Massage therapists (NOC 3236)

About this job

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Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

Massage therapists:

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

Earnings

Annual provincial median salary

$43,276

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
  • Low

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report

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.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

For more information visit www.cshhpbc.org/default.htm.

In B.C., massage therapists must be registered with the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC). Certification requires:

  • completion of a three-year program in massage therapy
  • written and practical provincial examinations

For more information, see the CMTBC website at www.cmtbc.bc.ca.

Massage therapists may also become certified in sport massage through the Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association (CSMTA). This requires:

  • completion of an accredited massage therapy program, Standard First Aid and CPR certification
  • experience as a full-time massage therapist and successful completion of an exam

For more information please see the CSMTA website at www.csmta.ca.Registered massage therapists are regulated health professionals that have been granted Primary Health Care Provider status under the B.C. Ministry of Health.They are governed by the CMTBC and by the Health Professions Act of BC.

As of July 1, 2017 when the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) came into force, you will not need significant additional training, experience, testing or assessment if your qualifications or certificates are recognized by a Canadian regulatory authority. This applies whether you were trained in Canada or internationally. Learn about labour mobility at www.workersmobility.ca. For information about labour mobility and foreign qualifications recognition, contact the B.C. regulator for your occupation.

  • Massage therapists usually require completion of an 18- to 24-month or 18- to 36-month program in massage therapy from an accredited school
    and
    a period of supervised practical training.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and British Columbia.

Skills

  • Clerical Ability
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Social
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Verbal & Written Comprehension
View skills definitions

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
Cariboo
Employment in 2016:
60
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Kootenay
Employment in 2016:
140
Average annual employment growth:
1.2%
Expected number of job openings:
40
Mainland / Southwest
Employment in 2016:
1,790
Average annual employment growth:
1.7%
Expected number of job openings:
770
North Coast & Nechako
Employment in 2016:
0
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Northeast
Employment in 2016:
60
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Thompson-Okanagan
Employment in 2016:
410
Average annual employment growth:
1.3%
Expected number of job openings:
130
Vancouver Island / Coast
Employment in 2016:
600
Average annual employment growth:
1.9%
Expected number of job openings:
260

N/A - Data not available

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

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