Animal Massage Therapist: Salary, Duties and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an animal massage therapist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and state regulations to find out if this is the career for you.

View 1 Popular School »

Essential Information

Animal massage therapists work with domesticated pets, show horses, therapy dogs and other animals that could benefit from muscle massage. Many therapists specialize in a particular type of animal. Animal massage is often taught through certificate programs that focus on animal physiology, kinesiology and safe handling of the animal as well as massage techniques. Regulations for animal massage therapy vary by state; individuals interested in this field should check with their state's veterinary board for licensure requirements.

Required Education Certificate or training program in animal massage therapy
Other Requirements Endorsement or licensing requirements vary by state
Projected Job Growth15% for all animal care and service workers from 2012-2022*
Median Salary $19,910 for all nonfarm animal caretakers (2013)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary for Animal Massage Therapists

Salary information specific to animal massage therapists is not currently available. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), animal service providers in a non-farm environment earned a median annual salary of $19,910 as of May 2013 (www.bls.gov). The middle half of employees in this group earned between $17,880 and $24,650, or $8.59 and $11.85 hourly.

Animal Massage Therapist Job Duties

Animal massage therapists apply massage techniques to animals to improve circulation, reduce inflammation or swelling, and improve the animal's overall health. An animal massage therapist should have love and empathy for animals and a desire to alleviate their physical pain. It's possible for an animal massage therapist to specialize in one particular animal; two common options are dogs and horses. A massage therapist must be knowledgeable in the anatomy of a particular animal before providing massage therapy to that animal.

Licensing requirements for animal massage therapists vary by state, with qualifying practice hours ranging from 100-500. Animal massage therapy might be part of regular veterinary medicine licensure in some states, while others have no explicit requirements. Regulations might be dictated by the same state organization that oversees massage therapy for humans. Training and certificate programs are available and might be required for animal massage practitioners. These include a combination of coursework and contact hours.

Career Outlook for Animal Massage Therapists

According to the BLS, job opportunities for animal care and service workers were expected to grow 15% from 2012-2022. This is slightly faster than the average for all professions, partially due to the fact that both pet ownership and pet owners' disposable incomes are expected to increase.

Animal massage specialists might be able to find work with police and military dogs, race horses, work horses, or other animals that are physically active. Other clients might include personal pets, especially those that are aging.

Show me popular schools

Related to Animal Massage Therapist: Salary, Duties and Outlook

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Top School in Pittsburgh to Become a Massage Therapist

Students who are interested in studying massage therapy in Pittsburgh, PA, have many schools to choose from. Read about one top...

Top College in Westminster, CO, for Massage Therapist Classes

Students interested in studying massage therapy near Westminster, Colorado, have roughly eight schools to choose from. Read...

Top School in Sacramento for Becoming a Massage Therapist

Sacramento has few schools with programs in massage therapy. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings,...

Massage Therapist: Career Profile & Occupational Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a massage therapist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as...

Masseuse: How to Become a Massage Therapist

Popular School

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • New York (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Animal Services
        • Equine Studies
  • School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Minnesota include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
      • Animal Services
        • Equine Studies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Massachusetts Amherst include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Agriculture Production
      • Animal Science
      • Animal Services
        • Equine Studies
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
  • School locations:
    • North Dakota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at North Dakota State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Agriculture Production
      • Animal Science
      • Animal Services
        • Equine Studies
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Johnson & Wales University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Services
        • Equine Studies
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Petroleum Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Engineering Physics
      • Math

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics