For those interested in a job in the healthcare field, especially for those looking at a career in massage therapy, pursuing an online education is one solution. Online diploma and degree programs are more prevalent than ever in the healthcare field, and that includes massage therapy. Those pursuing an education in massage therapy will find a wide-open field, ranging from diploma programs for licensed massage therapists to advanced degrees in physical therapy and sports medicine. Classes can be as short as a few months, with a time investment of approximately 500 to1,000 hours to earn a certificate or associate's degree. Advanced degrees require a greater time investment.
The field of massage therapy is growing rapidly, with over 130 million people visiting a message therapist annually. This represents a 50 percent increase during the last 20 years. Although sometimes considered a form of alternative therapy, peer reviewed research has shown demonstrable benefits from massage, including pain relief, a reduction in anxiety and a temporary lowering of a patient's blood pressure and heart rate. There are a myriad of different techniques utilized in massage therapy. Along with traditional oils, massage therapists may also use hot stones, deep tissue foot massage, facial manipulation and concentrated jets of water.
While it is possible to completer some programs entirely online, more advanced courses will include some on-campus time. Some shorter programs may require a student to attend hands-on classes once a week, while degrees in fields like sports medicine and physical therapy will require substantial on-campus course work. Of those in the massage therapy profession, the majority are independent contractors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries range from $37,000 to $60,000, with the top ten percent earning over $66,000 a year for full time work. Many jobs are available in the field of massage therapy. If you enjoy working with people or have entrepreneurial goals, you may find that a career in massage is the ideal job.