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Massage Therapy Careers in Virginia

It's probably a cliché to say that a state is diverse, but the cliché fits in the case of Virginia. The state's eastern shores resting at sea level create an obvious contrast with the Appalachians running along the western regions of the state. Virginia is often lost in the shadow of Washington, DC but it definitely has a personality of its own. Much of that personality revolves around the history surrounding the early days of the United States and the fighting of The Civil War.

The job market in Virginia is heavily dependent on service industries. Many people are surprised to learn that service jobs account for about 33 percent of the jobs in the state and 23 percent of gross state product. The largest part of the service industry fall under the category of business service which includes computer and data processing services. Hotels and motels account for many jobs in the state. So how does massage therapy fit into this job market? There are jobs in massage therapy throughout the state and more jobs are forecast to open for much of the current decade.

The large cities like Virginia Beach (the state's most populous city), Richmond (the state capital) and the suburban areas surrounding the District of Columbia offer some of the best opportunities for obtaining jobs in massage therapy. However, resorts are another place for massage therapists to find jobs and those can be found in large numbers both along the beaches and in the Appalachian Mountains. However, massage therapists should not be blinded by the bright lights and large populations of the larger cities. For therapists looking to build an independent practice, smaller towns and smaller cities may be easier places to gain a foothold.

Virginia has several college towns as well as military installation. Both of these environments can be fertile ground for massage therapists looking to build a foundation and steadily add to their cliental. Numbers released by the Virginia Employment Commission, indicate that the massage therapy profession will need to expand its services by as much as 20 percent over the next three years to accommodate the state's increasing demand for services. This number is in line with what is going on in the field across the U.S. Salaries for massage therapists are on average slightly below to even with the national average. However, it important to mention that how much a therapist earns depends a great deal on the therapist, especially when he or she has an independent practice.

As the health industry continues to expand, massage therapy should be able ride its coat tails for the foreseeable future. Also, another positive aspect of massage therapy is that jobs in the field are not totally reliant on health care. Spas and athletic facilities hire a large number of massage therapists. Virginia h therapists also get business from the overflow of tourists visiting the nation's capital each year. Regulation of massage therapists is conducted by the Department of Health, Board of Nursing.