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Massage therapist

Alternative titles for this job include

Massage therapists manipulate clients' muscles and soft tissues, treat sports injuries and give help to people with health issues.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Massage therapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


You could take a course at college that will give you some of the skills and knowledge needed for this role.

Relevant courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Massage
  • Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy
  • Level 3 Diploma in Complementary Therapies

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You could gain some of the skills and knowledge for this role through an advanced apprenticeship like a:

  • holistic wellbeing practitioner
  • beauty therapist

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

More Information

Career tips

You can specialise in a particular form of massage like:

  • baby and infant massage
  • Swedish massage
  • deep tissue massage
  • sports massage

You can take extra training to build these specialist skills.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the voluntary register of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council or the Federation of Holistic Therapists.

The General Council for Soft Tissue Therapies (GCMT) is the governing body for massage therapy. It sets the standards for the profession and can give advice on the minimum standard you'll need to practice massage therapy safely and competently.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of biology
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In a typical treatment session you'll:

  • check the client's medical history, diet and lifestyle
  • identify the client's reasons for wanting massage therapy
  • plan a course of treatment
  • apply pressure to areas of the body
  • give advice to clients about their wellbeing
  • refer clients to medical professionals when required
  • create and update client records

Working environment

You could work in a therapy clinic, at a health spa or from home.

Your working environment may be physically active.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience and a caseload or regular clients, you could set up your own business.

You could also take additional training to offer other wellbeing or complementary therapy treatments like aromatherapy, reiki or reflexology.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 3 Beauty Therapy Apprentice

  • Wage: £12,526 a year Annually
  • Location: Ragdale, Melton Mowbray

Beauty Therapist Apprentice

  • Wage: £8,320 a year Annually
  • Location: Wood Lane, Mobberley, Cheshire

Courses In England

Diploma in Massage Therapy

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: NUNEATON

Sports Massage Therapy diploma

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Bexhill on Sea

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