I took classes on massage therapy and really did like it. I did it to save myself some money on the actual massages as I had a horse that needed them quite frequently. I also felt that it was hippy nonsense...it really isnt.
It really depends on the area. In my area there are a few reaaaaly good massage therapists that have been doing it for years but if I wanted to do it for money, I doubt I would have a huge problem getting clients. I don't because my *real* job pays enough to keep me floating...and leaves me without any extra time for side jobs. If, on occasion, I would have someone ask to do a massage, I do it for a reduced rate. Though I am very experienced with it (you should see my forearms! LOL) it takes me a while to get into a groove with a horse to know where to look for problem areas. I charge $35 a session. Most charge $50 a half hour and if your horse needs more...it costs more.
The good thing is, its relativly easy to learn. When I went to classes a few years back there was not 'certification' of massage therapy. This is where things get tricky. Your competition has either been to a long, extensive class and learned everything the correct way. Or they picked up a book on amazon
.com and learned on their own. Both can be good massage therapists.
If you were looking into it as a career, know that you will have to really sell yourself. You said you were curious as to if it was hippy nonsense...most of the world thinks it is. Its your job to not only convince them otherwise...but to charge them to convince them.
Hope this helped!