Continuing Education Requirements For Massage Therapists
Whether youre licensed or board-certified, theres a good chance you need to complete some CEs every now and then.
Continuing education courses serve to help massage therapists brush up on skills, learn something new, and review policies pertaining to ethics, privacy, and good business practice.
You can find massage therapy continuing education courses on all kinds of topics: massage techniques, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, therapy history, population studies, ethics, self-care, and even taxes.
Practicing As A Massage Therapist
What Does A Massage Therapist Actually Do
A massage therapist is a trained, licensed professional that practices the manual, or hands-on, movement of soft body tissues. Soft body tissues include muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments.
People seek massage therapy for a variety of reasonsincluding to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles, rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain, and promote overall health and wellness.
In fact, massage therapy is a growing field within healthcare.
Be aware that educational programs vary in their emphasis on massage therapy as a form of healthcare. At NWHSU, for example, students are prepared to be healthcare professionals who provide massage therapy as part of an integrative healthcare team.
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Training Information & Types Of Massage Therapy Degrees
The two major kinds of degrees for massage therapists are certificate programs and associates level programs.
Nearly every state requires massage therapists to have a formal education.
Certificate programs focus on training students to pass any licensing exams while associates degree programs serve largely the same purpose but also train students in the more technical and mechanical aspects of massage therapy.
Many people who pursue an associates degree in massage therapy are current professionals who want to go back to school to increase their employment prospects.
Although the degree requirements differ from each other, most programs require about 500 collective hours of coursework and practical experience to graduate.
Option : Massage Therapy Certificate
The most basic educational option for prospective massage therapists is to complete a certificate program.
Certificate programs for massage therapy are offered at technical colleges, vocational schools, community colleges, and traditional universities.
Certificate programs seek to train students on the fundamentals of massage therapy, the basics of self-management and prepare them to pass any state licensing exams.
A normal certificate program takes about 1 year to complete, potentially longer is you study primarily part-time.
Many certificate programs require students to attend full-time.
Courses also involve practical labs where students get to practice massage therapy techniques on mannequins and actual clients.
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Ability To Work For You
One of the perks of pursuing massage therapy licensing is the opportunity to work for yourself if you so wish. Massage therapists can work independently and open their own practices as long as they have the right degree. This allows you to build your own client base and have flexibility in scheduling.
What Does A Massage Therapist Do
Massage therapists use physical touch to manipulate muscles and soft tissues in a process called massage. People seek massage for a variety of reasons, including:
- Relaxation and stress relief
- Injury prevention
- Improved circulation and overall health and well-being
Massages can range anywhere from 10 minutes on a specific body part, to 2 hours or longer for an all-over body massage. When a massage therapist meets with a client, the therapist will typically conduct an intake session. The therapist will ask the client why theyre seeking a massage and identify any sore or tender areas they have and any injuries the therapist should be aware of.
During the massage, the client may either be fully clothed or partially clothed, depending on preference. Some therapists will use tools like lotion, oil or hot stones during the massage.
With the clients goals and physical condition in mind, the massage therapist will massage the body to improve relaxation and relieve and prevent long-term pain. Massage therapists typically use their hands, while some may also use body parts such as elbows and feet to deliver massage. Massage therapists communicate with clients during the massage to ensure the session is pain-free.
After a massage session, the masseuse will provide the client with recommendations, which may include hydration, posture guidelines and stretching exercises. The therapist will also recommend an ongoing massage plan to help the client achieve their goals.
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Education For Massage Therapists
Education requirements for massage therapists vary greatly by state or locality. Education programs are typically found in private or public postsecondary institutions. Most programs require at least 500 hours of study for their completion some programs require 1,000 or more hours.
A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for admission to a massage therapy program. Programs generally include both classroom study and hands-on practice of massage techniques. Programs cover subjects such as anatomy physiology, which is the study of organs and tissues kinesiology, which is the study of motion and body mechanics pathology, which is the study of disease business management and ethics.
Programs may concentrate on certain modalities, or specialties, of massage. Several programs also offer job placement services and continuing education. Both full-time and part-time programs are available.
How To Become A Behavioral Therapist
Behavioral therapists help people overcome unhealthy behaviors that are self-destructive. Behavioral therapists typically treat people with cognitive disabilities, such as autism, to manage their behaviors, but may also work with people with obsessive-compulsive disorders or substance abuse issues .
Someone who wants to become a behavioral therapist should first earn a bachelors degree in psychology or a related field. After earning a bachelors degree, one can start working as a behavioral disorder counselor. In order to become a licensed behavioral therapist, one must earn their masters degree in psychology or counseling, and work towards licensure.
Licensing requirements vary by region, and similar to psychotherapy requirements, every state in the United States requires a masters degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience for behavioral therapist licensure.
For more information on behavioral therapists, visit this website.
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Attend And Graduate From A Board
Currently, massage therapy is licensed in North Carolina and regulated by The North Carolina Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy. To become a massage therapist in North Carolina, you have to complete at least 500 hours at a board-approved massage therapy school. Different schools offer programs ranging from 6 to 12 months, depending on if you choose to go full-time or part-time. When I was in massage school, it was a six-month program, Monday-Thursday, and cost $5000. Today it’s a lot more expensive, ranging from $8,500-$15,000 for tuition, which may or may not include books and supplies. There are grants and scholarships you can apply for, and if you are military or a military spouse, the Post 9/11 GI billwill pay for massage therapy tuition and supporting fees at an eligible school. So there are options out there to help pay for tuition, you just need to look.
What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Massage Therapist
Generally speaking, the basic steps to becoming a massage therapist involve:
- Completing coursework and hands-on massage training through a massage certification program.
- Passing a licensing examination.
- Applying for a license in the state or jurisdiction where you intend to practice.
Once youve gained these credentials, continuing education courses may be required to maintain your licensure.
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What Kinds Of Therapists Are There
Since therapists can help a wide variety of people, there are several specializations within the profession.
This includes psychotherapists, behavioral therapists, cognitive-behavioral therapists, interpersonal therapists, mindfulness-based therapists, recreational therapists, child therapists, marriage and family therapists, and occupational therapists.
Many of these therapist positions have similar educational and career paths, but some have specific requirements as well.
How Much Do I Earn As A Massage Therapist In Texas
Some massage therapists are able to earn a full-time salary working only part-time.
The annual mean salary for a massage therapist in Texas is $40,090 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries in the Lone Star State range from $17,500 to $67,520 before tips.
However, massage therapists who work in Corpus Christi have the opportunity to earn a higher salary, with the average for this city at $44,550 annually.
Texas ranks third in the nation for the highest employment of massage therapists. A career in massage therapy promotes health and healthier choices in massage clients.
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Preparing For Massage School: 7 Things To Know
If you’re considering going to massage school, you’ve probably got a long list of questions in your mind: Which are the best accredited massage therapy schools? How long is massage therapy school? What are the different types of massage therapy certifications? Or even should I go to massage school? Lets answer some questions to help you along your career journey. Here are the top seven things you need to know before going to massage school.
Complete A Therapeutic Massage Program:
Those interested in becoming massage therapists will need to complete a massage therapy program. According to Indeed.com, an accredited massage therapy program can range from 300 to 1,000 hours of instruction. However, many can complete the program in 35 weeks.
During the program, students will learn:
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General Massage Program Requirements
Ontario college massage programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent. Required credits may include grade 12 English and senior sciences, depending on the program.
Other non-academic requirements may include proof of immunization and vaccination, CPR training and a background check.
Education Required To Become A Psychologist
To put it simply, most psychologists have either a Ph.D. in psychology or a Psy.D., otherwise known as a Doctor of Psychology degree . To distinguish between the two, a Ph.D. is completed with research towards a dissertation, while a Psy.D. is based more on clinical work.
While all of these tracks require a bachelors degree, some psychologist jobs can be obtained with a masters degree without needing a higher degree.
Getting a Ph.D. or Psy.D. usually takes at least five years to complete. During this time there is generally a research or practicum component, and a required number of supervised clinical hours. This is the longest track to practicing as a therapist, but the job prospects are generally the best, as this is the highest credential one can earn.
Some types of psychologists require extra levels of education. For example, school psychologists might require an education specialist degree before they can start working in certain schools and includes a supervised internship consisting of over 1,000 hours of work. .
For more information on how to become a psychologist, have a look at our Positive Psychology Degree article.
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Your Next Step: Reach Out For More Information
Exploring the possibility of a massage therapy career is an exciting time! Youve just absorbed a lot of information on how to become a massage therapist. Want help putting it all in perspective? Do you have questions about your specific situation?
Reach out to NWHSU for personalized support on your path to becoming a massage therapist.
What If I Move States
Renewal discrepancies can pose a problem if you decide to move to a different state. You may be able to have your license endorsed if your previous states licensing requirements were equal to or exceeding your current states requirements. However, some states are very strict on this, so be sure to check with the state boards.
Youre not confined to one state, however it is possible to hold multiple licenses. So if you spend winters in Florida but summers in New York, a little extra CE research will ensure you can continue your practice wherever you go.
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Ability To Change Lives
Many massage therapists will say that the ability to improve the health of their clients is one of the biggest perks of the job. You can often get people enough flexibility and pain relief that they are able to move past serious injuries or ailments and get out of bed, walk more easily, alleviate headaches, and feel better overall. When people have less physical pain, their mental health often improves, as well.
Learn About The Career And Establish Goals
Massage Therapy is a great career path, but there are some important choices to make before entering the field. You dont have to have it all figured out beforehand, but its important to have goals.
Start by asking yourself what type of massage would you like to learn. There are dozens of different modalitiesincluding deep tissue, sports, Swedish and trigger point. Most Massage Therapists practice several, but only specialize in a few. Typically, youll learn many different styles during a Massage Therapy training program, so you dont have to know yet.
Then, ask yourself if you want to work as a solo practitioner, or for an established spa or massage business? While many Massage Therapists are self-employed, most began their careers as an employee for a couple of years. If you have aspirations of starting your own business, youll want to pick a career training program that emphasizes entrepreneurship.
Start considering these options before you enter a program so you can make sure youll learn what you need to achieve your goals.
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Pass The Massage Therapist Examination
Following your education in the profession of massage therapy, you will need to pass either the NCETMB or the MBLEx national certification examination.
Keep $87 for your examination fee.
There are testing locations throughout the country, and youll need to submit an application and a fee to be approved for testing.
The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination information can be found on the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards website.
How Long Would It Take To Become A Physical Therapist With A Massage Therapy License
The professions of physical therapy and massage therapy have a significant degree of overlap. Both are concerned with restoring a body’s full range of strength and motion, by treating conditions of the musculoskeletal system that impair mobility or muscular strength. Physical therapists can broaden their treatment options by also qualifying as massage therapists, while massage therapists can use their training as the foundation for a career in physical therapy. Qualifying in both can take seven to nine years.
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Online Massage Therapy Programs
There exist several massage therapy programs that will allow you to take the bulk of your course load online.
All massage therapy programs have practical in-person requirements so inline programs are normally supplemented with internships and hands-on training in local salons and schools.
Some online programs are even accredited so make sure to check the specifics of any online programs.
Average Massage Therapist Salary
In 2017, massage therapists took home a median salary of around $40,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics . A median wage represents the center of an occupations pay scale. Top earners made more than $77,000. Massage therapists working in chiropractic offices earned the highest incomes.
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Free Massage Class Introduction To Massage
Time: 10am-1pm Cost: FREE! Lunch included.Location: AMTB, 141 E. High St., Pottstown, PA 19464
Is a career in massage therapy right for you? The best way to find out is to have hands-on experience before enrolling in massage therapy school. This Free Massage Class, Introduction to Massage, can help you decide if a massage therapy career is in your future. In our intro class, youll learn more about the massage industry and careers, as well as what its like to be a massage therapist. Youll also learn about massage techniques, and well tell you about our curriculum and approach to massage therapy. Attending an intro class gives you an opportunity to see our school first-hand. You can also schedule a separate personal tour of the school and get any questions answered that you may have. Lunch will be provided!
In Summary Become A Massage Therapist:
Choosing a career in therapeutic massage is a smart way to enter the healthcare market. As long as you have a high school diploma and meet the criteria of the national certification board, you should have a distinguished career.
Many licensed massage therapists find it a rewarding career that enables you to learn various massage techniques and begin your successful massage therapy career.
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