In the 34 years of my existence, I have already worked in a lot of companies. I remember my first job. I was an Internet attendant, helping customers who don’t know how to use the Internet and the computer during that time. I have come a long way since then. I became an SEO specialist (website rank builder), call center agent, restaurant manager and so on and so forth. But I would like to compare the two most recent jobs that I have had, Massage Therapist on the cruise ships and Nurse Assistant at the hospital. I would like to compare the two professions with the following key points; salary, education/training, and the lifestyle.

  These two jobs require a different amount of time needed to train or study. Nursing Aide is focused more on classroom lessons with hands-on learning, while a massage therapist requires more hands on training. To be able to work for the cruise lines, a person should be a licensed massage therapist. That involves 9 to 12 months of massage school, in depth knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal system and a natural ability to communicate to people. After schooling you have to take a massage therapy board examinations then, he or she should complete the safety of life at sea training for seafarers. This consists of basic firefighting, basic life support and the proficiency in survival craft and rescue boat. This training will take another 2 to 3 months. After that, you get your seaman’s book and get a passport before you can apply to the cruise ship manning agencies. The main employer for spas in cruise lines is Steiner LTD.  They are a London based company that contracts almost the entire cruise ships spa at seas.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, there are more than 360 accredited massage schools here in the US alone; massage therapist have an average of 642 hours of initial training. The vast majority of massage therapists (92 percent) have taken continuing education classes. Massage therapists take an average of 21 hours of continuing education per year. 2012 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet — American Massage Therapy Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from

To become a Nurse Aide, on the other hand, you need to be trained at an accredited training center or school for Nursing Assistants. The course lasts around 2 to 3 months. It consists of training on how to work at a hospital setting, basic care of patients, dementia care, sanitation, aseptic technique and a lot more. They should be able to take the state board examinations for Nursing Assistants after they have completed their training.  Upon passing the Nurse Assistant State test, that is the time that they could apply either on the hospital setting, nursing home or private in home care facility. Applying for a Nursing Aide position in Louisville depends on where you want to be employed. If you are thinking of applying to a hospital, it will take some time and also some connections to be able to land that job. Working for a nursing home or private home care will be the easiest to apply to. They are in constant need to quality Nurse Assistants or care givers. In 2004, there were 1.4 million nurses assistants employed in the US. Nurse assistants and CNAs are employed in a variety of facilities including
hospitals, clinics, and home care.
The job growth for Nurse Assistants is faster than average, with an expected growth of 20% or more by 2020. A total of more than 300,000 additional employees will be needed. There are excellent employment opportunities for Nurse Assistants across the nation. Nurse Assistant Training & Caregiving Classes | NAT, CNA | American Red Cross. (n.d.). Retrieved from

 The salary is also the biggest factor in choosing a job. Both jobs have huge differences in salaries. Nurse Aide jobs have fixed income while working with the cruise ships as a massage therapist your salary is up to the services you do in a day, tips you receive and the commissions from the services and products you sell to the guests.

Being a massage therapist on board a cruise liner is probably one of the highest paid jobs there is. A bad massage therapist would probably earn from $200-$500 per week while a good massage therapist can earn as much as $1400 per week. Of course, it would also depend on a few factors like the length of the cruise, where the ship would sail and the demographics. Shorter cruises, could earn you more money than a longer cruise. There are a lot of perks in working on a cruise ship. One of them is free travel. You can visit different places around the world for free. You pay no rent and utilities. Food is free, and it is available 24/7. There is a crew hospital in case you get sick. The downside is, there is no health insurance, 403 retirement benefits, disability pay or even life insurance. Once you are done, you are officially done. So when you are thinking of quitting this job, you better have a lot of savings in the bank to do other things aside from massage therapy.

 Being a Nurse Aide, on the other hand, is more rewarding. The salary is not as big as what you could earn while working as a massage therapist on a cruise ship, but it is constant and recurring. You know what you would get every payday. The good thing about working a land-based job, in a hospital in particular, are the benefits. You would be paid for your overtime, holiday pay, sick pay and paid time off. There are also a lot of benefits like health insurance for you and your family, 403k retirement savings, education benefits, life insurance and a lot more.  The Nurse Aide that works at a hospital has a base salary of  $12, and if you work nights, there is a differential pay. Working on a cruise ship as a massage therapist would earn you a lot of money but it is not permanent, and they won’t offer you the benefits as what you would get if you work at a hospital being a Nurse Aide.

  The lifestyle of both jobs is hugely different from one another. Working on a cruise ship would be like the most amazing time of your life while working as a Nurse Aide would be a more rewarding experience.

  Working on a cruise ship is like a dream come true. It has its own nightmares, but it also has its best moments. Spa managers onboard would push their therapist to retail products, and that makes the stress level of the therapist very high. The guest is mostly nice because most of them are educated and rich, although you could occasionally get the snobbish guests from time to time. After work is non stop partying. You can go out and explore the ports of call in the Caribbean like Aruba, Curacao, Jamaica and also see beautiful sceneries in ports of call in Alaska, Canada, Europe, Asia and a lot more.  Life in the ship is like a close-knit family. You will have your own set of friends and they will be like your family for the whole 9-month contract. Everybody knows everybody so that makes the bond closer. It could be a bit of a sad experience when some of your friends contract would finish and you would be staying for a few more months.  The crew bar is where the crew socializes and they sometimes held cabin parties, engine parties just about any party to ease the feeling of being homesick. On the positive note, you could send money to your loved ones back home and also save a lot as long as you don’t spend too much money while you are onboard the ship.

Being a Nurse Aide, on the other hand, is a more serious job. You need to have a lot of patience because the people you take care of are sick and not feeling well. At times because of their sickness, they can be mean and angry. It is a very rewarding career.  You have the satisfaction every day because you have helped a lot of people who needs you. Your job is to make them laugh, comfort them, make them feel better and somehow make them forget that they are sick. Being a Nurse Aide is also an excellent job if you want to venture into Registered Nursing because you already are hands on, and you could see what the Nurses do for the patients.

Cruise ship jobs particularly being a massage therapist onboard is more like an adventure. Working with different nationalities like the British, Irish, German, Romanians, Croatians and many more is like having the United Nations at sea. Visiting different countries is fun and exciting. Money is good, but you also tend to spend a lot in shopping at different ports, partying every night plainly to have a good time and socialize.

Being a Nurse Aide is more serious. It brings more meaning to your life and going on towards the road to maturity. To be able to help other people in need. Becoming a Nurse Aide is a very humbling experience. There will be times of being overly happy because every patient appreciates your work, but then only one patient can crush you and make you cry. Both professions have their own pros and cons, but it would probably depend on the persons priorities in life. In the cruise ships, you’ll be gone from your families for months some even years. Working on land, you still have the opportunity to better your life. It would depend on how hard you work and how successful you want to be.


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