Massage Therapist Training Schools & Degree Programs

Massage therapy continues to see a rise in employment opportunities today as more people begin to realize the benefits of the therapy on increased health, improved concentration and general overall well being.

Massage Therapy Schools By State

Alabama Alaska
Arizona Arkansas
California Colorado
Connecticut Delaware
Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana
Iowa Kansas
Kentucky Louisiana
Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan
Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana
Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota
Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania
Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah
Vermont Virginia
Washington West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming

Massage Therapy Schools In Phoenix, AZ
Massage Therapy Schools in Tucson, AZ
Massage Therapy Schools in San Diego, CA
Massage Therapy Schools In Colorado Springs, CO
Massage Therapy Schools In Denver, CO
Massage Therapy Schools In Las Vegas, NV
Massage Therapy Schools In Albuquerque, NM
Massage Therapy Schools In Houston, TX
Massage Therapy Schools In Seattle, WA

Training Requirements

Massage therapy currently has many different requirements depending on the therapists location. Currently most of the boards overseeing massage therapy require the therapists to complete a formal education program and pass the national certification examination or a state exam. Certain state regulations require that therapists continually update their education. Since there is no national requirements, it is best to check for information on a location basis rather than overall.

Approximately 1,300 massage therapy schools, college programs, and training programs throughout the country. These programs generally cover subjects such as physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, ethics, business, and provide practice of massage techniques. Training programs may concentrate on certain modalities, or specialties of massage.

All of these programs vary in accreditation. Most massage therapy training programs are accredited by a state board or other accrediting agency. Of the many different massage therapy programs available, approximately 300 are accredited by a State board or department of education certified accrediting agency. In the states that regulate massage therapy, graduation from an approved school or training program is generally required to practice massage therapy.

Areas of Practice

Massage therapists can specialize in more than 80 different types of massage which are known as modalities. Deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, reflexology, sports massage, acupressure, and neuromuscular massage are just a of the different modalities of massage therapy. Many practicing massage therapists specialize in several different modalities, usually requiring different techniques. A massage can be as long as two hours or as short as five or ten minutes. Normally the type of massage given depends on the client’s physical condition and needs. For instance, a massage therapist would not use the same technique on an athlete that they would use on an elderly patient. Techniques used on patients seeking relaxation would not be appropriate usually for people with injuries. Some modalities of massage are used strictly for one group of clients, such as infant massage.

Employment Opportunities

Because massage therapy is a physically demanding job, many therapists do not work what is typically considered full time. Generally between 15 and 20 hours a week is considered full time for massage therapists. Many are self employed either owning their own business or working as subcontractors within offices of chiropractors, physicians, sports medicine doctors and physical therapy sites. It is not uncommon for a massage therapist to travel from location to location in order to provide massages. Many often visit their client’s homes to provide massages.

As people realize the benefits of massage therapy, the field is growing rapidly. An increased interest in holistic medicine is also creating more job opportunities for massage therapists as well. Another area where massage therapists are finding work is as a subcontractor with employee friendly corporations who have begun offering on the job massages to their employees as a benefit. This helps reduce stress and increase productivity in many cases.*

Most massage therapists that are just starting out can expect to earn around $12 per hour. In some areas, massage therapists make as little as $8 per hour and in others make around $24 an hour. However, as they build their client base and gain reputation, the earnings can be expected to increase quickly. Referrals make up a large part of a massage therapist’s clientele, therefore an established client base can easily become their sole source of income. Many massage therapists make about 20% of their yearly income in tips from satisfied customers, although in a medical setting such as a hospital tipping is generally not done.*

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Other Opportunities

Because a massage therapist can easily move from place to place, the employment field offers a wide variety of opportunities for them. A massage therapist could be self employed, providing massages in a client’s home or could be stationery and work as a subcontract for a chiropractor or some other specialist. Physical therapy is an area where many massage therapists get a start on their profession. As doctors and insurance companies realize the benefits of massage therapy, it is becoming more and more commonly prescribed as treatment and covered by insurance. In addition to the faster recovery time, the relaxation received through massage therapy can help with one’s emotional well being as well. It has been shown to be helpful to the elderly by decreasing illness and increasing energy levels, which is helpful for the older adults wishing to live an active lifestyle.

A massage therapist can easily change their specialty as well through very little retraining. Once certified as a massage therapist, the technique used can be changed and updated whenever necessary. If one chooses to go between sports medicine and infant massage, one can do so.

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