Massage therapy is one of the top paying careers of 2011. More and more people are attracted toward this occupation. If you too have a passion for becoming a massage therapist, you should be well informed of the steps you need to follow. First and foremost, you should have a genuine interest for serving people and helping them improve their lives. If you have decided to pursue this high challenging and rewarding massage therapy career, given below are some important steps to follow.

Familiarize Yourself with the Profession
Once you are sure that you want to become a massage therapist, you need to become familiar with the profession. Know about the multiple specialties that massage therapy offers. Decide which specialty you want to focus on? Meet with a couple of massage therapists. It is also a good idea to get a couple of massages yourself. Do some research on your own, both online and offline. Also visit a few massage therapy schools and ask questions you have in mind.

Research the Licensing Requirements
Licensing and regulatory requirements may vary from one state to another. Business and regulatory requirements may even vary in different cities of a state. Therefore, it is important to do some research on the licensing requirements of the state where you plan to practice.

Find a Suitable Training Program
You have plenty of massage therapy schools to choose from. Prepare a list of massage schools that are located in your area or close from home. Now you need to find a training program which matches your requirements. If you want to focus on a certain specialty, you need to find a massage therapy school that caters to that specific requirement. In addition, you should choose a training program which also fulfils your jurisdiction’s licensing requirements.

Make sure you get enrolled in a massage therapy training program which has the accreditation of a nationally recognized accreditation agency. Don’t forget to go through to the entire course details before you get enrolled.

Fulfill Licensing Requirements
Getting certified and licensed gives you a competitive edge over others. Fulfill the licensing requirements as needed by your state. In many states, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork holds a state level examination for massage therapists. Those who clear the test can use the title ‘Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork’.

Look for a Job or Start Personal Practice
The field of massage therapy offers you the freedom of starting your own business. In case you don’t want a salaried job, you can also begin your private practice. However, plenty of salaried massage therapy jobs are available today. Employment is available with medical clinics, health spas, massage therapy schools, resorts, hotels, health clubs etc.

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If you are confused deciding the right career path, take a free career aptitude test on JobDiagnosis right away to make a well informed decision. Also have a look at the Best Paying Careers for 2011.