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Massage therapy careers in Iowa

The "Hawkeye State" is known for its warm midwestern hospitality and uncrowded living (with approximately only 54 people for every square mile of the state). These aspects alone, make massage therapy an attractive option for many of Iowa's residents, but there are many reasons why those interested in massage therapy should pursue a career in this rapidly progressing field. Learn more about a massage therapy career in Iowa.

Top 3 Cities for MTs to Start a Career in Iowa

1. Davenport - This is one of the top cities for massage therapists in Iowa, due to the fact that this city offers MTs the most opportunities in the state, per capita.

2. Omaha-Council Bluffs - MTs can earn an average annual income of approximately $37,000 per year, which is considerably higher than the state average of $32,590.

3. Sioux City - While Sioux City offers the least number of job opportunities (per capita), this Iowa city offers MTs one of the highest salary in the state.

Types of MT Careers in Iowa

Massage therapists that work in Iowa can work in a variety of locations that can include health spas, hotels/resorts, beauty salons, starting their own practice (most popular option in Iowa) or in the medical field, in terms of helping pregnant women, injured athletes, infants, children with autism, elderly patients, and more in a variety of medical settings (hospitals, clinics, medical centers, etc.).

Iowa MTs: Common Massage Types Explained

Deep-tissue massage -- This common technique uses forceful, but slower strokes to target the deep layers of tissue and muscle. This massage technique is typically used to treat muscle injuries.

Swedish massage -- This relaxing form of massage uses gentle, long strokes while kneading, using tapping and vibration, and making circular movements intended to be energizing, yet relaxing. This massage type is popular in Iowa health spas, gyms, and private practices.

Sports massage -- The sports massage is similar to the Swedish massage, listed above, but is targeted more toward helping ot prevent and treat injuries for those involved in sports. This type of massage is commonly used in various Iowa locations including, sports clinics, hospitals and orthopedic clinics.

Trigger point massage -- Trigger point massage works on trigger points, which means working directly in the area of soreness or injury. This technique focuses on sensitive areas caused by tight muscle fibers (commonly due to overuse or injury to the muscles). Due to the nature of this technique, it is typically, used in sports-related medical offices, clinics and hospitals.

Iowa MT: Licensing Requirements

The Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Examiners (Department of Public Health) is responsible for imposing regulations on MTs in the state of Iowa. The requirements to become a licensed massage therapist in Iowa include:

  • Completion w/documentation of 500 hours at an MT school that has been approved by the Iowa Board of Massage Theray Examiners, Department of Public Health. *Paying one-time application fee -- $120
  • Passing one of the following tests: the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) OR the MBLE provided by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

The three most common reasons for therapeutic massage in the United States and throughout Iowa include: Stress reduction (ten percent), stiffness and/or spasm (13 percent) and relaxation (27 percent). The ideal massage therapist cares about helping those who are searching for relief through the power of touch. If you have a passion for this type of work -- it's probably a good idea to check into a massage therapy career in Iowa.