Massage Therapists

(NOC 3236)

in All Health

Massage therapists assess soft tissues and joints of the body for treatment and prevention of dysfunction, injury, pain and physical disorders. They work in private practice, including group or team practices, hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres and educational institutions.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 105 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Massage Therapists may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 39% of Massage Therapists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $34,074. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.50

Minimum

$28.50

Median

$40.63

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,816

Minimum

$24,391

Median

$48,248

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$25.50

Median

$41.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Massage therapists assess soft tissues and joints of the body for treatment and prevention of dysfunction, injury, pain and physical disorders. They work in private practice, including group or team practices, hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres and educational institutions.

Job duties

Massage therapists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Assess clients by conducting range of motion and muscle tests and propose treatment plans.
  • Explain procedures, risks and benefits to clients.
  • Administer massage techniques, treating soft tissues and joints of the body through soft tissue manipulation, relaxation techniques, hydrotherapy, trigger point therapy, joint pain and lower grade mobilizations, remedial exercise programs and client self-help programs.
  • Suggest home care instructions and provide information about techniques for further postural improvement and stretching, strengthening, relaxation and rehabilitative exercises.
  • Maintain records of treatments given.
  • May consult with other health care professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians and psychologists when developing treatment plans for clients. // Massage therapists may be trained in various specialized massage techniques.

Sample job titles

  • massage therapist (MT)
  • massotherapist
  • myotherapist
  • orthotherapist
  • registered massage practitioner
  • registered massage therapist (RMT)
  • Thai massage therapist

Skills

You must be able to communicate effectively with people and demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility, good judgement, patience, and self-discipline. Therapists must be creative and unique in their approach to each client. The ability to inspire confidence and to motivate clients is important. A strong sense of responsibility, good judgement, and communication skills are also necessary. Massage therapists also require physical stamina.

Job requirements

  • Massage therapists usually require completion of an 18- to 24-month or 18- to 36-month program in massage therapy from an accredited school and a period of supervised practical training.

Other considerations

None

By the numbers

Quick look

945

employed in 2016

63.4%

employed full-time

58.7%

self employed

88.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
12%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.7

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

77.1%

employed full-time

10.2%

self employed

83.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

53.5%

Halifax

15.0%

Northern

14.5%

Annapolis Valley

9.5%

Southern

8.0%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

87.9%

Health Care and Social Assistance

6.8%

Other Services

2.1%

Information, Culture & Recreation

1.1%

Construction

1.1%

Other Professional Services

What is the age of Employment?

49.2%

25-34

23.1%

45-54

21.5%

35-44

3.1%

55-64

3.1%

15-24

Compared to: All Health

31.4%

45-54

27.6%

35-44

20.5%

55-64

15.2%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

65.9%

College certificate or diploma

$66,454 median annual income
23.2%

Bachelor's degree

$71,435 median annual income
4.3%

University certificate or diploma

$77,266 median annual income
4.3%

Trades certificate

$66,122 median annual income
1.1%

University advanced certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Health

39.4%

College certificate or diploma

$36,693 median annual income
27.6%

Bachelor's degree

$57,186 median annual income
7.2%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$83,000 median annual income
6.9%

High school

$24,119 median annual income
5.1%

Master's degree

$87,808 median annual income

Education & training

Massage therapy/therapeutic massage

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to provide relief and improved health and well-being to clients through the application of manual techniques for manipulating skin, muscles, and connective tissues. These programs include courses in Western (Swedish) massage; sports massage; myotherapy/trigger point massage; myofascial release; deep tissue massage; cranio-sacral therapy; reflexology; massage safety and emergency management; client counselling; practice management; applicable regulations; and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

Eastern College - Halifax

6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111

Halifax, NS B3L 0B7

(902) 423-3933

Island Career Academy

721 Alexandra Street

Sydney, NS B1S 2H4

(902) 564-6112

ICT Northumberland College

1888 Brunswick Street, 5th Floor

Halifax, NS B3J 3J8

(902) 425-2869

Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy

Mumford Professional Centre, 6960 Mumford Road, Suite 180 Suite 180 - 6960 Mumford Road

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 832-3268

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Massage Therapist

Special Requirements: Standards exist for this job in Nova Scotia. Certification or membership in a professional body may be required by employers, however, a certificate is not legally needed to work in this occupation.

Regulating body:
Massage Therapists' Association of Nova Scotia
PO Box 9410, Station A
Halifax, NS B3K 5S3
(902) 429-2190
(902) 425-2441

Contacts

Massage Therapists' and Wholistic Practitioners' Association of the Maritimes
1701 Hollis Street, Suite 800
Halifax, NS B3J 3M8
Tel: (902) 482-9690
Fax: (902) 404-7428

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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