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Career and Education Opportunities for Massage Therapists in Birmingham, Alabama

Massage therapist career and educational opportunities abound in Birmingham, Alabama. There are currently 790 jobs for massage therapists in Alabama and this is projected to grow by 10% to about 870 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for massage therapists are expected to grow by about 18.9%. In general, massage therapists massage customers for hygienic or remedial purposes.

Income for massage therapists is about $10 hourly or $22,020 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $16 per hour or $34,900 annually. Earnings for massage therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Physical Therapy in Alabama and not quite as good as general Physical Therapy category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: mechanotherapist, licensed massage therapist, and rolfer.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a massage therapist, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. Massage therapists usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so it will take a short time to learn to be a massage therapist if you already have a high school diploma.


Massage Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, massage therapists massage customers for hygienic or remedial purposes.

Massage therapists apply finger and hand pressure to specific points of the body. They also massage and knead muscles and soft tissues of the body to furnish treatment for medical conditions or wellness maintenance. Equally important, massage therapists have to talk with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to establish how massage will be most helpful. They are often called upon to assess clients' soft tissue condition, joint quality and function and range of motion. They are expected to design and propose client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used. Finally, massage therapists treat clients in professional settings or travel to clients' offices and homes.

Every day, massage therapists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for massage therapists to ready and blend oils and apply the blends to clients' skin. Somewhat less frequently, massage therapists are also expected to apply finger and hand pressure to specific points of the body.

Massage therapists sometimes are asked to refer clients to other types of therapists when needed. They also have to be able to take care of treatment records And finally, they sometimes have to talk with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to establish how massage will be most helpful.

Like many other jobs, massage therapists must be reliable and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Physical Therapy Aide. Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.
  • Physical Therapy Assistant. Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.


Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has an associate's degree program in Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage which graduated twenty students in 2008.


Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork: Practitioners know that NCBTMB certification is much more than a credential.

For more information, see the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork website.


Massage Therapist

Licensing agency: AL Board of Massage Therapy
Address: 610 South McDonough Street, Montgomery, AL 36104-5812

Phone: (334) 269-9990
Website: AL Board of Massage Therapy


Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.