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Massage Therapy Major

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Massage Therapy

570 Associates's Degrees Annually
19 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#69 in Popularity (Associate's)
$45,880 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Massage Therapy Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many massage therapy/therapeutic massage graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 7,016
Undergraduate Certificate 4,042
Associate’s Degree 650
Bachelor’s Degree 19

What Massage Therapy Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to massage therapy/therapeutic massage were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in massage therapy/therapeutic massage should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills for Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage Majors

massage therapy/therapeutic massage majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage Majors

A major in massage therapy/therapeutic massage will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Massage Therapy Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with massage therapy/therapeutic massage:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Massage Therapists 26.3% $41,420

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Massage Therapy?

650 Associate's Degrees Annually
78% Percent Women
46% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 78% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of massage therapy/therapeutic massage majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 52
Black or African American 80
Hispanic or Latino 144
White 293
International Students 10
Other Races/Ethnicities 71

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage. About 1.5% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Massage Therapy Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $45,880 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Massage Therapy Major  ( 45880 to 122320 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with massage therapy/therapeutic massage require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to massage therapy/therapeutic massage have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 2.0%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 12.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 35.2%
Some College Courses 6.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 7.0%
Master’s Degree 14.4%
Doctoral Degree 10.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.7%

Online Massage Therapy Programs

In 2018-2019, 527 schools offered a massage therapy/therapeutic massage program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 324 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 220 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 96 2
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 324 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Massage Therapy Worth It?

The median salary for a massage therapy/therapeutic massage grad is $45,880 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 15% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $119,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to massage therapy/therapeutic massage.

Major Number of Grads
Asian Bodywork Therapy 157
Somatic Bodywork 56
Other Somatic Bodywork and Related Therapeutic Services 21

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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