Florida School of Massage Therapy graduates Steve Valiquette, 53, and his daughter Katie Mossor, age 23, attending and graduating from school together had many benefits, including carpooling.
“I drove us the entire year we we
nt to Cortiva. I put 44,000 miles on my car just for school!” jokes Steve. Both father and daughter graduated with Massage Therapy certificates and hope to combine their skills by working together whenever possible at special events like wedding parties.
For father Steve, having his daughter with him made the school experience very special. “It’s been fantastic to have her by my side everyday, learning and sharing,” he says. Steve hopes to take his massage therapy skills and enhance them by studying energy and cranial sacral work. He’s also hoping to take his massage therapist skills to dental practices to help keep patients calm and enhance their overall experience.
Daughter Katie was attracted to the field of professional massage therapy by “the connection you make with your clients — and how you can help their well-being. It’s powerful.” Happy with the support and training she received at Cortiva, says Katie, “I’m pleased that people are giving me a chance to show how I can help improve their lives through massage therapy.”
Massage therapy remains a fast-growing field, even in these tough economic times. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook states that employment for massage therapists is expected to increase 19 percent through 2018, faster than average for all occupations.
For many career changers like Steve, massage therapy tops the list for realizing monetary and spiritual rewards within a manageable time frame. The profession seems a natural fit for career changers. In fact, many massage therapists are in their 40s, and have entered the profession as a second career, according to the American Massage Therapy Association.
As a career changer, Steve worked in advertising and marketing as well as I.T. before deciding to pursue a career as a professional massage therapist. “I just recently received my license. My business cards haven’t even arrived yet. I can’t wait to get started,” he says.