Blog

5 Exciting Sports Massage Therapist Career Opportunities

Sports Massage Therapist Career Opportunities

Once you're established in your profession, it’s natural to look at the sports massage therapist career opportunities available to you.

To help with this process, we’ll cover 5 possible routes to progression that could take your career to the next level! 

Before we get started, take the next step in your SMT career with our Personal Trainer CoursesEnquire today, or download our free course prospectus here for more infomation about our range of courses.

Career Opportunities For A Sports Massage Therapist

If you’re currently working as a sports massage therapist and are looking to explore different career opportunities, this list will provide you with a variety of prospects to pursue.

We’ll also provide you with real-world examples, so you can see exactly how other therapists have incorporated these ideas into their own practice. 

One thing to keep in mind is that many of these sports massage career opportunities will require you to gain additional training and qualifications. 

However, all of these additional certifications can be completed alongside your usual roles as a sports massage therapist.

#1- Become A Level 4 Sports Massage Therapist

sports massage therapist careers

As a sports massage therapist, one of the best ways to progress your career is to take a Level 4 course in sports massage therapy

This course builds on the skills and knowledge from your Level 3 qualification, giving you a deeper understanding of sports massage.

You will learn more advanced sports massage techniques to be able to treat clients with a wider range of injuries and rehabilitation needs. 

Being a specialist Level 4 sports massage therapist will increase your employability, as you will be more qualified when applying for SMT jobs, helping you stand out from other applicants.

Or if you are working on a freelance basis, having a Level 4 qualification can help you attract more clients, as it shows that you are a better sports massage therapist!

It also means that you can justify charging more for your treatments, since you are offering a higher level of service to your clients.

#2 - Combining SMT With Personal Training Can Open Up More Sports Massage Therapist Career Opportunities

jobs for sports massage therapist Stock

If you’re a sports massage therapist looking to expand upon your career prospects, one of the most lucrative options is becoming a personal trainer

Through this new qualification, you can improve the physical performance of your clients, whilst also significantly increasing your earning potential.

A client may come to your SMT clinic looking to receive treatment for a short-term injury they have sustained. This source of income will be temporary, as this client will eventually feel fit enough to no longer require this service.

This potential loss of income can be avoided, by referring the client to your bespoke personal training programme once the SMT treatment has ended.

You can even sell this service by stating that you have taken their previous injury into account, and have crafted the bespoke exercise programme to strengthen the once injured area. 

Male_Female_PersonalTrainer__blog_mel

The same can be said for the reverse of this. Should a personal training client suffer from an injury whilst exercising, you can then recommend a course of sports massage therapy.

If you’re looking to pursue these sports massage therapist career opportunities, then you can take inspiration from LMC Physio & Fitness

From the screenshot below, you can see just how lucrative this venture could be:

LMC example jobs for sports massage therapist

LMC jobs for sports massage therapist

If you had a similar pricing structure to LMC, you wouldn’t face a loss of income should an SMT client decide to drop the treatment in favour of personal training, as both elements cost £47. 

In fact, you could even double your potential income by selling both practices together, generating a total profit of £94.

The prospect of signing up for two services will become more appealing should you and the client have a strong relationship. 

In this instance, they will already trust you from receiving SMT, and will therefore be more inclined to sign up for personal training.

Additional Qualifications Needed To Become A SMT Therapist Who Provides Personal Training

Additional Qualifications Needed To Become A Smt Therapist Who Provides Personal Training

In order to chase these sports massage career opportunities, you will first need to earn a personal training diploma

Through the completion of this course you will successfully learn transferable skills that can be applied to both the role of a PT and sports massage therapist. For example, the planning and delivery of a workout programme could tie back into how you build a programme for a client’s recovery.

Likewise, increasing your knowledge of anatomy and physiology through a personal training diploma can ensure the quality of your treatments improve.

This course can be completed in as little as 4 weeks, and can significantly improve the quality of the services you offer to your clients.

Those that wish to apply for this course simply need to be over the age of 16 and have a passion for fitness.

How Much Can You Earn By Combining Personal Training and SMT?

How Much Can You Earn By Combining Personal Training and SMT?

The average salary of a personal trainer will naturally vary from one individual to another. On average, Glassdoor reports that personal trainers in the UK earn £29,880 every year:

Personal Trainer Salary sports massage career opportunities

One thing that’s worth considering as a sports massage therapist offering personal training sessions, is that you’ll likely be working in both roles in a part-time or freelance capacity. 

This will allow you to split time between both roles, in order to ensure each gets the appropriate amount of attention.

Therefore, to get a better understanding of how much you can earn in this position, you should look at personal trainer job advertisements that fall under this category, such as this example from Everyone Active:

Freelance personal trainer jobs for sports massage therapist

From this, we can see that it’s entirely possible to earn a lucrative salary from pursuing personal training on a freelance basis alongside your sports massage treatments.

 

Advance Your Career And Become A PT

Explore new career opportunities by enrolling on Personal Trainer Courses!

#3 - Career Opportunities For Sports Massage Therapist Extend To Becoming An Exercise Referral Specialist

Career Opportunities For Sports Massage Therapist Extend To Becoming An Exercise Referral Specialist

An exercise referral specialist is someone who creates fitness programmes for patients suffering from chronic conditions or illness, following a prior recommendation from a GP/medical professional.

When it comes to possible sports massage career opportunities, branching out into an exercise referral practice will allow you to play a more significant role in improving the wellbeing of your clients.

When becoming an exercise referral specialist, you will be expected to fulfil the following responsibilities:

  • Assess the client’s current physical abilities 
  • Use the information provided by the GP to better understand the client’s condition
  • Construct a workout plan that takes both the client’s condition and their physical abilities into account

There isn’t typically a set timeframe for these referral schemes. Some clients may require in-depth treatment over several weeks, whilst others will only be in your service for a short period of time.

sports massage career opportunities doctor

If you’re looking to combine SMT with a GP referral programme, you can use massage therapy as an additional form of treatment to aid in the client’s recovery.

For example, you could provide the massage after the workout to:

  • Encourage faster muscle recovery 
  • Reduce muscle spasms 
  • Reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • Remove metabolic build-up of waste products

Career opportunities for sports massage therapists such as these can see your practice grow and gain respect within both the fitness and medical industry. 

Andrew Buller for example, combined both practices and successfully carved out a niche for himself, and is now regarded as an expert in both fields: 

career opportunities for sports massage GP

Andrew uses his knowledge in both areas to provide treatment for clients who are living with, or recovering from, a serious illness. 

From this we can say that if you’re going to pursue these advanced SMT career opportunities, the safety and wellbeing of your client must always be at the forefront of your mind.

Additional Qualifications Needed To Become An Exercise Referral Specialist 

Additional Qualifications Needed To Become An Exercise Referral Specialist

If you’re interested in exploring these jobs for sports massage therapists, you will need to complete a Level 3 exercise referral course.

Through earning this qualification you can develop transferable skills that can be applied to both roles of a sports massage therapist and exercise referral specialist. 

For example, you can hone your knowledge regarding existing medical conditions that force clients onto the referral programme. With this information you can ensure that massage therapy you provide is specifically tailored to help alleviate these ailments. 

This experience is invaluable and will inform how you operate in the role of an exercise referral specialist. Through graduating, you will effectively know how to craft a bespoke workout programme that improves the health and wellbeing of a client.

Without earning an exercise referral qualification, you legally will not be able to work with a GP and medical professionals, making the position completely inaccessible. 

Keep in mind that in order to enrol on this course at OriGym, applicants must be over the age of 16 and hold a Level 2 Gym Instructor as a prerequisite.

How Much Can You Earn By Pursuing Exercise Referral as Sports Massage Therapist?

  How Much Can You Earn By Pursuing Exercise Referral as Sports Massage Therapist?

Again it must be stressed that the salary of an exercise referral specialist can vary, depending on factors such as the employer and the type of contract you wish to pursue professionally.

For example, take a look at this proposed salary for a part-time position with Everyone Active, where you could earn £9.69 an hour over a total of 10 hours a week.

GP Referral sports massage career opportunities

If you are interested in part-time positions of this nature, you could earn £96.90 a week, with your total monthly wage coming in at £387.60

This source of additional income can be earned alongside your full-time salary as a sports massage therapist, with the earnings helping to increase your overall profit.

Alternatively, you may wish to pursue full-time employment as an exercise referral specialist, and instead use sports massage therapy as an additional source of income.

These career opportunities for sports massage therapists have the potential to be highly lucrative, as evident from the following example from GLL, where applicants can earn nearly £23k every year: 

sports massage therapist career opportunities Referral

From the examples given within this section, you will now have insight into just how drastically salaries can range in the world of exercise referral. 

This is why we recommend conducting research into the job market in your local area, before deciding what type of contract you wish to pursue.

#4 - Jobs For Sports Massage Therapists With an Interest in Yoga

Jobs For Sports Massage Therapists With an Interest in Yoga

As a sports massage therapist, the career opportunities available to you when looking to expand your professional horizons are truly unlimited. 

For example, some therapists may decide to combine their passion for SMT with a physically engaging practice, and become a yoga instructor.

When working in this role, you will lead classes of dedicated yogis through the ancient practice, offering both verbal and physical demonstrations of different poses. 

Those who are interested in combining both practices could offer sports massage therapy sessions to their yoga students either before or after class. 

This can be a beneficial treatment in a few ways:

  • Massages before class can help to prepare muscles for the class ahead, by promoting electricity throughout the body and reducing the risk of injury
  • After class massages can relax any tension that was built up during the class, and remove waste products such as lactic acid from the muscles

London’s Deva Yoga promotes their sports massage service by highlighting to how it can benefit their students yoga practice: 

Career opportunities for sports massage Yoga

Should you decide to pursue these career opportunities for a sports massage therapist we’d recommend marketing your services as being complementary to each other. 

For example, Deva states that yoga can help decrease muscle soreness, which will help your joints full range of motion. Through directly highlighting how one practice can benefit the other, you can essentially market both services together. 

This will increase the likelihood of customers signing up, as they will view both yoga and SMT as complementary practices.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Yoga Instructor? 

Jobs for a sports massage therapist qual

Naturally, you won’t be able to jump into this role without first gaining additional qualifications and experience. If you wish to become a yoga instructor, you’ll first need to earn a Level 3 yoga teaching qualification

Through the completion of this course, you will gain transferable skills and knowledge that can be applied to both roles.

For example, with an in-depth understanding of various asanas, you will know what parts of the customers body to treat should they come for sports massage therapy due to a yoga-related strain.

The qualification will also provide you with 50 hours of in-class time. This will ensure that your practical abilities are up to standard, ensuring that you can confidently lead your classes.

One of the benefits of studying with OriGym is that you will receive 400 hours of guided learning. This is double the national average expected by employers, as evident from this ad from Virgin Active:

career opportunities for a sports massage therapist Indeed Ad

Therefore, when earning a qualification with OriGym you will actually gain more experience than the average instructor. 

You may also choose to advance this experience further by earning a Level 4 yoga teacher qualification. This will allow you to build upon your existing skills and knowledge, whilst also developing a speciality in one of the following areas:

  • Ashtanga
  • Hatha
  • Hot
  • Iyengar

In addition to this, the advanced Level 4 qualification will equip you with business-related knowledge and marketing experience. 

Once this understanding has been developed, you will know how to advertise your yoga services in a manner that will attract a dedicated customer base.

Through developing your existing knowledge on business and marketing, these career opportunities for a sports massage therapist have the potential to be more financially lucrative. 

This is due to the fact that you will know exactly what current yogis want from your service, which can then be tailored to match these demands. 

How Much Can You Earn As A Yoga Teacher?

How Much Can You Earn As A Yoga Teacher?

The full earning potential of a yoga teacher can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as the hours you work and whether you teach a speciality. 

For example, if you’re looking for part-time employment as a yoga teacher you could apply for roles such as this example from Mitie:

jobs for sports massage therapist Indeed example

The successful applicant will teach 3 classes per week, meaning an additional income of up to £75 per week, or £300 per month.

Career opportunities for sports massage therapists like these can make great side hustles, and becoming a yoga instructor can see you generate a lucrative additional income that works alongside your full-time SMT salary.

Those who are interested in using yoga as their main source of income can expect to earn more. For example, Payscale estimates that those in this role earn anywhere between £19k - £68k every year:

Average yoga salary smt career opportunities

In this instance, you may choose to include SMT as an additional service, and charge yoga students a fixed rate to receive treatment either before or after their class.

The potential salary of a yoga instructor can also be influenced by the type of yoga they teach. For example those that teach speciality variations, such as Ashtanga, can expect to earn more than holistic practitioners.

To gain an understanding of these pricing differences, first check out the cost for holistic classes at Planet Yoga:

Planet yoga sports massage therapist career opportunities planet yoga

Now compare this with the cost of specialist sessions at Ashtanga Leeds:

Ashtanga Leeds sports massage therapist career opportunities price

When comparing the 10 class passes that both studios offer, we can see that the specialist teachings from Ashtanga Leeds cost £10 more. 

This is because these sessions are deemed to be more valuable, due to the fact that they are taught by an expert within the field.

We can therefore say that these career opportunities for a sports massage therapist will be more lucrative if you develop a speciality in yoga.

- - - - 

If you’re looking to learn more about sports massage therapist career opportunities check out these OriGym articles for further information:

 

Advance Your Career And Become A PT

Explore new career opportunities by enrolling on Personal Trainer Courses!

#5 - Career Opportunities For a Sports Massage Therapist: Fitness Tutor 

Career Opportunities For a Sports Massage Therapist: Fitness Tutor

For those who are unfamiliar with this position, a fitness tutor is an individual who trains others to become fitness professionals.

If you decide to become a fitness tutor, you’ll be working with students in a classroom environment, delivering vocational fitness courses.

In some instances, you may also be required to fulfil the role of an ‘assessor’ who delivers and marks the students' assessments.

When applying for a position, an employer will typically make it clear whether you will be required to fulfil the role of an assessor.

One thing to be aware of is that Fitness Tutors may be required to teach a variety of qualifications. This means that whilst some may only specialise in qualifying future sports massage therapists, others will teach any of the following courses: 

For example, Daniel Holmes initially worked as a sports massage therapist, but currently works as a fitness tutor teaching Fitness Instructor and Personal Training courses:

LinkedIn career opportunities for sports massage

When applying for Fitness Tutor jobs, the employer will always make it clear what course you will be teaching, so you will be immediately aware of what is expected of you in the role.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Fitness Tutor 

 Qualifications Needed to Become a Fitness Tutor

In order to lead these occupational-based courses, you will need to hold a Fitness Teaching and Assessing qualification. One of the benefits of studying with OriGym is that upon completion you will be recognised as both a tutor and assessor.

This means that you will be certified to lead classes and conduct assessments, rather than being specifically limited to the classroom. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that, in order to teach a class, you will need to hold the corresponding qualification. For example, if you wish to teach a personal training course, you will need to personally hold a Level 3 personal training qualification

For instance, check out this ad for a Fitness Tutor job at OriGym:

career opportunities for a sports massage therapist Indeed OriGym

This is the case for every possible class you can teach and assess, as without the appropriate qualification you will not have enough knowledge or experience in an area to qualify others. 

These career opportunities for sports massage therapists will therefore require you to hold many prior qualifications in order to be considered for the opportunity.

How Much Can You Earn as a Fitness Tutor?

How Much Can You Earn as a Fitness Tutor?

As with the other examples on this list, there is no set answer to the question posed above. Instead, this SMT career opportunity can mean a varying salary.

For example, Talent estimates the average salary of a Fitness Tutor to be £27k per year. But note that this is given as a median, with more experienced individuals earning in the region of £41k per year:

Fitness Tutor Salary smt career opportunities

Another thing to be aware of is that the site’s statistics only factor in Tutors who pursue this career on a full-time basis. Those that work on a part-time or freelance basis won’t be expected to earn this high of a salary. 

Instead, those that wish to remain in their SMT role full time and use fitness tutoring and assessing as a side hustle can apply for similar roles as these:

career opportunities for a sports massage therapist OriGym example

Here, if you applied for roles such as these you can earn £250 every weekend, which would equate to £1,000 per month.

Regardless of what kind of contract you wish to pursue as a Fitness Tutor, we can state with confidence that these career opportunities for sports massage have the potential to be a highly lucrative venture.

#6 - Sports Massage Therapist Career Opportunities Increase When You Open Your Own Practice 

own studio jobs for sports massage therapist

When discussing sports massage career opportunities, starting your own business is a logical step that many qualified therapists choose to explore.

This is due to the fact that you don’t need any additional training or qualifications, and can instead pull from your existing experience of working in the field of SMT.

By starting your own SMT business, you can experience many benefits, including:

  • Becoming your own boss - Having control of your own brand 
  • Deciding on a target market - You can choose what demographic of clients you wish to target and treat
  • Potential for increased earnings - You decide how much your services cost
  • Hire staff of your choosing - You will be able to select other therapists who reflect your brand of sports massage therapy

Whilst this may seem like a large undertaking, it is possible through work and dedication. 

This is evident from the words of qualified sports massage therapist Joanna Blair, who stated that her experience working for others became invaluable when launching her own clinic:

sports massage therapist career opportunities cropped

In order to learn how to make this career venture possible we’re going to breakdown everything you need to know:

How To Open Your Own SMT Practice

How To Open Your Own SMT Practice

If you’re interested in pursuing these sports massage therapist career opportunities for yourself, this section will offer a definitive breakdown into how you can go about this.

Registering Your SMT Business With The Government 

UK Gov smt career opportunities

Before you own an SMT business, you must first register your trade with the Government. 

This is a process that cannot be skipped, and should therefore be a top priority should you decide to pursue these SMT career opportunities.

There are many different rules and regulations regarding what category your business will fall under. To gain a better understanding of where your business fits, head over to the UK.Gov website

Financing Your Own SMT Business

money smt career opportunities

Before you can think about this career progression route, you’ll need to ensure that it’s a financially viable option. Whilst some business owners choose to save for several years in order to make this a reality, others will attempt to secure loans.

Loan officers and investors are more likely to provide you with financial support if you can prove to be an expert within your field. 

Therefore, completing a Sports Massage Therapy course and gaining several years worth of experience working in the industry can increase the chances of securing this backing.

In order to secure a loan for your own business, you will need to create a sports massage business plan. This document will allow you to:

  • Forecast your professional intentions
  • Discuss your experience within the industry
  • Analyse potential profits 

sports massage therapist career opportunities money

Once financial backing has been secured for your business, you can begin to budget this money on business expenses such as:

  • The location of your practice 
  • SMT equipment 
  • Marketing material to promote your services

In order to be financially secure, we’d recommend budgeting for 6 months in advance. This will ensure that you’re adequately prepared for the potential financial strain these SMT career opportunities come with.

In order to understand what you should be spending said budget on, let’s break down each factor listed above in greater detail.

Choosing The Right Location For Your Sports Massage Business

sports massage therapist career opportunities Location

As most business owners will agree, location is everything, and can be a determining factor in the success or failure of your clinic.

When choosing a location you should take the following factors into consideration:

  • The size of the location - Is it big enough to perform your services?
  • The facilities on offer - Will you be able to provide your planned services?
  • The location of the site - Is the location accessible for your chosen demographic? - e.g. wheelchair accessible, no stairs, etc.
  • Are you Buying or Renting - This could affect your overall budget and how much you pay each month

It’s so important that you choose an appropriate location for your service, as the wrong choice could potentially isolate your target demographic and cause massive financial losses as a result.

When viewing locations for your practice, we’d recommend taking a checklist with you, in order to analyse whether the site meets the right criteria for your clients. 

 

Advance Your Career And Become A PT

Explore new career opportunities by enrolling on Personal Trainer Courses!

Sourcing Your SMT Equipment 

sports massage therapist career opportunities own practice

In order to pursue these exciting sports massage therapist career opportunities you’re going to need to purchase some equipment of your own. This can include:

  • Massage Beds
  • Massage Mediums
  • Props and Tools - e.g. Foam Roller
  • Towels 

You need to factor this into your budget, as overspending could lead to financial instability.

This doesn’t mean that you should simply opt for the cheaper alternative out of instinct, as you could be unknowingly purchasing lower quality equipment that will break and need replacing.

Instead, we’d always recommend conducting research into various products and providers in order to see what will be best for you. For example, you could prioritise cheaper alternatives with the best reviews, in order to ensure you’re receiving a quality product.

Marketing Your Own SMT Business

jobs for sports massage therapist exmaple

In order to spread the word about your services, you’re going to need to spend a fraction of your budget in order to market your business across various platforms such as:

  • Google My Business
  • Social Media - e.g. Meta Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Email Marketing

For example, when using Google Ads users will bid on specific terms in order to rank highly on the first page. The cost of these bids can vary depending on the popularity and demand for said term.

If your bid is successful your business can appear at the top of Google for that specific term. This can be seen below, where we have searched the term ‘Sports Massage Therapy Clinic in Liverpool’

Sports massage therapist career opportunities Google Ads

Marketing your business in this manner can significantly increase the visibility of your practice and drive sales higher. 

This is backed up by Search Engine Land, who found that first page results generated 80% of enquiries for that specific term.

From this you should understand the importance of creating a marketing budget for your business. But if you’re looking to delve further into this topic, check out our in-depth exploration of sports massage marketing.

This is only really scratching the surface of the various roles and responsibilities associated with starting your own SMT practice.You’ll also need to complete:

  • Administrative duties - e.g. organising appointments, calling clients, etc.
  • Maintaining equipment - e.g. cleanliness, fixing damages
  • Hiring and managing staff members 

In short, if you wish to pursue these further career opportunities for sports massage therapists, you will need to put in the time and dedication. 

Experience Needed To Become A SMT Clinic Owner 

Experience Needed To pursue Sports massage therapist career opportunities

If you’re looking to own your own clinic, you will likely already hold a sports massage therapy qualification.

Whilst you won’t need any additional qualifications to open a practice of your own, you will need prior experience working in the industry. 

This will help to strengthen your overall performance in the role and increase the likelihood of your business becoming a success.

For example, from working in the industry you will have:

  • A great understanding of how the SMT industry works
  • Theoretical knowledge relating to treatments for clients
  • Honed practical skills that can improve the health of your clients
  • Experience working with a large number of clients

With this practical experience under your belt, you’ll have practical skills and theoretical knowledge to pull from when running your own business.

How Much Can You Earn Owning Your Own SMT Practice?

jobs for sports massage therapists relax

Your final salary is ultimately determined by the success of your practice, as there is no fixed rate for business owners.

Unlike other examples on this list, you won’t have to split your time between two occupations when pursuing these career opportunities for a sports massage therapist, as owning an SMT clinic will be your full time profession.

For this reason, we have chosen to specifically investigate the salary of a full-time sports massage therapist. According to Payscale, this can range between £19k-£75k a year:

Payscale sports massage therapist career opportunities price

Therefore, if your business is successful you could potentially earn a lucrative salary that can then be distributed between your personal and professional expenses. 

It may take several years to earn a salary as large as £75k per year, as you will be able to charge more as you gain further experience.

Before You Go!

As you can see from this list, there are many sports massage therapist career opportunities available to explore, and you’re sure to find a progression route that interests you.

Feeling inspired? Take the next step in your fitness career today by completing a Level 3 Personal Trainer course with OriGym.

Or check out the range of fitness courses by downloading our free course prospectus here.  

Written by James Bickerstaff

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

James holds a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Film Studies and has recently gained a MA degree in Film, both of which he attained from Liverpool John Moores University. After taking up the couch to 5K challenge on a whim, James found a new passion for running, which he combines with his love for healthy cooking and writing. All of this led him to becoming a copywriter for OriGym.  

When he is not writing content for the site, James can be found researching new recipes, writing music reviews, reading and watching latest film releases.   

Recommended Posts

Essential Sports Massage Equipment Checklist

Essential Sports Massage Equipment Checklist 

As a newly qualified masseur, it’s essential to have the right sports massage equipment. These pieces can make or break your business, …
7 Advantages Of Being A Sports Massage Therapist

7 Advantages Of Being A Sports Massage Therapist 

When we’re seeking a career in SMT, it’s absolutely essential we consider all the advantages of being a sports massage therapist …
How To Write A Sports Massage Business Plan

How To Write A Sports Massage Business Plan 

If you want to know how to set up a sports massage business in the UK, the first thing you’ll need is a good sports massage business p …

Download Your FREE Guide to Getting Sports Massage Clients

Image of sports massage therapist treating a client's shoulder

Download Your FREE Guide to Getting Sports Massage Clients

Image of sports massage therapist treating a client's shoulder