Any RMTs in Canada (particularly BC)? Please advise!

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Comments (7)

ubcpuddles in Vancouver, British Columbia

22 months ago

Hey everyone,

For those massage therapists out there, I was hoping to get some feedback about the job/schooling. Apologies in advance for this lengthy message, but I'm desperately needing guidance!
Here's a quick rundown: I'm currently a UBC student (been here way too long, have an impractical BA) and am looking to head in a different direction. I'm pretty set on getting into the health care field, so I've been looking into the typical Masters programs: OT, PT, and SLP. I'm working on pre-reqs for all 3, have picked up a volunteer gig where I work with physically disabled/speech-impaired individuals, and have thoroughly researched all 3 fields. But the more I work towards applying to any of these programs, the more I'm realizing that I don't particularly care to pursue them!

I've been strangely drawn to massage for some time now. I love anatomy, and the whole philosophy underlying massage really resonates with me. I know it's physically demanding, but ultimately I would love to have a lot of flexibility and the potential to open up my own clinic. The main thing I'm hesitant about is leaving university to go to college in order to pursue something I feel is not entirely stable. This has gotten lengthy, so I'll post my Qs in the next message...

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ubcpuddles in Vancouver, British Columbia

22 months ago

1. Have any RMTs here thought of pursuing OT/PT? Any particular reasons why you chose massage instead? Any regrets?

2. Is BC over-saturated with massage therapists? Or is this still a growing field? Are jobs hard to come by?

3. I've heard a lot of different things regarding the pay. I know RMTs earn quite a bit more here in BC. Would anyone be willing to share their thoughts/experiences on this? Basically, would doing massage full-time make for a comfortable living?

4. Can anyone compare the program at West Coast College with Utopia's? I'm inclined to go with West Coast as it's more reputable, but Utopia would be so much more convenient. Are employers biased towards one over the other?

I've been on these forums for a while now, and was compelled to finally post my Qs. Thanks so much to anyone who's still reading. I would greatly appreciate any replies :)

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RMTBC in Surrey, British Columbia

19 months ago

As an RMT in BC (Langley) I'd definitely recommend the program. BC has a lot of job opportunities, it's always high in demand, and with medical coverage a lot of people can afford it easily and often.

Pay depends on whether you are self employed or work for someone. I personally work for a company and the starting rate is $42/hr plus tips. That being said, everything is supplied for me (rooms, tables, linen, receptionists, etc.) With your own business, you have to pay for these things but you also choose what you charge per hour. In my opinion, I wouldn't start my own business until I gained more experience/clientel. I do massage full time and I would say that I live comfortably.

Also, I graduated from the West Coast College and I loved every part of it. The downfall to Utopia is that they have the same amount of info squeezed into a smaller period of time. More convenient, but also more stressful. You can't really go wrong with either choice, though. Employers are NOT biased towards either. I actually work for Spa Utopia and they have no issues at all with me graduating from West Coast.

As for pursuing massage.. I love my job. If I ever want a career change in the far future, I may take more schooling and go into OT/PT, but I doubt it. I'd probably just work less days and spend the others teaching or something along those lines.

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ubcpuddles in North Vancouver, British Columbia

19 months ago

Thanks for the reply, RMTBC! I've definitely noticed an abundance of opportunities in BC. I'm just hoping massage will continue to grow as it has been the past few years.

I've done a bit of research since my initial posting, and I've noticed that West Coast's program has been shortened--so it's also at 18 months now. I've also spoken to a couple of chiropractors, and they said the same thing--the RMT program is the same everywhere, so it doesn't seem to matter where you've studied. I've heard that West Coast employs doctors as instructors (a couple being from UBC). I'm not sure about Utopia's faculty though...
Also, I know that West Coast's classes are fairly bigger (about 50-60 students) compared to Utopia. Would you say having a smaller class size would be beneficial? Or was the class size okay at West Coast?

I've actually just finished applying for an OT program, even thought I'm more interested in massage at the moment. How long have you been massaging for? I hear a lot about burnout and fatigue... are you able to prevent that by working fewer hours? Do you ever find the work tedious or boring?
Thanks for your insight!

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miscbrah in Markham, Ontario

19 months ago

Does anyone have any insight on Royal Canadian College of Massage school? I'm really interested in pursuing RMT but would like to study part time. RCCMT has evening and weekend courses but the pass rate on the OSCE exam for 2011 was only 73% out of 49 students. This is really low compared to West Coast in Toronto.

And do many RMTs pursue the rehab and sports medicine field?

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Fran in Coventry, United Kingdom

18 months ago

I see NOTHING in my job that could not be done by someone without a degree and so I do understand why we are treated with so little respect. All OT's where I work are expected to promote OT and basically play the game with the department politics. The name of the game is ' OT is the best thing ever'. There is loads of crap about how OT is holistic, etc, but at the end of the day the only thing the medical staff care about is the physiotherapist input and if something else needs sorting re. home safety that falls to the care manager. I am effectively invisible in my role and the idea of the multidisciplinary team is a joke. My role is marginal at best. It's a bit of this and a bit of that but nothing solid, nothing well defined.

I am seriously thinking about retraining as a physiotherapist. They have more 'hand on' time with patients and don't have to constantly fight to be taken seriously.

And yes, this IS a negative rant. I regret my decision to become and OT and I do not have anyone to speak to about this. I am actively looking for other jobs. I am glad that there are places where people can speak freely about their experience of working as an OT.

I do VERY MUCH enjoy the patient contact part of the role- this is a priviledge and a joy- however the actually job that I do is vague and wishy washy.

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miscbrah in Markham, Ontario

18 months ago

^ @Fran - I think you posted on the wrong thread. This thread is about massage therapist not OPs

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