Massage Therapy School 101

Massage therapists provide important services in relieving stress and the pain associated with injuries. They are skilled in knowing exactly where to manipulate soft muscle tissue with their hands to provide this relief. Today, alternative medicine is becoming increasingly popular and massage therapists provide a natural way of providing relief from physical ailments.
Be sure to request information from more than one school in order to compare which program is best for you.

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Prepare for a Career That You Will Love … in Massage Therapy!

Do you want a career that offers the satisfaction of helping people and a work environment that is positive and exciting?  With the education you will receive at the Virginia School of Massage, that career can be yours. 

Programs:

  • Professional Massage Therapy Program
Locations: Charlottesville

Miller-Motte Technical College (MMTC) has a history of helping students succeed through hands-on education and career training. Our faculty and staff work to ensure that when you've completed your program, you're truly ready to begin your career.

Programs:

  • Massage Therapy - Diploma
Locations: LynchburgRoanoke

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Massage Therapy
Locations: Norfolk

Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!

Programs:

  • Massage Therapy - Associate's
Locations: Newport News

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.

Programs:

  • Massage Therapy Diploma
  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Massage Therapy

Virginia College  continues the tradition ofgiving lives new direction, fulfilling our mission statement tostudents wherever they live and offering the chance to pursue adegree while maintaining commitments to work and family.

Programs:

  • AAS - Occupational Therapy Assistant
Locations: Richmond

The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country (Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.) and online. TCSPP has been an innovator in the field of psychology and related behavioral science for more than 30 years. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs and a wealth of opportunities for international experiences.

Programs:

  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Locations: Washington

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology

At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:

  • Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
  • Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
  • Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).

Programs:

  • Nurse Educator Graduate Certificate
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Locations: Hagerstown

At a Glance

Massage Therapy SchoolsOther Job Titles: Licensed Massage Therapist
Salary Range:[1] 
$17,970-$69,000; Median $34,900/year; $16.78/hour
Education/Training Required:
High school education, completion of a massage therapy education program
Desired Skills/Aptitude:
Communication skills, physical strength, manual dexterity
Certification/Licensing:
Licensing varies by state; Certification by taking MBLEX or NCETMB
Locations with Best Opportunities:[2]
California, Florida, Texas, Washington, Arizona
Employment Outlook:
Growth of 20% through 2020 (faster than average)
Opportunities for Advancement:
Can become an athletic trainer, chiropractor, or physical therapist with continued education and a degree

What a Massage Therapist Does

Massage therapists focus on providing relief and boosting the wellness of their patients in several ways. Their techniques using touch relieve patients of pain, alleviate stress, relax, and provide non-pharmaceutical treatment for injuries. They do this by using their hands, fingers, and overall touch to work on the body’s soft muscle tissue. Their clients are oftentimes plagued by these ailments and look to the massage therapist to release them from the associated pain and discomfort.

The Workplace

Self-employment is common for massage therapists. Working this way provides them with a myriad of opportunities and you can find them roving to patient homes, offices, or opening up their own homes for services. Roving massage therapists will take all of the supplies they need such as body oils and lotions, pillows, and sheets.

Other workplaces that use massage therapists include hotels, chiropractor offices, wellness centers, and fitness centers. Oftentimes, therapists employed at these locations are part-time.

Massage therapists work in different settings such as well-lit or dimly-lit rooms. It depends on the type of treatment the client is receiving. For example, if the focus is to help the client relax, the room will probably have the lights dimmed along with soft music and aromatic candles. On the other hand, giving massage therapy in a fitness center would probably be well lit with the focus on preventing or treating an exercise or sports injury.

Being a massage therapist is not without its injury risk. It is for this reason that a person going into this field should be in good physical condition. The risk of injury for therapists mostly stems from repetitive motions used in the techniques if not done properly.

Education and Certification

Massage therapist training programs are available in post-secondary educational institutions. These training programs may require more than 500 hours for completion and produce a certificate. The curriculum in these training programs deals with the study of body movements and the physical human processes that allow for them (kinesiology). The curriculum will also include studies of the various tissues and organs in the human body. Furthermore, students receive instruction in ethics and become skilled in massage techniques with hands-on practice.

There are two certification tests recognized at the national level. The first is the Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) and the second is the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEX). Certification exams are taken after completing an accredited massage therapy training program.

The requirement for licensing of massage therapists is handled at the state level. Most states in the U.S. regulate massage therapists and require licensing. There may also be regulations that are in effect at the local level. It is best to check with your state to get the specific requirements.

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[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Massage Therapists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/massage-therapists.htm

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Massage Therapists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319011.htm