Summary Report for:
31-9011.00 - Massage Therapists
Perform therapeutic massages of soft tissues and joints. May assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength, or propose client therapy plans.
Sample of reported job titles: Bodywork Therapist, Certified Massage Therapist (CMT), Clinical Massage Therapist, Integrated Deep Tissue Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Practitioner (LMP), Licensed Massage Therapist, Massage Therapist, Medical Massage Therapist, Registered Massage Therapist, Therapeutic Massage Technician
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Massage and knead muscles and soft tissues of the body to provide treatment for medical conditions, injuries, or wellness maintenance.
- Confer with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to determine how massage will be most helpful.
- Apply finger and hand pressure to specific points of the body.
- Maintain treatment records.
- Assess clients' soft tissue condition, joint quality and function, muscle strength, and range of motion.
- Treat clients in professional settings or travel to clients' offices and homes.
- Provide clients with guidance and information about techniques for postural improvement and stretching, strengthening, relaxation, and rehabilitative exercises.
- Develop and propose client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used.
- Refer clients to other types of therapists when necessary.
- Consult with other health care professionals, such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians, and psychologists, to develop treatment plans for clients.
- Perform other adjunctive therapies or treatment techniques in addition to massage.
- Prepare and blend oils and apply the blends to clients' skin.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Balance beams or boards or bolsters or rockers for rehabilitation or therapy — Bolsters
- Bath robes
- Desktop computers
- Electric vibrators for rehabilitation or therapy — Mechanical vibrating massage devices
- Full body immersion hydrotherapy baths or tanks — Hydrotherapy equipment
- Hand or body lotion or oil — Body lotions
- Mats or platforms for rehabilitation or therapy — Massage chairs; Massage stools; Portable massage tables; Treatment tables
- Medical heat lamps or accessories — Heat lamps
- Notebook computers
- Personal computers
- Therapeutic heating or cooling pads or compresses or packs — Cold packs; Hot packs; Massage stone sets
- Therapeutic heating or cooling units or systems — Steam cabinets
Technology used in this occupation:
- Calendar and scheduling software — AppointmentQuest Online Appointment Manager; Scheduling software
- Medical software — ICS Software SammyUSA; Island Software Massage Office Professional; Massage Suite; WinCity Custom Software WinCity Massage SOAP Notes (see all 6 examples)
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Detailed Work Activities
- Maintain medical records.
- Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.
- Interview patients to gather medical information.
- Develop patient therapy programs.
- Administer therapy treatments to patients using hands or physical treatment aids.
- Teach medical procedures or medical equipment use to patients.
- Confer with other professionals to plan patient care.
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 79% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 80% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Physical Proximity — 86% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Spend Time Standing — 53% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 66% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
- Electronic Mail — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Level of Competition — 46% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 34% responded “Important.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|20||High school diploma or equivalent|
|10||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: SR
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$18.29 hourly, $38,040 annual|
|Employment (2014)||169,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Much faster than average (14% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||49,000|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Massage therapists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.