One of the benefits of a career in massage therapy is the number and variety of opportunities you have perform bodywork. Some licensed massage therapists (LMTs) choose to specialize over the lifetime of their careers and some have a practice that ranges in every way possible.
In this series we will discuss the range of environments, specifically, in which you can practice massage therapy. The previous article addressed franchise massage jobs.
This article will address what it is like to be a spa and resort massage therapist.
Going to Work for a Spa or Resort as a Massage Therapist
First, we should acknowledge the sheer range of types of spas and resorts. Please apply the following information loosely, as these massage establishments vary greatly from one to another.
Spa describes a commercial establishment that provides health and beauty treatments. The types of treatments may vary greatly. These days, with the general acceptance of massage therapy, most spas offer some type of therapeutic touch.
Milk + Honey Spa is an example of a spa that offers a full menu of services.
Resort is a often a recreation or vacation destination. Depending on the type of resort it is, it may not offer spa services or may have a very specified or limited menu.
For example, Great Wolf Lodge near Fort Worth, Texas, features spa services designed to attract children. Jellystone Park is a resort, but is largely centered on outdoor activities and camping-style recreation.
Luxury resorts, on the other hand, are sure to have a spa with a full menu of massage services – more about that in a moment.
Spas and resorts can also be franchises. You can learn more about working for franchise massage establishments in our previous article.
Again, The Work is Not That Different at a Spa or Resort
A typical work day at the average spa or resort will not unlike your day in another massage environment – including that of a franchise massage therapist.
You will be expected to be professional, to follow the hygiene standards of any other massage therapist and to maintain your certification, keep up with your continuing education requirements and carry insurance.
You are still a massage therapist first, no matter the venue in which you practice.
So What Is Different about Spas and Resorts?
There are at least three things that are different at a spa establishment and often at a resort, as well. They include the emphasis on relaxation and luxury services, the volume of new versus returning clients and the potentially added responsibility of service and product sales.
First, spas and resorts often focus on luxury relaxation services. This may extend beyond the atmosphere to mean massage services performed include any range of upgrades from aromatherapy and hot towels to scrubs, compresses and soaks.
Additionally, it is important to note that the massage client you work with in spa and resort establishments is unlikely to return to you regularly for bodywork. This means you won’t be able to treat chronic pain, for example, that requires multiple massage visits over time.
Between the nature of the client-base and the focus on luxury services, many spa and resort massage services are focused on maximizing relaxation.
Whether or not a focus on relaxation services is a benefit of working at a spa will depend on the massage therapist.
Finally, the spa and resort massage therapist is often paid commissions and may be asked to push products to their clients. These products might include upgrades from services like hot stones to products the client could take home like skin moisturizers.
Whether or not these types of sales are a downside to a spa or resort massage therapist, again, will depend on the therapist.
To learn more about massage careers and the opportunities and environments in which you have to work keep following along- there are more career articles coming up on the blog.
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