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Career and Education Opportunities for Massage Therapists in Charleston, West Virginia

Massage therapist career and educational opportunities abound in Charleston, West Virginia. About 500 people are currently employed as massage therapists in West Virginia. By 2016, this is expected to grow 12% to about 560 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for massage therapists, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.9% over the next eight years. Massage therapists generally massage customers for hygienic or remedial purposes.

The income of a massage therapist is about $14 hourly or $29,430 yearly on average in West Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 hourly or $34,900 per year on average. Earnings for massage therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Physical Therapy in West Virginia and not quite as good as general Physical Therapy category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: registered massage therapist, rolfer, and medical massage therapist.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a massage therapist, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. Massage therapists usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become 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

Mountain State School of Massage - Charleston, WV

Mountain State School of Massage, 601 50th St, Charleston, WV 25304. Mountain State School of Massage is a small school located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 15 students. Mountain State School of Massage has a less than one year program in Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

Everest Institute-Cross Lanes - Cross Lanes, WV

Everest Institute-Cross Lanes, 5514 Big Tyler Rd, Cross Lanes, WV 25313. Everest Institute-Cross Lanes is a small school located in Cross Lanes, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 144 students and an admission rate of 72%. Everest Institute-Cross Lanes has a less than one year program in Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.

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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.