Just beginning the research process for this field and the best schools to attend. I am a flight attendant which I enjoy very much, but have been feeling the desire for a more fulfilling secondary income. I've always been told I'm good at massages, and I enjoy giving them so I'd love to earn the proper knowledge.
As far as schools, does anyone have experience in the tri-state area? I'm just outside of NYC in Bayonne, NJ. I looked at the Swedish Institute in NYC but I'm sure there are great schools that aren't as costly. Someone on this board recommended Healing Hands in N. Jersey, but according to their latest update on the website, it appears they recently shut down (this past fall).
Anyone have experience with Cortiva or the Institute of Therapeutic Massage? The later offers a specialization in Oncology Massage, which interests me. I am interested in dual-liscensure for NY and NJ. There are so many schools out there, I want one with a more personal feel that cares about the people/program and not just how many students they can bring in.
In your opinion, what is the outlook like for this field? Growing? Increasingly competitive? Is getting enough clients ever an issue? Is working part time or using this as a supplemental career fairly easy to do?
If you can point me in the right direction on any of this, I'd be very grateful!
As for the outlook of the industry, I personally feel it is still good. I feel that your massage career can be anything you want it to be. I never had to start a practice in NYC as I am from upstate (near Albany), so considering the number of schools and massage businesses already in the area, I would be surprised if you didn't find it competitive. But it doesn't have to be! When I first started my practice back in upstate NY, and even now that I am in NH, I am making use of the massage techniques I have learned that aren't as common. You can make a niche for yourself by finding other therapist that don't offer what you can, and networking. If they offer only deep tissue and sports massage, but receive a referral who's looking for oncology massage then that therapist doesn't have to turn the client away; instead they can send them to you and visa-versa.
I think getting enough clients is based largely on marketing techniques that work for your target group and area and how much you do. Networking, too. Working part-time in massage is definitely doable once you have built a client base, but at the beginning you may need to work another part-time job to make ends meet.
What ever school you choose, be sure they provide business classes. This will be a great foundation to help you when you first get out there, even if you start out in a spa. You're already ahead of the game since you found this board. I am constantly amazed at how much great info is here and wish I had found it when I was still in school!
Sorry, but I've gotta run now. Good luck and keep us updated!
"Happiness is a journey, not a destination."
I appreciate the reassurance that it's still a viable career. Although I wouldn't necessarily be doing this for money, as I do alright at my other job, I would want to have regular business, otherwise what's the point? Other online forums seem to have a lot of MTs expressing frustration at a saturated market, places like massage envy and asian spas competing.. But like you said, I am still hopeful there's still a niche for more specialized clients -- elderly, hospitals, athletes, ppl with chronic pain or injury, etc.
Anyway thanks again, I'll keep reading here for more guidance!