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Massage therapist

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Summary of occupation

Remedial massage therapists manipulate people's soft tissue to assist in healing parts of the body that have been injured or left inactive due to age, illness or injury. They talk to their clients about their ailments to assess whether massage therapy is suitable, decide on the form of massage to use, and offer advice on exercise, stretching or relaxation techniques for their patients.

ANZSCO description: Performs therapeutic massage and administers body treatments for relaxation, health, fitness and remedial purposes.
Alternative names: Masseur, Masseuse, Remedial Massage Therapist
Specialisations: Aromatherapist, Chinese (Tui-Na) Masseur, On-site Chair Masseur/Masseuse, Reflexologist, Remedial Masseur, Shiatsu Therapist, Sports Medicine Masseur
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Remedial massage therapists need:

  • a caring and sensitive nature
  • good listening and communication skills
  • stamina and concentration
  • to be comfortable touching people's bodies
  • knowledge of human biology and anatomy
  • maturity and responsibility.
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Working conditions

Remedial massage therapists may work from home (they are self-employed), or as part of a health or fitness centre or larger health care facility. Others travel to different locations to treat patients. Their work environment should be relatively spacious and very clean. These therapists usually work irregular hours - in the evening and on weekends.

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Salary details

On average, massage therapists can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a massage therapist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

Once qualified, many massage therapists run their own small business. Earnings will depend on the level of demand for their services, as well as their level of skill and experience.

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Tools and technologies

Remedial massage therapists usually use massage oils and waxes, a massage table or chair, and sheets, towels and pillows.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a massage therapist you usually need to complete a formal qualification in massage therapy practice or remedial massage.

The Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice and the Diploma of Remedial Massage are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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