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Massage Therapist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Massage Therapists Career Video



Performs therapeutic massages of soft tissues and joints. May assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength, or propose client therapy plans.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Massages and kneads muscles and soft tissues of the body to provide treatment for medical conditions, injuries, or wellness maintenance.
  • Confers with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to determine how massage will be most helpful.
  • Applies finger and hand pressure to specific points of the body.
  • Maintains treatment records.
  • Assesses clients' soft tissue condition, joint quality and function, muscle strength, and range of motion.
  • Treats clients in professional settings or travel to clients' offices and homes.
  • Provides clients with guidance and information about techniques for postural improvement and stretching, strengthening, relaxation, and rehabilitative exercises.
  • Develops and proposes client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used.
  • Refers clients to other types of therapists when necessary.
  • Consults with other health care professionals, such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians, and psychologists, to develop treatment plans for clients.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Neuromuscular Therapist -- Manipulates the soft tissue of the body (muscles, tendons and connective tissue) to balance the central nervous system.
  • Reiki Master -- Restores balance both in themselves and others using life force energy.
  • Rolfer -- Uses physical pressure to stretch and guide the connective tissue, lengthening and organizing it, allowing for more efficient, flexible movement.