Just What the Doctor Ordered

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Massage therapy careers deliver hands-on results

An interest in health and wellness, an understanding of how the human body works and a desire to help people can lead to a successful career in the rapidly growing field of massage therapy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the national average for all occupations.*

Much more than just a back rub

Kevin Anderson, associate professor and coordinator of CCAC’s Massage Therapy program at Boyce Campus, has seen tremendous growth in the field in recent years. “The demand is huge,” he said.

Massage therapy is one of the few allied health treatments that feels good and is beneficial, he explained. Cumulative positive effects of regular massage include a reduction in stress, improved sleep and relief of muscle tension.

“Many hospitals are recognizing that massage promotes the natural healing processes of the body,” Anderson said.

“The demand is huge.”
—Kevin Anderson, associate professor & coordinator, CCAC Massage Therapy program

Students in CCAC’s Massage Therapy program can earn a certificate in three semesters or an associate degree in four. The certificate program is designed to provide entry-level skills for students who are seeking rapid entry into the massage profession.

The comprehensive associate degree program is designed to prepare students for a career in therapeutic massage. Both programs prepare students to take the Pennsylvania required Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam through the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

CCAC’s program boasts a new top-notch massage therapy lab with six high-end tables, as well as a hydraulic table that assists with patient positioning. The spa-like atmosphere has all the amenities.

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CCAC students receive ‘hands-on’ training

The lab can accommodate 12 students, which enables students to have individualized attention and hands-on time to practice skills while they learn a variety of modalities and techniques.

Instructors train students to identify issues with posture and muscle imbalance and help them with their communication skills so they’ll know how to perform proper client assessment, said Anderson. There is a real camaraderie among the students, who also participate in outreach activities at care facilities.

CCAC graduates have been hired by spas, massage clinics, chiropractic offices and hospitals. Degreed students, who have more clinical experience and coursework, also have opportunities to teach at proprietary schools.

Median Pay

The median annual wage for massage therapists was $35,970 in May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the top 10 percent of full-time massage therapists earned more than $70,140**.

*http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/massage-therapists.htm
**http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/massage-therapists.htm#tab-5

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