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More Males Choosing Massage Therapy as a Career

, With Alberta’s unemployment rate hovering near 7%, it may not be the best time to be working in trades or oil and gas, but it’s a good time for men in these fields to seek new career opportunities in massage therapy.

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In fact, MaKami College, a provincially accredited Private Vocational College offering a 3,000-hour diploma program in Advanced Clinical Massage Therapy, is currently seeing two to three times more men enrolling in its Alberta-based program.

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“Our Edmonton campus had 15 men out of the 45 students who enrolled in the January 2016 class,” says Shannon Snider, MaKami’s Student Advisory Service Manager. “That’s definitely high – it is more common to have five to eight male students out of 45.”

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Although massage therapy has traditionally been a more popular career choice for women, like many occupations, more men are entering the field. With work being indoors, in a relaxing environment, and with flexible hours, it’s an attractive career choice, especially when jobs in trades or oil and gas are increasingly sporadic and have been facing drastic cuts.

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“Many people worry about defaulting on mortgages because they’ve lost their job,” says Vladimir Pavkovic, owner of MaKami College. “Although replacing a high-paying job can be difficult, massage therapists in Alberta are still in high demand, making aon average $50-80 per hour. There are many positions available in spas or clinics or graduates can start their own massage therapy company even if they’re a small, one-person mobile business.”

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And students can still bring in a paycheque while in school. “Students will work part-time while in school and will be able to work as a massage therapist in the second year of their studies,” explained Snider.

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Not long ago, Carlos Robles was a welder and worked in ventilating. He had massaged friends and family in the past and received positive feedback. After he lost his job, a friend mentioned MaKami College’s massage therapy program.

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“After being laid off, I remember lying in bed and having an epiphany,” said Robles. “I realized I like the idea of helping and connecting with people, so why wouldn’t I consider massage therapy?”

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Robles, now a student, hopes to eventually tailor his talents to people in trades, although he may branch out into other health and sciences careers. He says he looks forward to changing perceptions associated with male massage therapists and thinks careers are becoming less gender-dominated. “Times are changing and people have to accept it.”

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Roger Walker, a fellow male student in the Edmonton campus, was looking for a change after his IT consulting business faltered.

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“I found all my contracting work was diminishing to zero,” said Walker. He was surprised at the number of men in his class, but he’s noticed more men going into what might be considered female-dominated fields. “There’s been a lot of changes, I’ve seen it myself.”

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MaKami College is attracting a diverse range of students looking for new opportunities in the current economic climate, including restaurant servers and students with vision challenges. Find out more or book a campus tour by calling 403-474-0772 in Calgary and 780-468-3454 in Edmonton.