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The first step to becoming a massage therapist involves pursuing a license. Though some states have exceptions, you'll most likely need to complete an accredited massage therapy program. After completing the program, you'll need to pass an examination to complete licensing requirements. The most common exam is the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination, which you'll only need to pass once to obtain a massage therapy license. An internship can be a helpful tool in finding employment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapists are expected to be in high demand over the next decade. Job growth is expected to be 22% between 2018 and 2028, which is a much higher growth than most other occupations.
Massage therapists do have opportunities for career advancement. Advancement can occur in two ways. Frequently, massage therapists begin offering massages and basic beauty services in spas. With time and experience, they work their way into managerial roles. The second type of advancement involves learning specific massage techniques, such as active release therapy or acupuncture, and opening an independent practice.