Students are inspired to pursue massage therapy training for a number of reasons - a genuine desire to help others, an interest in physiology and healing, an appreciation for massage as a medical therapy. But in addition to the potential for providing quality health care, registered massage therapists are often drawn to the flexibility of the profession. After graduation there are numerous career options including joining an interdisciplinary clinic, setting up a private practice, or providing a mobile massage service to both corporate and private clients. And for the truly footloose and adventurous graduate, becoming an MT opens doors to world travel - fully funded by your newly acquired massage therapy skills! Here are a few ways that massage therapists have taken their skills abroad:
Resorts and spas of all kinds have seen an explosion of niche destinations including extreme sports and adventure retreats, medical spas, yoga training getaways, and eco-wilderness resorts. But what most of these - and their more traditional counterparts - have in common, is a demand for fully trained on-site massage therapists. Positions at resorts come with some particular perks, including beautiful surroundings and potentially, access to some of the destination facilities. It’s easy to locate and apply for a resort massage job online, but MTs will research each retreat carefully before signing a contract. They read reviews, seek out current or former employees - and may even contact local clinics to learn more about the local massage culture.
MTs with an interest in athletic massage who want to take their skills on the road might consider working with a sports organization or team. You may have an office home base and travel occasionally to support athletes as they compete in national and international sporting events - like marathons and championship competitions. Or, you may spend most of your time on the move as the permanent massage therapist for a touring team. Lee Stang, core massage therapist for the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) says her job has taken her to cities all over the world, including Paris, Madrid, Istanbul, Monterrey, and Acapulco.
It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate job for MTs who love to be mobile. Your skills will earn you room and board, and you will have access to ports of call all over the globe. It’s important to note that travel is the main draw when it comes to cruise line massage therapy positions - base wages are typically quite low and MTs are often required to promote products to clients during treatment. However, if your objective is to remain on the move while honing the techniques you learned at massage college, a cruise line contract can provide adventure, challenge, and unique skill-building opportunities. Similar to resort positions, cruise line applicants fully research and investigate both placement agencies and cruise companies before making a commitment.
Which travel opportunity appeals to you most as a massage therapist?