The Fitness Zone

What career opportunities do you have as a massage therapist?

Dec 14, 2020 | by AIF

If you are thinking about pursuing a career in the massage industry, now is the perfect time to get started. As more people recognise the benefits of massage, the higher the demand for qualified Remedial Massage Therapists. According to National Industry Insights, demand for Massage Therapist jobs was predicted to grow by more than 20% in the five years to 2023.

Here, we explore five diverse career options available to you once you have achieved your Remedial Massage Therapist qualification.

There are a number of different career avenues you can take as a massage professional.

#1. Work with professional athletes

The benefits of massage for athletic performance, recovery and rehabilitation are becoming more recognised in the industry, with some athletes receiving massages daily during peak competition season. For Remedial Massage Therapists this means more career opportunities.

Massage business Julia Russell Massage, with whom the AIF partners to assist Remedial Massage Therapists in finding employment, has been providing massage services to elite and local athletes and sports teams for two decades.

What makes sports massage different to other massage?

It’s important to note that a sports massage is not a relaxation massage. It stretches tight muscles, stimulates inactive muscles and improves the overall condition of the tissue. Sports massage is meant to be quite strenuous and is used to reduce stress and tension that can often build up in the body during exercise.

In essence, sports massage is used to increase endurance, improve performance and reduce the amount of recovery time following an injury – as well as help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.

Looking to help condition athletes at all skill levels? A role in sports massage therapy may be for you. By using massage techniques tailored to a client’s individual sport and frequency of participation, sports massage therapists target the specific muscle groups that are most used.

Higher-level athletes may also require sports massage therapists to condition their muscles before sporting events, and then help recover following, especially during rigorous training sessions or events.

Techniques used in sports massage

As a sports massage therapist, your first job is to learn about the health and lifestyle of your client. This involves discussing the type of sport they participate in and how often they do so, as well as how physically fit they are. Once you have done so you will be able to plan the specifics of the massage techniques you will employ with them.

Techniques used during a sports therapy massage include:

  • soft tissue release
  • neuromuscular techniques – targeting trigger points in the nervous system
  • positional release to relax hyperactive muscles
  • fascial release – slow kneading to release the tissues around the muscles.

#2. Launch your own business

The opportunities for Remedial Massage Therapist’s to start their own business are endless. From offering massages to your network of friends and family to earn some extra income outside of your primary job, to partnering with a personal trainer or local sports club, and even opening your own clinic, this qualification opens many doors.

Starting your own massage business may sound a little daunting, but don’t worry – AIF’s Remedial Massage Therapist program will have your business planning in motion before you finish your course. Having a business and marketing plan is essential when starting your own business, along with having your own ABN (Australian Tax Number) and a massage table of course!

To learn more about running your own business, check out our Fitness Business Essentials Program.

Starting your own massage business

Plenty of people dream of being their own boss – of taking control of their life, having something that’s their very own, and creating their own employment opportunities. This is certainly an option for massage therapists.

After qualifying with your Diploma in Remedial Massage there are several things to consider before setting up shop:

  • Set yourself up with an ABN
  • Organise professional insurance
  • Align yourself with a massage association once you’re certified: it ensures you are kept updated with industry developments and provides additional credibility when it comes to finding clients
  • Pick your location carefully – make sure there is demand for a massage therapist in the area you are considering
  • Analyse what would suit you personally in terms of your business location. Is it better to be mobile or would you prefer to have an actual shop front so clients come to you?
  • Choose and register your business name (before you get any logos or marketing materials created)
  • Establish a professional online presence – this means having a registered domain name and website where clients can find you, and having social media pages. Consider integrating an online booking system and also writing a regular blog, which can help make your site more easily found on search engines and present you as a thought leader.
  • Register with as many health funds as you can so that your clients will be able to claim a rebate. Contact each health fund directly to apply for a provider number.

#3. Combine personal training and massage offerings

If you have a passion for fitness and massage, why not pursue a career in both? Not only professional athletes gain from regular massage. Everyday PT clients also benefit from treatments, and having both Personal Training and Remedial Massage qualifications under your belt you will expand your potential client base.

Whether you add value by giving your PT clients a 10-minute massage at the end of every session, incorporate massage into your clients training plan, or market both services separately, being multi-skilled means you have more services to offer, giving you the edge over other trainers or Massage Therapists.

#4. Explore mobile or corporate massage programs

The ability of massage to relieve stress and reduce muscle tension has prompted many large businesses to bring therapists into the workplace. Providing employees with even short 10-minute massages can help release tension in the shoulders caused by sitting down and leaning toward a computer screen. In addition to helping staff members feel more relaxed, it can also make them feel valued.

As a mobile or corporate Massage Therapist, you will have the opportunity to work flexible hours and to meet a large variety of people, some of whom may in turn become regular clients. See below for more details on setting up your own mobile massage therapy business.

Three Minute Angels, a Career Partner of AIF, works with a number of corporate businesses, delivering short massages in the workplace, and they recruit AIF massage graduates.

How to succeed as a mobile Massage Therapist

Launching your own business can be overwhelming, particularly if you are planning on having a clinic or shop front. A good alternative is to become a mobile massage therapist, whereby you treat clients in their homes, hotels or other facilities. Many massage therapists choose to go mobile to avoid having the overheads involved with a fixed space. Some also start off mobile, hoping to then establish a clinic space once they have built up a client base.

Know your risks

It’s important to be aware of the risks involved in working as a mobile therapist. The most obvious is the issue of personal safety that arises when you are going into strangers’ homes or businesses, because there’s no real way to screen clients prior to an initial consultation. To mitigate this, ensure that at least one person knows where you are going at all times. It’s also a good idea to let the security of buildings or concierge’s know who you are and what you’re doing so they can check on you if necessary.

Have a business plan

It’s crucial to have a business plan in place. It’s basically the same for a mobile massage business as it is for any other – conduct a market study to ensure there is a need for your services, figure out what equipment you’ll need and make sure your vehicle can transport it, devise a marketing strategy including a website and social media presence, and set up a good referral network. Of course, it’s also essential to address all the legal requirements, including your professional qualifications, ABN and insurance.

#5. Find work at a clinic

There are a number of benefits to starting your massage career in the more traditional setting of a clinic. Firstly, the business is already established, and probably has a large database of regular clients – plus there is no need to buy any equipment!

Working in a clinic would usually make you an employee, however, some businesses run a sub-contractor model, whereby you would run your business out of an established facility and pay a fee to rent the space.

To find more about a career in Remedial Massage, come along to one of our Open Days – and to check out career opportunities in the industry, go to Fitness Careers.


Ready to take the next step in your career as a qualified massage therapist? The AIF offers several massage therapy courses to provide our students with a practical and comprehensive education. You can choose to study one of the following massage courses:



The Australian Institute of Fitness
The Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) is the largest and longest established fitness training organisation in Australia, with dynamic training methods and expert course coaches nationwide - spanning fitness, massage and nutrition. The AIF qualifies more fitness professionals than any other provider in Australia, as well as offering a broad range of continuing education courses (CEC), upskilling resources and partnership programs for existing industry.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.