There is a Chinese saying: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
In a culture that values speed, technology, and consumer cravings, many of us yearn for deeper meaning and fulfillment. We want to feel like our lives mean something – that we’re making a positive difference in the world. So it’s not surprising that several studies have shown ways helping others can boost our sense of happiness.
What’s more, having a sense of meaning in life appears to nurture us, with studies linking it to good health and health behaviors as well as to longevity, improved quality of life and lower rates of mental health disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (Health Psychology Review, Vol. 11, No. 4, 2017).
Choosing a career that involves helping others can be a highly rewarding and meaningful path, and massage therapy offers a unique way to do so. The kind of work massage therapists train in can be both nourishing and nurturing—to both the receivers and the givers. “As a massage therapist you are a giver who is truly appreciated by your clients. In a way, there is nothing more nourishing than knowing your work makes a positive difference in the world,” writes author of The Deep Massage Book David Lauterstein.
If you are considering a career path as a massage therapist, it can be useful to review the factors that massage therapists themselves state as the main advantages of their careers.
What Matters Most to Massage Therapists
#1: Helping Clients Feel Better
Massage therapists have the opportunity to help clients improve their physical and mental well-being. They also have the opportunity to work with clients holistically: as a whole person. The findings from a recent survey of 1,200 massage therapists are clear: massage therapists are confident their work makes a positive difference.
According to the study, 99% of massage therapists reported they believe their work has a positive impact on their clients.
Further, in order to learn what matters to massage therapists, they were asked to rate how important a variety of factors are to their overall job satisfaction.
Massage therapists rated “helping clients feels better” as the most important factor to their job satisfaction. In fact, 57% of the respondents said it was extremely important. It may be that many massage therapists are intrinsically motivated to help others and derive job satisfaction from the positive outcomes experienced by their clients.
#2: Job Security
The massage therapists surveyed rated “job security” as the second most important factor for career satisfaction—even ahead of income. There may be a few factors which lend massage therapists to perceive job security in their work. One may be the humanistic nature of massage therapy and the perceived limitation of technology or automation to replace the role that massage therapists play. Another may be the occupational outlook and diversity of settings for massage therapists. Massage therapists may derive a sense of independence or self-reliance after learning their skills, and this may also lend to overall job security and career satisfaction.
Lastly, many massage therapists find it easy to find work. According to the survey, 84% of massage therapists were able to find a job in a month or less after completing massage therapy school.
#3: Good Pay
Salaries for massage therapist are competitive compared to other healthcare support positions, and the occupational outlook for massage therapists is bright. Not only do massage therapists rank pay highly for contributing to their job satisfaction, but as a career choice, they may also be satisfied with the return on the investment on their education. As the study discusses, massage school compared to other options in higher education tends to be less expensive, shorter in duration, and involving less debt compared to other educational options such as University training programs. It is also important to note that many massage therapists work part-time to still derive their levels of income.
Lastly, among the top factors, being able to have a flexible schedule contributes to job satisfaction for many massage therapists. Not only are there many options in the type of specialties you can have as a massage therapist and the types of settings in which you may work, but you may also be afforded the flexibility to balance your career with other work-life goals.
Conclusion: High Job Satisfaction for Massage Therapists
Overall, the findings from this recent survey reveal that there is a high level of job satisfaction for massage therapists. 88% of massage therapists reported feeling very satisfied or satisfied with their career.
If you are interested in exploring more about becoming a massage therapist, you can reach out to our admissions director, Pat Russo, with questions at email@example.com or at 973.839.6131.
If you have questions about how to choose the right massage therapy school, our blog post, “How to Choose the Right Massage Therapy School” may also be useful for addressing common questions.
Attribution: Infographic by massagetablesnow.com.