Massage Therapist School

schools for massage therapy

The Variety of Educational Options in Massage Therapist School

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Choosing the right massage therapist school does not need to be difficult.  The most important factor to consider as you begin your research into different schools is to determine your needs and desires first.  You may want to consider the following questions:

  • Do you wish to pursue your massage therapy education on campus or online?
  • Do you want to study in your home state or in another location? 
  • Do you want massage therapy degree which is an actual college degree or is a certificate of completion enough? 
  • Do you wish to have a National Certification upon completion of your massage therapy education?

The answers to these questions will help you determine the right school for you.  Before we get started discussing schools there are a few things you need to understand about the requirements to practice as a massage therapist.

  • Every state, and many local communities, set their own Massage Therapist requirements.
  • Most choices of Massage Therapist School lead to a certificate of completion not a college degree.
  • A college degree is not required to practice as a massage therapist.
  • There is no national licensure or certification recognized by all states.

The important thing to remember from those statements is that you will need to check with your local state licensing board to determine the requirements to practice.

Find out what massage therapist school all about!

Schools for Massage Therapy – The On-Campus Opportunity
There are two categories of schools for massage therapy, online and on-campus.  In most respects the on-campus massage therapy training should be considered as your first choice.  The skills you learn with added hands-on opportunities plus the interpersonal skills learned in class can accelerate your success as a massage therapist.

Following is a list of some of the top massage therapy schools with on-campus programs:

  • Arizona School of Massage Therapy –  Arizona
  • Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy –  Michigan
  • Elgin Community College – Illinois
  • BlueSky School of Professional Massage – Wisconsin
  • Morton College – Illinois
  • Mount Wachusett Community College – Massachusetts
  • Denver School of Massage Therapy – Colorado

This is just a short list of the excellent programs scattered around the USA.  All of these programs are accredited by the COMTA – Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.  This commission is working to bring more consistency into massage therapy education across the nation.

Search for a massage therapist school yourself!

 

All of the above schools offer programs which lead to a certificate of completion.  If you would prefer to have degree program the following schools should be considered:

  • Keiser University – Florida – Associate of Science Massage Therapy
  • Globe University – Minnesota – Associate in Applied Science in Massage Therapy
  • Daytona College – Florida – Associate of Science in Medical Therapeutic Massage
  • Pacific College of Oriental Medicine – Associate in Science Massage Therapy and Asian Bodywork

The programs granting an associate degree consistently train additional modalities of massage along with providing a more balanced educational program.  The other major difference is in the amount of time required to complete the course.  Most certificate programs are completed in 9 to 12 months, while the Associate Degree programs required 2 years.

Massage Therapy Education

Online Massage Therapy Schools

For online massage therapy schools we are only going to mention two schools, even though many others exist.  Here are two online schools you could consider:

  • U.S. Career Institute
  • Ashworth

This list is being limited for only one reason, your own future.  Many career choices can be learned online without any problems, but massage therapy is not one of them.  You can learn an overview of techniques, but without thorough clinical studies and hands-on training you can never master the various modalities of massage and advanced techniques.

Before choosing online courses always evaluate on-campus programs and explore the options for distance learning to reduce your time on-campus.  A massage therapy career is a 100% hands-on career and should be learned in the same manner.

Massage Therapy Courses – What to Expect in Your Educational Journey

As you review various options for your massage therapist school you will notice many classes which are common in all programs.  These would include classes like:

Then you begin separating quickly into the different modalities and techniques of massage.  You will discover some schools specialize in only a few modalities where others offer a wide range.  The number of different styles of massage you learn can aid in increasing your income and value to your clients.  These are some of the most common modalities taught in massage therapy courses:

Prenatal massage therapy education

  • Chair Massage
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Infant Massage
  • Reflexology
  • Shiatsu
  • Swedish Massage
  • Trigger Point Therapy

More advanced techniques, commonly taught in the Associate Degree programs include:

  • Lymphatic Drainage Massage
  • Medical Massage
  • Movement Therapies
  • Orthopedic Massage
  • Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy

While evaluating your options for your ideal massage therapist school watch for how many of these massage techniques they offer.

Income Differences – How To Increase Your Massage Therapy Salary

Massage Therapist School

The reason it is critical to expand your number of modalities and techniques comes down to one simple fact.

You can earn a higher income by having additional skills.  Certain forms of massage are ideal for certain conditions and not suited for others.

By having a well-rounded and thorough knowledge of massage techniques you can offer services to a higher number of clients and increase your income.

With proper promotion and client satisfaction ratings your massage therapy salary could quickly move to the upper tier of sports medicine salary.  The salary of a massage therapist can range from $40,000/year to over $80,000/year for full-time practitioners.

The difference in income can be associated to difference in education and certification in many cases.  The associate degree programs offer you greater opportunities in health care and corporate positions.  Become certified through either of the following boards can enhance your career:

  • National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork – NCBTM Certification Exam
  • Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards – MBLEx Licensing Exam

The MBLEx Licensing Exam is rapidly growing in acceptance by state licensing boards and may replace the NCBTM exam in the near future.  Check your choice of schools relationship to either of these exams.  Some programs offer study assistance and include taking one or both exams as part of their tuition.

In the end, the most important factor to consider is your ability to practice in your state of choice.  Review the requirements for your state closely and then you can make a wise choice in choosing the right massage therapist school.