The Incredible Shrinking Profession: What’s Going On?

Here are the number of graduates from massage schools in the United States from 1998 to 2012 courtesy of ABMP, which surveys every State approved school every two years.┬áIt’s easy to see that this profession is crashing: From a high of over 70,000 new therapists entering the profession in 2004 to less than 40,000 just eight years later.

Massage schools are definitely hurting. They are graduating the same number of students as they did in 1998, but at that point in time there were 700 fewer schools! So classroom sizes have shrunk dramatically and schools everywhere are being forced to close their doors.

Vendors, both product suppliers and CE providers, are finding themselves with a lot fewer therapists to sell to. No doubt associations are suffering too as their growth slows or even backslides.

What the heck is going on? Why have the number of therapists entering the profession dropped by almost half in eight years? Enrollment in all colleges and universities for all other programs continues to climb upwards. Why aren’t people choosing massage career option?

Please provide your thoughts in the comment section below…