Complete A Therapeutic Massage Program
If you have a high school diploma and an interest in massage, youre qualified to enter a Massage Therapy program. Typically, a diploma in Massage Therapy takes around 15 months and can be completed at a vocational or career training college.
At IBMC College, the Therapeutic Massage diploma program can be completed in as little as 10 months. Thats because the college is career-focused and doesnt require fluff classes that dont relate to Massage Therapy. Students can skip the extra courses in unrelated subjects required by many community colleges.
Your program of study should include courses like anatomy and physiology, therapeutic massage, and clinical massage applications. Be sure to ask your admissions representative what classes are required for graduation from the program.
Q How Much Does It Cost To Become A Massage Therapist
The cost of to become a Massage Therapist really depends on the program that you enroll in.
Some programs give you an Associatess degree, which can cost around $5,000.
Other programs can cost around $1,000.
The licensing exam will cost around $200-$300.
Youll also be required to renew licensure every 2-5 years.
Learn About Your Earning Potential
Of course, another important consideration is how much you can make once you start working as a massage therapist. As with most other careers, the salary you can expect to earn varies widely depending on factors such as where you live, what type of massage you practice, how much experience you have, and the setting in which you work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapists across the country earn a median annual income of $43,620 in 2020. There may be some discrepancy in salary due to the fact that most massage therapists work part-time and, if self-employed, dont get paid for the non-massage activities involved in running a practice. The best way to up your earning potential is to get training in as many specializations as possible so that you can provide services for the widest range of clients. Youll likely earn more as you gain more experience, since youll be building a reputation and a base of repeat clients. Understand the work settings that tend to pay the most and, if theyre right for you, seek employment that takes you to these places. Massage therapists who pay visits to clients homes or work for resorts and cruise ships tend to the make the most per hour, while those working in massage therapy franchises or chains make the least.
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What Kind Of Education Do You Need To Be A Massage Therapist
Massage therapists provide treatments designed to help clients relax, reduce tension, ease pain or recover from injuries. Most massage therapists rely only on touch, using their fingers and hands to knead muscles or joints, although the elbows and forearms may also be used. In most areas, the practice of massage therapy is regulated at either the local or state level. Educational requirements vary by location, but typically include post-secondary training as a licensing requirement.
Job Outlook And Earnings
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the massage therapist occupation will grow 20 percent between 2010 and 2020, faster than the overall 14 percent projected for the nation as a whole. This translates to 30,900 new jobs for massage therapists. Growth should be fueled by an increase in new spas and massage clinics, as well as an aging population that has begun to accept massage therapy as a way of improving health. As of May 2012, the BLS reported that massage therapists earned an average of $40,350 per year, with the top-10 percent earning $70,140 or more.
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What Are The Prerequisites For Attending Massage Therapy School
Most schools of massage therapy require enrollees to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
However, many people enter the massage therapy profession as a second or third career, or after retiring from another field. Having education and experience beyond high school can greatly enrich what you bring to your massage career.
While schools may not conduct criminal background checks on their applicants, many states do require criminal background checks in order for you to obtain a professional massage therapist license.
If there is any reason you feel you might not pass a background check, it is best to bring it up at the time you enroll so you can avoid graduating from a school but being barred from licensing.
Another thing thats not necessarily a prerequisite, but is definitely something you should know before choosing this path, is that a career as a professional massage therapist can be very physically demanding.
Doing too many massages too often for too long, performing massage without practicing proper body mechanics or skimping on self-care can easily result in injuring yourself.
Staying in good physical shape, working out and stretching, maintaining a healthy diet, getting your own massages regularly, and being vigilant about using proper form and posture when you work will help you extend your career and get the most out of your massage education investment.
Speaking of your massage education investment:
Massage Therapy Education Levels
There are three different levels of massage therapy education. They include:
Diploma and Certificate ProgramsThese types of programs are very focused on the basic knowledge and skills you need to become a practicing massage therapist. In a diploma or certificate program you are likely to learn about different massage techniques, anatomy and physiology, and business courses that will help you understand the administrative side of the field.
Associate DegreeBecause this is a general education degree, youll find that the curriculum will typically have requirements that are not massage therapy-specific. In addition to the types of courses you might find in a certificate program, you will also be required to take courses in English, psychology, and sociology, among other general electives.
Advanced DegreesGraduate level degrees in massage therapy are uncommon, but it is possible to find masters-level programs in somatic psychotherapy that combine bodywork with counseling skills. There are currently no doctorate programs in massage therapy in the U.S.
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Getting Licensed And Certified
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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It Is Great You Are Considering Massage Therapy As A Professional Career
As a healthcare profession, massage therapy is based on the health sciences. Graduates complete studies in a number of areas including physiology, human anatomy, musculoskeletal anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, assessment and treatment planning, massage theory and techniques, communication skills, ethics, professionalism and more.
The Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba supports a minimum entry-to-practice education of two or three years of academic and practical/clinical education based on an approved curriculum.
Any school you are considering will follow the National Competency Standards for Massage Therapists and the associated performance indicators for those who want to practice in Canada.
The MTAM also supports the national expectation that students of massage therapy do not practice unsupervised until they have graduated. This is for the safety of the student, the client and it shows respect for the minimum standards of the profession.
Similar Jobs In This Industry
There are no specific requirements to become a massage therapist.
However, Massage New Zealand recommends minimum requirements of:
- a certificate in therapeutic massage from an approved provider
- a first aid certificate.
There are two degrees available in massage therapy:
- New Zealand College of Massage Bachelor of Health Studies
- Southern Institute of Technology Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage.
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Is Continuing Education Required Once Im Licensed
As with initial licensing requirements, the amount and type of continuing education you need varies by state.
Some states require both a certain number of hours of continuing education, and education in certain areasfor example, on the subject of ethics or HIPAA compliance.
For full details on the continuing education you need and how often it must be completed, contact the massage therapy board of the state in which you practice.
Depending on your career aspirations, you may choose to take continuing education above and beyond what your state requires. Such massage education can allow you to expand the modalities you offer, reach a new clientele or become eligible to work in a different type of environment.
For example, training in oncology massage might enable you to offer special massage sessions to cancer patients, market your practice exclusively to this population, or obtain a job offering massage in a hospitals oncology department.
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork offers a Board Certification program for therapists who want to distinguish themselves in the field of massage therapy. Board Certification, states the NCBTMBs website, is the highest voluntary credential attainable in the massage therapy and bodywork profession with a distinct level of achievement beyond entry-level licensure.
How Long Does Massage Therapy School Takeand What Will I Study
Again, this partially depends on how many hours your state requires for licensing, as well as how many hours you take at a time. Most massage schools offer a choice of day or evening programs, which may have different starting and ending dates.
Massage therapy programs range in length from several months to two years, said Sohnen-Moe.
Beyond learning and practicing massage techniques, you will also study the history and origins of massage anatomy and physiology pathology kinesiology contraindications to massage business ethics and self-care, among other topics.
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What Happens After I Complete The Program
After you complete this program, you’ll be eligible to take an exam administered by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
After you pass the exam, you may submit your application to be a Licensed Massage Therapist in South Carolina. You will need to renew your license every two years by taking 12 hours of continuing education courses.
Please note that a criminal record may prevent you from finding employment in this field.
How Do I Become A Massage Therapist
Thinking about starting a career in massage therapy? Its important to know that its a multistep process that comes with certain educational requirements. Both private and public postsecondary schools both offer programs in massage therapy, and you usually need at least a high school diploma or GED to get into these programs. A few programs confer bachelors degrees, but most are at the certificate and associates degree level. Some certificate programs may last up to two years, but most require less than one. An associates degree is completed in two years and a bachelors degree in four.
Programs primarily cover the hands-on techniques of a given massage modality. Techniques can include soothing, tapping and kneading strokes as in Swedish massage, or direct pressure, friction slides, and slow strokes as in deep muscle massage. Courses may also include healthy living practices, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, business management, and professional ethics. Electives might include pregnancy and labor massage, sports massage, or stone massage. Some may also touch on aromatherapy, homeopathy, herbalism, meditation, tai chi, and yoga.
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How Much Does Massage School Cost
Massage school tuition varies dramatically based on the type of degree or certification youre seeking. Even among massage-specific educational tracks, the difference in cost can be huge. For instance, annual tuition for a massage therapy certification for the 2018-2019 academic year is $11,700 at the Healing Mountain Massage School in Salt Lake City, Utah, while an associate degree in massage therapy costs $27,102 a year from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California.
Science And Math Classes
While it is not so obvious that you should take math and science classes it is really important to do so. When you join a training program after high school the vast majority of the classes will be anatomy physiology and other related classes that are based in math and science. Also math and science classes are the classes that most colleges recommend to their prospect students.
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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.
How To Become A Massage Therapist: The Definitive Guide
Do your friends go to you when they have a kink in their neck?
Do you enjoy relaxing people?
Are you always making sure that you stretch before exercise?
With the help of massage therapy, people are finding that life is much better limber.
As a Massage Therapist, you can learn how to manipulate your clients bodies to relieve aches and pains, as well as help with their posture and to promote health.
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Massage Therapist Job Growth Salary & Outlook
Massage therapists face good starting salaries and a phenomenal career growth rate.
The median annual salary for massage therapists in 2018 was $41,420 and the field is expected to grow by 26% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average rate.
Moreover, massage therapy offers a very flexible job environment on account of the per-client nature of the work and the fact that many professionals are self-employed.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Massage Therapist
Being a massage therapist is an exciting and meaningful career path. Your anatomical knowledge and manual manipulation skills will allow you to make a serious difference in the way your clients feel both physically and emotionally. Massage therapy can be used to alleviate stress, reduce pain and discomfort and even improve a persons general physical health. Even though a career as a massage therapist might seem like a good fit, you may be wondering how long it would take for you to become one. What are your options after you graduate from a vocational school and are certified? Lets take a look at how long it will take you to complete your massage school training and some of the things it will take for you to have a long, successful career as a massage therapist.
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Once I Graduate What Do I Need To Practice Massage Therapy Legally
Graduating from massage therapy school is just the beginning. To practice legally, youll need to get licensed in any state in which you will practice.
The first step to licensure is to graduate from an accredited massage therapy school with at least the minimum number of hours your state requires. For example, the state of Illinois requires graduation from a program of at least 600 hours, whereas Florida requires a minimum 500-hour program.
Once you graduate, you will have to take and pass the MBLEx, or whatever exam your state mandates.
Once you pass your licensing exam, you will submit an application and pay a licensing fee to your states massage therapy board, or whichever government entity handles massage licensing in your state. Most states also require fingerprinting or a criminal background check many also require you to carry professional liability insurance, which will protect you from financial loss in the event that you are sued by a client. See our Massage Liability Insurance Resource Center for helpful information on choosing a policy.
For full, detailed licensing requirements, you will need to consult the website of the massage therapy board of the state in which you want to practice.