Shadow a Massage Therapist Before You Go to School

shadow a massage therapist

Should I Shadow a Massage Therapist Before I Go to School?

Because massage school requires such a large time and money investment, it’s a good idea to be very sure that a massage career is what you want before you fill out the admissions applications. While it’s impossible to know for sure whether or not you’ll enjoy being a career massage therapist until you actually are one, you can take a few steps to ensure you know you’re on the right path.

One of the best options is to job shadow a current massage therapist (or a few of them) to get a good feel for how the industry works on the day-to-day level. By definition, a job shadow is when you spend a day (or more) watching a professional hard at work. Sometimes, this means simply sitting and watching; other times, it means jumping in and lending a helping hand.

Your experience will depend on your relationship with the massage therapist you shadow as well as their clients’ willingness to allow you to observe (understandably, not all clients will be comfortable with this idea). It will also depend on where you do your job shadow—a massage therapist at a spa will necessarily depict a different job than one who runs his or her own business.

 Why Job Shadow?

Job shadowing gives students a chance to experience a career and ask questions of a current professional in a real-world environment. You can discover what types of educational goals you should set for yourself, get employment tips, and even network with professionals in the field.

 How to Find a Massage Job Shadow Opportunity

The best way to job shadow is simply to ask. Use your personal connections first (family, friends, community members) to see if anyone can help put you in contact with the right people. You can also ask your potential massage school if they can recommend alumni or area providers.

From there, you simply have to put your best, professional foot forward and ask. Have a resume on hand for those who want one and always be polite when you make your request. No one is obligated to allow you to job shadow, and you don’t want to burn bridges before you even start massage school.

Note: Because of the private nature of healthcare in general (and massage therapy in particular), you may come across a few hurdles when it comes to job shadowing. Don’t be upset if you can’t sit in the room during a massage, or if you’re limited in hours and scope.



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  1. Jamese says:

    Im looking for a shadowing job for massage therapy to see if i really want to major in it