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. Massage therapists may be trained in various specialized massage techniques.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 205 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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, with employment around 1,000. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Massage Therapists may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed, which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

The median employment income for 38% 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

$12.55

Minimum

$27.24

Median

$41.67

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,816

Minimum

$24,391

Median

$48,248

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

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. Massage therapists may be trained in various specialized massage techniques.

Job duties

Massage therapists:

  • 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 like physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians, and psychologists when developing treatment plans for clients.

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 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

The work of a massage therapist can be physically demanding. Hours of work depend on each work setting and therapists. Some work evenings and weekends. Others work part-time in several locations.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,000

employed in 2016

62.7%

employed full-time

58.2%

self employed

87.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
12.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.7

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

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

median age

Where will I likely work?

53.2%

Halifax

14.9%

North Shore

14.4%

Annapolis Valley

9.5%

Southern

8.0%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

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 (except public administration)

2.1%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

1.1%

Educational services

1.1%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

35.0%

25-34

28.0%

35-44

21.0%

45-54

8.0%

15-24

6.0%

55-64

1.0%

65+

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

65.0%

College certificate or diploma

$24,395 median annual income
24.5%

Bachelor's degree

$23,299 median annual income
5.0%

Trades certificate

$18,988 median annual income
4.0%

University certificate or diploma

$28,020 median annual income
1.0%

High school

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College certificate or diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor's degree

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master's degree

$69,296 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 includes 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

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 832-3268

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Massage Therapist/Registered Massage Therapist

Right to Title: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected (you may not use this job title without a professional designation). Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial requirements for the job. Employers may require professional designation; however, you do not need professional designation to legally work in this job.

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

Right to Title: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected (you may not use this job title without a professional designation). Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial requirements for the job. Employers may require professional designation; however, you do not need professional designation to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Massage Therapists' and Wholistic Practitioners Association of the Maritimes
201-156 Ochterloney Street
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 1E1
(902) 482-9690

Contacts

Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
230-9440 49 ST
Edmonton, AB T6B 2M9
Tel: (780) 484-2010
Fax: (780) 484-3605

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