Career Pathways

What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy is the use of touch to promote general health and well-being. Massage is one of the oldest methods of healing, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Today, the massage therapy field is growing rapidly, both in demand for licensed massage therapists and in job opportunities. Increasingly, people are seeking the therapeutic benefits of massage to reduce stress and alleviate pain.

Careers in massage therapy

The UWS massage therapy certificate program prepares you to start a career in 12 months. Whether you want to work in a spa, health care clinic or own your own business, the career paths for a licensed massage therapist are extensive.

Massage therapists can pursue career paths in:

  • hospital care
  • physical therapy
  • medical clinic
  • chiropractic clinic
  • naturopathy clinic
  • education
  • research
  • entrepreneurship
  • corporate massage
  • beauty and wellness
  • sports massage
  • rehabilitation centers
  • health and fitness clubs

Career Outlook

  • Employment for massage therapists is expected to increase 20 percent by 2020, faster than average for all occupations. U.S. Department of Labor
  • Massage therapists working in their client’s homes make an average of $72.55 per hour. Those working in massage only franchises and chains make an average of $20.33 per hour.
  • On average, massage therapists work 25.3 hours per week.
  • 82 percent of massage therapists started practicing as a second career.
  • The majority of massage therapists own their own business.
  • 91 percent of individuals view massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness.
Data provided by American Massage Therapy Association


The education at UWS prepares graduates for the licensing examinations required to practice massage in Oregon and Washington. Since massage therapy is regulated at the state level, requirements for licensing may vary. Students expecting to practice outside of Oregon or Washington should contact their state massage therapy board to determine whether the UWS program will qualify for licensing.

Expand Your Skill Set

Chiropractic Assistant (CA)

Broaden your job opportunities by completing the UWS chiropractic assistant program. You will learn basic principles of chiropractic care and receive training in hydrotherapy, electrotherapy and physiotherapy. UWS offers a discounted rate on this program.

How can UWS benefit you now, and in the future?


Outside of class, MT students have many opportunities to develop and refine skills through case studies, outreach events and class assignments. This field experience helps to build the skills and confidence needed to thrive as a massage therapist. While in the program, students have worked with organizations such as Outside In, Compass Oncology, Returning Veterans Project, Providence Glendoveer Elderplace and local college athletic departments.

Evaluation and Assessment

The program teaches students to evaluate each client based on informed assessment methods and client goals to choose massage techniques which help improve mobility, reduce pain, manage symptoms, decrease stress, support existing medical treatments and improve overall wellness.