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Career and Education Opportunities for Massage Therapists in Bakersfield, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for massage therapists in the Bakersfield, California area. About 19,900 people are currently employed as massage therapists in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 26% to 25,000 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for massage therapists are expected to grow by about 18.9%. Massage therapists generally massage customers for hygienic or remedial purposes.

Massage therapists earn about $18 per hour or $37,980 per year on average in California and about $16 per hour or $34,900 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for massage therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Physical Therapy in California and not quite as good as general Physical Therapy category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: licensed massage practitioner, massage operator, and masseur.

The Bakersfield area is home to eight schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Bakersfield where you can get a degree as a massage therapist. Massage therapists usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a massage therapist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Massage Therapist

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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Massage Therapist Training

Santa Barbara Business College - Bakersfield, CA

Santa Barbara Business College, 5300 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309. Santa Barbara Business College is a small college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 547 students and an admission rate of 55%. Santa Barbara Business College has a one to two year program in Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield, California photo by Bobak

Bakersfield is situated in Kern County, California. It has a population of over 321,078, which has grown by 30.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bakersfield, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Bakersfield are valued at $191,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,038 new homes were built in Bakersfield, down from 1,820 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Bakersfield are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 19.3% of Bakersfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bakersfield is 10.1%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Bakersfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Cornerstone Community Church, Coronado Gardens Missionary Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in Bakersfield. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Bakersfield is home to the Mesa Marin Raceway and the Avenue Oaks Country Club as well as Beale Park and Kern County Fairgrounds. Shopping centers in the area include Sagebrush Shopping Center, White Lane Plaza Shopping Center and Benton Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Bakersfield can choose from Best Western Heritage Inn, Best Western Hill House and America's Best Inn Bakersfield for temporary stays in the area.