Having the ultimate work/life balance can be difficult to achieve for many people – especially for mums.
Let’s face it: mothers have it hard. Juggling between family, kids, and a career is a full-time job that quickly spirals into a chaotic nightmare that’s simply impossible to balance. Busy mums know the stress of being pulled several different directions just to make ends meet. If you’re that mum, you’ll be familiar with being burned-out and overwhelmed constantly.
How do some mums manage to do it?
For many, the answer is massage therapy. Being a licensed massage therapist is one of the most popular ways that mothers work from home and increase their income. Among flexible careers for mums, it is a great option with many benefits.
Before we get in the how’s of using massage therapy to earn extra income, it is important to review some questions for some background:
What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy is a type of treatment – and one of the oldest known healing traditions — that uses various types of physical techniques designed to manipulate soft tissues in the body. It is a hands-on practice that offers many health benefits, including stress reduction, improved blood circulation, tension and anxiety release, improved sleep, relief from pain, and much more.
Massage therapy covers a huge market involved in the health and wellness industries and includes a large percentage of part-time and self-employed workers. As long as you are physically able, anyone can do it!
Various health benefits of massage therapy.
Massage therapy has been a foundational practice for restoring health and well-being. Studies have shown that massages are effective in treating various conditions and injuries. The research indicates that massage and myotherapy is effective in the treatment and management of disorders such as:
- Acute/chronic lower back pain
- Muscle soreness
- Anxiety and stress
- Soft tissue injuries
- High blood pressure
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
Massage is also used to support people with chronic diseases and life-threatening illnesses, like cancer.
Why massage therapy?
A career (or side career) in massage therapy is a lucrative job that allows practitioners to work part-time hours or on their own schedule, and without the need to drive or commute – a dream for many mothers! Mums can be 100% there for their children while bringing in a significant amount of income from the comforts of home.
According to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, the number of massage therapists numbered 17,800 in 2019 and is projected to continue growing at a fast pace. Massage therapists earn an average rate of $62 per hour. The average salary can start at $52,500 and can go up to $136,500 per year for more experienced masseuses.
Mothers across the world have turned to massage therapy as an option to provide a viable side income while allowing them the freedom and flexibility to work their own hours anywhere they want – even while traveling!
Challenges of being a massage therapist.
Like with any career, being a massage therapist comes with its challenges. As a mother caring for children, it will be difficult and physically and mentally exhausting to pursue such a career if you easily get tired or have a general lack of energy.
Many mothers tackle this challenge by staying physically fit (you don’t even need a gym – simple home exercises will do just fine), hiring a nanny or babysitter, or ask a relative to care for them while you work.
Family matters can also get in the way of your work schedule. For instance, children’s doctor’s appointments or important school functions. However, the best part about working at home is that you’re your own boss and you can easily adjust your schedule to suit your day!
Working as a massage therapist requires you to stay on top of your fitness and stamina. If you get injured or are physically inhibited, you simply won’t be able to work and will therefore not be able to earn any income. Consider purchasing insurance in the event that something happens.
How to become a massage therapist
So, how can you go about starting your new side career? Here’s a step-by-step process you can take that will guide you to achieving the work/life balance any mother could want.
Step 1: Ask yourself a few questions.
Before you step into a new career, it is important to consider if it’s a good fit for you.
- Can I commit to the training?
Becoming a licensed massage therapist will require a lot of training, even continuously in your career. Continued training and education is mandatory in the field and is a great way to expand your skills.
- Do I love working hands-on with people?
In massage therapy, you’ll often be working in close physical contact with people, even strangers. If you are comfortable in this environment and like meeting new people, being a masseuse offers great opportunities.
- Do I have the right qualities to become a massage therapist?
Besides being a people-person, it is important to self-assess these other requirements to be a good massage therapist:
- Communication skills
- Physical stamina
- Strength and dexterity
- Time-management skills
- What do I want to specialize in?
Massage therapy covers over 200+ different types of techniques and practices. Massages range from the Swedish massage, sports massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, hot stone massage, reflexology, prenatal massage, and much more!
- How many hours do I want to work?
While working as a masseuse offers a flexible schedule, it is rare to work during normal 9-5 work hours. Clients will often schedule their massages before and after business hours and holidays.
Step 2: Acquire your massage certification/license.
Enroll into a masseuse course and complete your Certificate IV in Massage Therapy (HLT42015), the nationally recognized entry-level qualification for massage therapists.
Once you’ve earned the certificate, it’s also well worth considering the Diploma of Remedial Massage (HLT52015) to give you added assessment skills to branch out and enable you to work with private health insurance providers like physiotherapists and chiropractors.
From here, you can move forward to advanced diploma levels.
It is also strongly recommended to join an association. Consider the following:
- Australian Natural Therapies Association (ANTA)
- Association of Massage Therapists (AMT)
- Massage & Myotherapy Australia (MMA)
Step 3: Gain some work experience.
Practice your new skills in the real world. Work in a clinical setting, volunteer for a local sports team, or assist at a day spa to earn some hands-on experience and increase your hiring potential for prospective employers/clients.
Step 4: Acquire the essential equipment to work from home.
Besides a license, it is important to invest in the required equipment to support your business and continual studying. Properly equip yourself with a uniform, a top-of-the-line massage table and chair, and supplies (try to go for high quality equipment over cheap ones).
Make sure you have sheets, towels, massage creams and oils, and a handy bag to easily store and organize them.
It is also worth considering getting a good sound system to play relaxing tunes and add to the overall atmosphere.
Step 5: Set up your home massage room.
Setting up the right environment in your home is a big part of making your clients comfortable. Ideally, you want to be in a quiet place in your house, away from distracting noises. Set the mood by creating a relaxing space using dim lights, soothing colors (and music), and good quality equipment.
Step 6: Market your home massage business and apply for roles.
Now that you’re set up and ready, it’s time to find yourself some clients. Network among your friends, family, and neighborhood to start. Place an ad in newsletters, bulletin boards, Facebook groups, and more.
Also, consider looking into working for local spas and hotels when you first start out. They often hire freelance massage therapists on an on-call basis, and it’s a great way to meet new clients and build rapport. If you prefer to work in a clinic setting, call ahead of time to let the chiropractor know that you are available for work.
Once you get regular clients, it will be easy to find new ones through referrals!
Step 7: Set your rates and work hours.
Whether it’s 10 or 20 hours a week, decide on how much time you want to dedicate to work. As you acquire more clients, expand your skills, and become more established in your network you can gradually increase your rates.
Depending on your specialized practice and client’s needs, you could spend 10 minutes to 2 hours at a time for each session.
Ready to start your side career in massage therapy?
Now that you have all the steps down, it’s time to take the leap and start your work from home journey! Whether you’ve just become a parent or have been juggling a hectic family schedule for a while, there is no better time to begin than now.