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What are the Pros and Cons of Becoming a Registered Massage Therapist?

Massage Therapist Career MaKami College

Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) are in growing demand and people from various backgrounds and industries are finding successful careers in massage therapy. Discover the reasons certified massage therapists are excited to show up to work every day as well as the challenges RMTs can expect.

What is a Registered Massage Therapist?

In some Canadian provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia, the massage therapy industry is regulated by the province. In these provinces, massage therapists must meet certain criteria and be registered with their regulatory body in order to work in the industry. These therapists are professionally referred to as Registered Massage Therapists. 

In provinces where massage therapy is not regulated, such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, therapists are more commonly referred to as Licensed Massage Therapists or Certified Massage Therapists. 

The Pros of Being a Registered Massage Therapist 

Earn what you’re worth

When you work your way through a massage therapy school and earn a massage therapy certification, you deserve to be compensated for your skills. Like many people who enter the field of massage therapy, you are probably a naturally helpful person who has gone above and beyond in your current lifestyle as a nurse, personal trainer, parent, or friend. 

Depending on your choice to become an entrepreneur and work for yourself, or to start your career working with an existing massage business as a certified massage therapist, your kindness, patience, empathy and intuitiveness in will be reflected in your tips, referrals, or bonuses. 

So, how much does a massage therapist make?  

Self-employed massage therapists typically earn up to $80 per hour, or between C$60,000 to $100,000 per year, depending on how many hours they choose to work. Massage therapists who earn an hourly wage as an employee tend to earn around $30 per hour, according to PayScale.com. 

Regardless of where you end up seeing clients, earning more for your natural attributes is an attractive aspect of massage therapy for many RMTs. 

Work right away 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for massage therapists is expected to grow about 26 percent by 2026 and we expect to see similar growth here in Canada. As an RMT, you will be able to work for yourself or as an employee as early as your second year of massage therapy school. 

Enjoy a flexible schedule 

Massage therapy work provides a flexible schedule to accommodate your existing roles as a parent or caregiver or maintain your current career in nursing, the service industry, or balance your family and education. If you are a younger person or in a life transition period, your career in massage therapy will support you to attend school, train for another career, or simply take time to pursue your hobbies. 

Choose your work environment 

Imagine hand-picking the people you work with all day so you have an environment that fits your personality and values, plus clients who are drawn to you and your colleagues. As a certified massage therapist, you can have your dream job. 

By earning your massage therapist certification, you get to pick whether stability and paid time off are more valuable to you right now or if you’d rather take a risk for a higher reward in potential earnings as a self-employed massage therapist. You can also have hybrid options, such as subcontracting with a chiropractic office.  


Float down the River Seine and eat dinner in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower without spending a dime on travel. Book a weekend tour of Chiang Mai or hike Macchu Picchu on a whim. This is the benefit of working as a cruise ship massage therapist or contracting with spas all over the world as a Registered Massage Therapist.

The Cons of Becoming a Certified Massage Therapist 

Any downsides of becoming a certified massage therapist are usually far outweighed by the incredible benefits that you have in scheduling flexibility, travel, and earning potential. Massage therapy isn’t for everybody.  

Here are the main considerations you should know about when deciding if becoming a massage therapist is right for you. 

It can be hard on your body 

Working with your hands day in and day out along with constant physical demands of massage can lead to some negative health consequences, especially if you haven’t received adequate training in caring for your own body as a massage therapist. 

Your hours are limited

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There are only so many hours in a day and you might not want to work overtime in this physically-demanding line of work. Most massage therapists work between 15 to 30 hours per week and recognize that hours are limited to what each person is physically and mentally capable of handling.  

You may encounter a difficult work environment 

As in any work environment where you are an employee, the work environment may prove stressful by way of difficult coworkers and bosses whose personalities clash with their own. Thankfully, certified massage therapists have the option to find work elsewhere, to interview potential with different kinds of companies, and to work for themselves as contractors or self-employed massage therapists. 

You can find an environment that fits you because massage therapists are in high demand, particularly if you have a degree from a well-known and respected massage school. 

You might work with challenging clients 

Every now and then clients who choose you as a massage therapist will prove to be challenging, demanding, or otherwise unsavory. All massage therapy schools should train you on how to set boundaries and create a safe and enjoyable environment for you and your clients. 

The good news is that most massage therapists find a way to manage any challenges with clients or otherwise and create a career that they love. 

Choosing to Become a Certified Massage Therapist 

You will have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself and determine when you want to start a career that gives you flexibility, a high earning potential, and perks like travel and choosing your coworkers. 

 If you want to find out how to become a massage therapist today, click here book a tour of Makami College or see if you are pre-approved online. 

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