basic skills for becoming a massage therapist

Skill Building

Work on your knowledge of the human body with targeted massage therapy courses

Professional Development

Learn about different massage techniques and professional best practice

Industry Recognition

Once you have obtained your qualifications you must undergo a Police Check before practicing as a professional. Massage therapists must operate within the professional guidelines for conduct

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your massage therapy career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed

Job Prospects and Salaries

There is expected to be very strong growth in employment opportunities for massage therapists over the next five years