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May 2, 2019

New Study Finds Massage Therapists Have High Job Satisfaction

There are many studies done from a clinical health perspective when it comes to massage therapy. We know the physical and mental benefits of massage, its place in healthcare, and how the sector continues to grow. But rarely do we look at the perspective of massage therapists who are working in the field on a daily basis.

Are MT’s satisfied with their jobs? Do they have the necessary skills to succeed in their careers? Is the work fulfilling? These were the questions on the minds of our team at Massage Tables Now. We conducted a survey of 1,200 licensed massage therapists to find out.


Through our research, we learned massage therapists have a high career satisfaction. Here is a snapshot of the findings:


  • Overall, 88% of surveyed massage therapists are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their careers.
  • 99% of massage therapists believe their work has a positive impact on their clients.
  • Upon earning a massage license, 62% of therapists land a job in the field in less than 1 month, while 22% report earning a job at the 1 month mark.
  • 78% of therapists “strongly agree” or “agree” that their massage therapy training program prepared them for a career in the field.

Job Satisfaction in the Massage Industry

Our results showed an overwhelming amount of massage therapists find their work to be satisfying. In a digital era when many office workers can often feel disconnected from the tangible impact of their efforts, these statistics are a breath of fresh air.

52% of respondents consider themselves to be “very satisfied” while 36% of respondents are “satisfied.” Together, that makes an astounding 88% of surveyed massage therapists and professionals who enjoy their work. This is significantly higher than the average American worker. According to a 2018 survey from The Conference Board, only 51% of U.S employees feel satisfied with their careers.


Is Massage Work Meaningful?

Mindfulness and self-care have become a hot topic recently, and it appears the massage industry has benefited from this trend.

Is massage work meaningful? The answer is a resounding yes. Nearly 99% of respondents said they believe their work has a positive impact on clients. This is likely because massage can help mental and physical health. Knowing your work makes a difference means you are more likely to feel a sense of fulfillment. Massage therapists get to use their professional skills on a daily basis. Idleness is not a problem for them.

That is why it’s not surprising to see that in terms of what massage therapists find most important to their work, helping clients feel better ranked number one. This is a sign that therapists are joining the industry for the right reasons. They want to make a difference in the lives of others.

On a Likert scale of 1-5, respondents were asked to choose how important different factors were to their overall job satisfaction. “Helping clients feel better” ranked 4.7 on the scale, with “Job Security” (4.5) and “Good Pay” (4) rounding out the top three.

Career Opportunities for Massage Therapists

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of massage therapists is expected to increase 26% from 2016 to 2026. But what does this mean for the job market right now?

57% of therapists surveyed strongly agreed that they found it easy to find a job in the field after they became licensed. This shows that the industry is growing at a steady pace — great news for future massage therapists who are looking to join the field!

Similarly, therapists had no trouble finding employment after completing massage school. In fact, many survey respondents indicated they had a position lined up prior to receiving their certification. 62% were offered a job in less than 1 month after earning their license. 22% said it took approximately 1 month to receive a job offer, while 5% said it took 2 months.

Diverse Work Options Available

Being a massage therapist doesn’t mean you only have one option for how you want to shape your career. Like other certified professionals in the health and wellness industries, such as nutritionists, physical trainers, and health coaches, massage therapists are enjoying a variety of employment opportunities, as proven by our survey results.

37.6% of therapists surveyed identified themselves as self-employed. 35.2% are business owners and 20.6% are considered employees with an establishment. This healthy picture shows massage therapists are able to find work in many different settings, and can develop sustainable careers no matter if they’d like to work for themselves or for a company. This flexibility and a high degree of autonomy is a benefit of working in the field.


Our research demonstrates massage therapy isn’t only beneficial for clients who enjoy the health perks; it is also beneficial for therapists themselves – they experience high job satisfaction and meaningful work. A career in massage means the possibility to live a balanced life, work in a growing industry, and make a difference in the lives of others.

The massage industry is expected to grow significantly in the future. This means a higher demand for massage services and an even greater need for proper training. However, in order to meet this demand, it’s critical the industry attract and retain talented healthcare professionals. Massage schools and businesses need to understand the perspective of therapists in order to support them in their career development. After all, a happy therapist means happy clients.

Learn more about NHI and becoming a massage therapist by chatting with an admissions representative today! Fill out the form to get more information.