What Is the Job Description of a Massage Therapist?

Many people who enjoy the benefits of massage therapy would describe a massage therapist as nothing short of a healer. In truth, massage therapists are highly skilled professionals who go through training to deliver important massage services to their clients. A career in massage therapy often begins with the realization that you want a satisfying job that allows you to help others.

If this sounds like you, it’s important to seek out the right training and education to prepare for the field of massage therapy. It’s also important to understand what the job description of a massage therapist entails to have appropriate expectations going into this exciting, rewarding field.

What Does a Massage Therapist Do?

Massage therapists are planners. They use information provided by their clients to design custom massage therapy plans to offer the relaxation and physical benefits their clients are hoping to receive. Each client presents an opportunity for a massage therapist to apply the skills they’ve gained through education and training to create an individualized plan.

Each client interaction begins with an assessment. As the massage therapist, you will take time to understand the needs of your client. In many cases, your clients are seeking out massage therapy because they are dealing with pain related to an injury, strain, illness, overuse, or other factors. Some clients are interested in tapping into the relaxation that massage therapy can induce. It is your job to align your approach with the needs and expectations of each client. The training that you receive prior to licensing provides you with an understanding of the physiology and anatomy of the body to produce the desired results during a massage.

Client Education

Client education is another important part of a massage therapist’s role. First, you must take time to ensure that your clients feel comfortable. You will often explain the process ahead of time to make sure a client feels prepared. While after the massage, you can provide some tips for keeping their musculoskeletal healthy and supported in between appointments.


Of course, the primary role of a massage therapist is to provide therapeutic massage. There are many approaches to massage that you can use to help clients with specific wellness goals. During massage school, you train in a variety of classic and alternative massage approaches. The list of massage techniques that you might offer includes:

  • Swedish massage
  • Deep-tissue massage
  • Chair massage
  • Hot stone massage
  • Myofascial massage
  • Sports massage
  • Trigger-point massage
  • Prenatal massage

Many massage therapists offer different forms of massage for each client. While the basic massage techniques offered by spas and wellness clinics are generally covered by massage therapy programs, there is always the option to pursue certifications in different specialties.

Disinfecting and Sanitizing Work Areas

The health and safety of clients should also be prioritized in any type of massage environment. Therefore, training for massage therapists heavily emphasizes hygienic practices. Massage therapists will disinfect and sanitize workstations, equipment, and linens in between client visits.

Managing Office Duties

Like any professional setting, a massage therapy business requires proper management. Massage therapists are skilled at the business side of running a business, managing customer service, and taking measures to be efficient with costs. Duties will vary by setting. However, you may handle duties that can include scheduling appointments, recommending/selling productions to clients, ordering equipment and products for professional use, interacting with vendors, handling payments, doing marketing and social media outreach, and offering massage appointments.

Where Do Massage Therapists Work?

The flexibility that goes along with a career in massage therapy is what draws people to this career choice. As a massage therapist, you may work in some of the most elite spaces available. However, the most common place to find a massage therapist is a spa. In fact, massage therapists are often the biggest attractions at wellness spas. While some massage therapists prefer to be employed at local spas, others decide that they are going to seize the opportunity to start their own business and go to where the clients are, whether at home or in an office setting.

Resorts also employ high numbers of massage therapists. Massage therapists working at resorts will provide services like poolside massage, massage on the beach, or in-suite massage. Casinos, retreat, and wedding venues also may employ massage therapists.

Some massage therapists prefer to work in medical settings. Many holistic wellness offices have massage therapists on staff. The same is true for chiropractic and physical therapy offices. In addition, it’s common for hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers to have massage therapists on staff.

How Do You Become a Massage Therapist?

Like most professions, massage therapy demands that aspiring professionals follow a specific training path. You can’t only rely on online tutorials or self-guided instruction to obtain the skills necessary to enter a career field. The path to becoming a massage therapist comes down to the right massage therapy program. The easiest way to become a massage therapist is to attend a vocational school offering a massage therapy program.

How Long Is a Massage Therapy Program?

A massage therapy degree can be obtained in as little as 13 months when attending a program on a part-time basis. This is an intensive, highly engaging process that mixes traditional classroom lecture with hands-on instruction. You will be introduced to many medical and scientific topics that will enable you to safely and confidently address musculoskeletal issues. The list of topics covered in a massage therapy program includes:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Massage techniques
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Safety
  • Professional business practices

The goal of a massage therapy program is to put you in a position to work in a professional setting following graduation. You will be given the tools you need to network within the industry. In addition, you will have a well-rounded background covering both massage techniques and best business practices for massage allowing you to work independently. Massage therapy graduates also have the skills needed to open their own massage businesses, manage massage chains, or step into managerial roles in spa settings.

Why Should You Become a Massage Therapist?

Many people who are drawn to the profession of massage therapy want to be fulfilled by their careers. They are seeking a career that provides freedom and flexibility without giving up stability. The demand for massage therapists has never been higher.

Factors like prioritization of self-care, growing recognition of holistic medicine, and increased strain from sitting for long hours during “screen time” have all caused an unprecedented number of people to seek out massage therapy for wellness. According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics, demand for massage therapists is growing by 32% through the year 2030. These means a need for highly skilled and trained massage therapists.

Final Thoughts

Do you have 13 months to go from thinking about a career in massage therapy to graduating from an accredited program that equips you to work in a wide variety of settings? Becoming a professional massage therapist puts you at the forefront of the whole-body wellness revolution that has been embraced by mainstream health professionals. Join the wellness revolution and learn more about the massage therapy program at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology today.

Massage Therapy Program

If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 13 months. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their patients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and starting a rewarding career in the massage industry.

Find out what Minnesota School of Cosmetology can do for you

10-month Cosmetology Diploma |

13-Month Massage Therapy Diploma |

5-Month Esthiology Diploma

By checking the box below, you are giving your express written consent for Minnesota School of Cosmetology to contact you regarding our programs and services using email, telephone, or text - including our use of automated technology for calls and periodic texts to any wireless number you provide. Message and data rates may apply. This consent is not required to purchase goods/services and you may always call us directly at 651-432-4635.

Yes, you may send texts to this number

  View Privacy Policy

Submitting this form constitutes your consent to be contacted by email and/or phone from a representative of the school.