Requirements for the Job

Massage therapists need to be fairly fit, as the job requires standing and reaching for long periods of time. It also helps to have strong hands and arms. If you've been told that you have a healing touch, and you don't mind massaging people of all shapes and sizes, this job may be for you.

Get the Proper Accessories

Most massage therapists require certain accessories to do their job properly. These include a good portable table or massage chair, and massage oils and lotions. Incense and music can also help to set the mood. Remember that the supplies you purchase are tax-deductible.

Choose Your Specialty

There are many different types of massage styles out there — lomi lomi, Swedish, Reiki, deep tissue, sports massage—the list goes on and on. You may want to learn several different styles to give your clients a range of options.

Know Your Local Laws

The type of license needed to be a massage therapist, as well as the kinds of massage you can provide, differ according to the laws in your area. In the U.S., your state department of health can get you up to speed on what kind of license or certification may be required to practice massage therapy. You should also contact local authorities to see if there are any specific county or city regulations.

Determine Where to Study

Whether or not you are new to the field, it is likely that you will want or need to take classes to learn your trade or to keep up on new methods. Even if you are already a licensed massage therapist, some regulating agencies require that you keep your license current by taking continuing education courses. There are a wide range of massage schools out there. How do you pick the right one? You have many options. You can call the regulating agency in your state or county or the Better Business Bureau and ask if they have a list of approved schools. Contact a trade association, such as the American Massage Therapy Association, and find out if they have registered any complaints about the school. You can also call the school and ask for references from previous students.