Do you have a passion for massage therapies and like the idea of assisting people in feeling better? If yes, a career as a massage therapist could be worth exploring.
Massage therapists perform therapeutic massage and manage body treatments for fitness, health, and curative purposes. They manipulate the soft body tissues to relieve pain, lessen inflammation, and improve the mobility of joints in patients.
To become a massage therapist in Australia, you need a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy or a Diploma in Remedial Massage from a registered training organisation (RTO). Joining a professional organisation and becoming registered will improve your career prospects.
This blog discusses the Massage Therapist career, job responsibilities, working conditions, average earnings, and the educational and personal requirements you need to work in this profession.
1. What Are Message Therapists?
Massage Therapists are trained in various massage and relaxation techniques to treat pain, stress, and injuries to provide relaxation to their clients.
They are skilled in various therapies, which include aromatherapy, shiatsu massage, Thai massage, deep tissue massage, and Swedish massage. It helps to improve their clients' flexibility, blood circulation, and overall health and well-being.
Massage Therapists use other techniques, such as acupressure, and complementary aids, such as wet compresses, ice, infra-red lamps, essential oils and mineral and herbal therapies to speed up the healing process.
2. Types Of Massage Therapy
The following are the different types of massage therapies:
3. Why Should You Pursue A Massage Therapist Profession?
Do you like the idea of becoming a massage therapist? Here are some reasons why this can be a perfect career option:
A growing industry that presents a range of job opportunities in a wide range of industries
The ample scope of upskilling, learning, and interaction with different people makes the profession attractive.
Helping people recover from injuries and live a better quality of life gives a sense of fulfilment.
No prior work experience is required.
Flexible work hours to suit your preferred lifestyle.
Stay fit and healthy while living a physically active lifestyle.
Freedom to work for yourself by setting up your massage business
When working as a massage therapist, you develop transferrable skills, enabling you to pursue various therapeutic careers.
4. What Does A Massage Therapist Do?
The most common duties of a massage therapist are:
Discuss the client's needs and preferences for massage therapy, such as injury recovery and stress relief.
Evaluate the physical condition and case history of the client
Form a tailored massage therapy plan to suit the client's requirements
Advice on relaxation, stretching exercises, techniques, and ways to improve or manage soft tissue conditions
Create a peaceful environment for each client
Provide specific massage techniques to body areas and manipulate soft tissues, such as tendons, muscles, and ligaments, to heal injuries and enhance physical function, sports performance, and overall well-being
Manage treatments to improve circulation, relieve muscle tension, and promote relaxation
Track the client's progress
5. What Skills Do You Need To Become A Massage Therapist?
Massage therapists rely on the following skills:
Sound in numeracy, literacy, and English language skill
Strong Communication skills
Active listening skills
Physical stamina and strength
Adaptability to handle any uncertain situations
Marketing, admin, and financial skills
6. Massage Therapist's Qualifications In Australia
In addition to a passion for massage therapies, you also need the proper education and training to make an outstanding career.
Here is what you need to qualify for this role:
Be 18 years or older.
Complete your Year 10 education
Complete a massage therapist TAFE course, such as a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy (HLT42015). It equips you with the skills to provide general health treatments in an entry-level role.
Advance your learning by completing the Diploma of Remedial Massage. It is an advanced course that teaches the basic skills to treat specific and complex conditions.
Complete required certifications and checks such as a First Aid Certificate and Police Check
Have professional indemnity or public liability insurance to improve your chances of landing a job
Consider becoming a member of a professional association such as the Australian Traditional Medicine Society or the Association of Massage Therapists.
7. Steps To Become A Massage Therapist In Australia
To start a promising career as a massage therapist, you must first understand the industry and obtain the proper massage training and skills.
Here is a step-wise guide to pursuing this profession:
Step 1: Familiarise Yourself With The Industry
Before you commit to professional training, it is beneficial to complete a short course to get an introduction to the industry. The Melbourne Institute of Massage and Myotherapy offers 2-day "Introductory to Massage Therapy Course".
This nationally recognised course is ideal for aspirants wishing to enter the massage therapy industry. The Massage School of Queensland offers a range of short courses in different areas of massage therapy:
Body Temple Massage
Functional Physiology and Anatomy
Indian Head Massage
Shiatsu Level 1
Hot Stone Massage
Deep Tissue Techniques
Remedial Massage II
Corporate Seated Massage
Step 2: Complete A Massage Therapy Certificate Course
Those entering this profession should take the next step and start their journey at a professional massage therapy school.
Complete a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy to learn the basics of massage therapy and gain the required accreditations to start working in an established massage business or run your practice.
To become a massage therapist near Sydney, TAFE NSW conducts a Certificate IV In Massage Therapy (HLT42015) which provides theoretical knowledge and skills for an excellent start in this profession.
You will learn about the body's physiology and anatomy, relaxation massage techniques, and assessment techniques. These include a range of motion, manual muscle testing, and static posture, including massage business practices to provide treatment plans to clients to suit their specific needs.
Nationally Recognised Training
Fully government subsidised
On-campus or combination
Step 3: Gain Industry Experience
The Certificate IV qualification involves specific practical clinic hours (between 80 to 90 hours) in massage therapy.
In addition to it, you can also consider volunteering for a local sports team, assisting at a day spa, or pursuing an internship at a local massage therapy clinic. It helps to gain valuable experience under the supervision of a registered massage therapist.
During the internship, you will learn how to communicate with clients about their requirements and progress, create therapy plans, and perform massage techniques.
Step 4: Continue Your Training With A Diploma
After completing the entry-level qualification, you should undertake a Diploma in Remedial Massage to pursue further training and become a remedial massage therapist.
This course is ideal for professional massage therapists who wish to progress their careers by becoming remedial massage therapists.
The course delves deeper into advanced-level massage practices, such as neuromuscular techniques and trigger point therapy, practical massage skills, clinical assessment techniques, business management, pathology, and the scope of remedial treatments.
Most clinic employers, government agencies, and private health insurance companies hire massage therapists with this qualification.
Step 5: Become A Registered Massage Therapist
A massage therapist registration will help you strengthen your credentials and establish yourself among other massage therapists.
It shows prospective employers and clients that you are constantly upskilling and staying updated with the latest information. You can join and become registered with several professional massage associations.
However, before you get registered, it is mandatory to have adequate insurance that safeguards you and your massage clients.
With the necessary qualification and registration, you are ready to enter the professional market as a qualified massage therapist. Seek and apply for jobs in gyms, massage clinics, mobile clinics, spa centres, cruise ships, and more.
8. How Long Does It Take To Become A Massage Therapist?
You don't have to spend many years becoming a Massage Therapist. You can become one by completing a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy course.
Training is one of the recognised training organisations in Australia that offer this course in online and blending learning modes.
The average duration to complete this Certificate IV In Massage Therapy Online is six months. You can study it full-time or part-time.
After completing the course, you must register with an industry association and get insured. Additionally, you will need to register your business and obtain an ABN number to set up your practice.
You can study further and undertake a Diploma in Remedial Massage to widen your employment prospects in this profession.
You have to complete 200 hours of work experience in a clinical setting to achieve this qualification. The average duration to complete the course is one year full-time.
9. Where Do Massage Therapists Work?
Massage therapists work in a wide range of environments, such as:
Aged care facilities
Large hotel chains
Hospitals, especially in palliative care
Multi-disciplinary health and wellness centres
Professional sports clubs
Mobile massage providers also hire massage therapists to offer in-home therapies to clients. It gives greater independence and more flexible work hours.
Many Massage Therapists work self-employed and run their massage clinic, home studio, or on a contract with clinics.
They may also find work opportunities with other healthcare practitioners, such as physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, and natural medicine practitioners.
10. The Most Common Jobs That Involve Message Therapists
Massage therapists enjoy plenty of job opportunities across a variety of industries. Below are the workplaces that have a high demand for massage therapists:
Sports Massage Therapist
Remedial Massage Therapist
Clinical Massage Therapist
Soft Tissue Allied Health Assistant
Registered Massage Assistant
11. Areas Of Specialisations For Massage Therapists
After gaining experience as a massage therapist, you may consider specialising in one or more of the below techniques:
12. Work Conditions For Massage Therapists
Massage therapists work in clean and comfortable indoor environments providing manual therapy, treatments, and complementary aids to their clients, such as cold, heat packs, and essential oils.
Standing on the feet for several hours and providing multiple messages daily with the right amount of pressure may make the job physically demanding. It requires therapists to maintain good stamina, strength, and fitness.
There are no fixed hours for massage therapists, as their workload varies based on their client base. Established massage therapists often work full-time and sometimes overtime in the evenings and on weekends. Some also opt to work part-time to supplement their income.
As self-employed massage therapists have to handle all business areas such as admin, promotion, and finances, they may find the job hectic.
However, the fulfilment coming with relieving patients from mental anxiety and physical tension outweighs the physical exertion associated with this profession.
13. How Much Does A Massage Therapist Earn In Australia?
A massage therapist's salary varies widely based on several factors, such as:
Qualification/s you possess
Nature of Employment
Area of specialisation
Years of experience
Level of Expertise
Area of work
According to Pay Scale, the average massage therapist in Australia's salary is AU$ 54,565 per year, or equivalent to AU$ 28.84 per hour. As you build experience and expertise, your earning potential also increases.
You can choose how much you charge for your massage services. This way, you can establish a successful and lucrative long-term business.
Average Annual Salary Based on Experience
Entry-level Massage Therapists (< 1 year experience): AU$25.73
Early career Massage Therapists (1-4 years of experience): AU$27.35
Mid-career Massage Therapists (5-9 years of experience): AU$29.67
Experienced Massage Therapists (10-19 years of experience): AU$30.19
Average Salary Based on Work Location:
Sydney NSW: $80,342 per year
Melbourne VIC: $79,188 per year
Brisbane QLD: $71,172 per year
Gold Coast QLD: $68,861 per year
Perth WA: $64,349 per year
14. Job Prospects Of Message Therapists In Australia
Massage therapy is a fast-growing industry. Massage therapists are in demand in a variety of industries all across Australia.
ANZSCO Occupation Group: 4116: Massage Therapists, High-Skill level
According to Labor market insights, job openings for Massage Therapists in Australia are to rise very strongly and reach 18,000 by 2026. The demand will be for sports medicine massage clinics and fitness centres.
Around 25% of employed Massage Therapists work full-time for an average of 43 hours per week.
Health Care And Social Assistance: 88.1%
Other Services: 9.3%
Arts And Recreation Services: 1.3%
Accommodation And Food Services: 0.7%
Other Industries: 0.7%
Employment Across Australia
New South Wales: 31.4%
South Australia: 6.8%
Western Australia: 8.7%
Northern Territory: 0.6%
Australian Capital Territory: 1.8%
Worker's Age and Gender Profile
Massage therapy is a growing industry that offers numerous exciting job opportunities to skilled massage therapists.
Working in this role is incredibly satisfying as it allows you to provide valuable service to people and help them lead happy and healthy life.
With no educational and work experience requirements, you can start earning and improving people's lives quickly. Moreover, since massage skills are not replaceable by technology, aspirants have a high level of future job security.
A Certificate IV in Massage Therapy is the ideal training to develop the knowledge and skills to start your career in massage therapy.
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