Is massage therapy a good field to get into in Los Angeles?

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Recovering Former Legal Secretary in Los Angeles, California

41 months ago

I'm trying to get into another field and I'm considering massage therapy. I live in Los Angeles and need to find out which schools are respected in this field as I don't want to get ripped off by a scam school. What is the typical cost of tuition? Is this one of the fields that have been decimated by the recession? Also, can independent massage therapists make a good living or is it best to get a job at a massage therapy business? One school's website claims you can make $50-$80 per hour - if that's true I would think that there would be a mad rush to get into the field.

I'm concerned about the unsavory reputation of masseuses - a guy told me there are a lot of massage businesses in Los Angeles where the masseuses are expected to provide "happy endings." Is there much of a demand for legitimate female massage therapists? One school also offers classes in reiki and aromatherapy - would someone with training in all three areas be more in demand?

What is the down side to this field? I happened to talk briefly with a woman in the field and she said she is having problems with one of her thumbs as a result of giving massages and has had to modify the position of her hands. I know I've asked a lot of questions, but I will appreciate any responses even if only one question is answered. Thanks.

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TB in Fountain Valley, California

41 months ago

Hi , I have been a Massage Therapist for four years and Iam unfortunately looking for a career switch. I have been unable to find a decent paying job and being able to support myself alone. What I have learned is that schools will sugar coat this profession alot, leaving out all the drawbacks. Most schools are not very good and are expensive. In the end all they want is your money. I payed $12,000 for my tuition which I found out later was wayyy too much. I have co-workers who went to a community college and payed less than $2,000. Yeah I'am pissed and I feel ripped off by my school! The income is like a rollar coaster and not steady. You can make $50-$80 per hour but ONLY when you have a client. Most spas don't pay you and hourly wage when you just sit there not working on a client. And yes, the economy is affecting this industy alot. People are not getting massage like they used to. Massage Therapy is very hard on you body, hands and wrists especially. I can't imagine retiring doing this kind of work. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) the average career span for a MT is 7 years and the burnout rate is 2 years, but they don't really tell you that when you are in school. 40% of Massage Therapists make it past 5 years. Yeah it's that bad!! I would recommend a career with a steady income and benefit. Glad to answer anymore questions!

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