Massage Therapists perform therapeutic massage and administer body treatments for health, fitness and remedial purposes.
Specialisations: Chinese (Tui-Na) Masseur, Remedial Masseur, Shiatsu Therapist, Sports Medicine Masseur, Thai Masseur.
A certificate IV in massage therapy or a diploma of remedial massage or another related field is usually needed to work as a Massage Therapist.
massaging the soft tissues of the body, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments, to assist healing
utilising a range of massage techniques to enhance sports performance and prevent injury
administering treatments to promote relaxation, improve circulation and relieve muscle tension
assessing and treating specific soft tissue dysfunction and providing rehabilitation advice
employing other techniques, such as acupressure or Shiatsu, and complementary aids, such as infra-red lamps, wet compresses, ice, essential oils and herbal and mineral therapies, to assist recovery
assessing client's physical condition and case history and advising on stretching exercises and relaxation techniques
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 18,000 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 25% of people employed as Massage Therapists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 41 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median hourly earnings are $32, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Most Massage Therapists work in the Health care and social assistance industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Massage Therapists||All Jobs Average|
Around 60% of Massage Therapists live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Massage Therapists is 41 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 76% of the workforce. This is 28 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Massage Therapists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.2||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate IV in massage therapy or a diploma of remedial massage or another related field is usually needed to work as a Massage Therapist.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Health Industry VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Massage Therapists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||4.3||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||3.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Massage Therapists who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Talking to others.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Looking for ways to help people.
Reading work related information.
41%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
39%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
34%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
67%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
50%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
41%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
34%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
33%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
32%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
31%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
30%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
26%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
25%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
23%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
22%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
21%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
20%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Exercise for a long time without your muscles getting tired.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Read and understand written information.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
70%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
64%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
63%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
63%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
63%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
63%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
60%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
58%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
58%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
56%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
50%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
47%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
47%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
47%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
46%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
46%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
46%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
44%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
39%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
92%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
91%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
89%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
88%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
88%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk with people face-to-face.
85%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Talk on the telephone.
79%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
Use electronic mail.
73%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
73%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
72%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
68%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
59%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work to strict deadlines.
57%Bending or twisting your body
Spend time bending or twisting your body.
53%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 31-9011.00 - Massage Therapists.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.