Massage therapists (NOC 3236)

About this job

Massage therapists assess soft tissues and joints of the body for treatment and prevention of dysfunction, injury, pain and physical disorders.

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Registered massage therapist


People in this career work in private practice, including group or team practices, hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres and educational institutions.

Common job titles
  • massotherapist / masso kinesitherapist
  • MT (massage therapist)
  • myotherapist
  • orthotherapist
  • practitioner, registered massage
  • RMT (registered massage therapist)
  • massotherapist / masso kinesitherapist
  • MT (massage therapist)
  • myotherapist
  • orthotherapist
  • practitioner, registered massage
  • RMT (registered massage therapist)

Duties

Massage therapists:

  • Assess clients by conducting range of motion and muscle tests and propose treatment plans
  • Explain procedures, risks and benefits to clients
  • Administer massage techniques, treating soft tissues and joints of the body through soft tissue manipulation, relaxation techniques, hydrotherapy, trigger point therapy, joint pain and lower grade mobilizations, remedial exercise programs and client self-help programs
  • Suggest home care instructions and provide information about techniques for further postural improvement and stretching, strengthening, relaxation and rehabilitative exercises
  • Maintain records of treatments given
  • May consult with other health care professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians and psychologists when developing treatment plans for clients.

Special duties

Massage therapists may be trained in various specialized massage techniques.

Work environment

Workers in these occupations typically work a regular 35- to 40-hour week. Work hours generally depend on the business hours of health-care practices. For example, some workers may be required to work evenings and weekends to accommodate the needs of patients, while others work part-time. Emergencies can also arise, although less often than in other health-care fields.

Working conditions vary for individuals in this group, depending on the specific occupation. The work of massage therapists and physical rehabilitation technicians can be physically demanding since these workers use their arms and hands for massaging and stand for long periods of time.

Workers in these groups are increasingly required to use computers.

Insights from industry

Jobs will come from new job creation and the need to replace retiring workers.

Massage therapists account for more than half of those working in this occupational group. An increased number of spas have created a demand for these workers, as have regulatory changes that allow patients to visit registered massage therapists without a referral from a physician. Since massage therapy and other rehabilitation services are optional expenses, they are expected to increase along with the overall growth of the provincial economy. Demand for massage therapists is expected to be greatest in rural and isolated areas in central and northern B.C.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Massage therapists typically begin working in a massage therapy clinic, fitness club, spa or health care facility, such as a rehabilitation centre or hospital. With experience, they can advance to supervisory positions, start their own businesses, teach at an accredited massage therapy college or teach post-graduate training courses.

Additional resources