How to Become a Massage Therapist

Learn how to become a massage therapist. Find information on programs, training, certification, job growth and salary. View popular massage therapy schools that prepare students for careers as massage therapists.

Education

Students wishing to become massage therapists may choose to enroll in career diploma, certificate, or associate degree programs. The curriculum within a massage therapy program may include a combination of core massage therapy classes and general education courses. These courses may teach students various massage techniques, proper massage table hygiene procedures, and basic business skills. Presently, most states require some form of formal training in order to practice massage therapy. Popular massage therapy courses may include the following:

  • Soft Tissue Release
  • Sports Massage Therapy
  • Kinesiology
  • Swedish Massage Therapy
  • Practice Management
  • Clinical Practice

Training

Massage therapy programs may require students to complete 500 hours or more of study and internship experience during training. During these internships, students may learn important skills, including empathy, decision-making, and time-management. Additionally, students may experience the physical strength and dexterity required of massage therapists on a daily basis. Massage therapy training may also help students develop the communication skills needed to provide clients with detailed treatment plans prescriptive to their needs.

License & Certification

Graduates of massage therapy programs may be required to obtain professional certification in order to be eligible for employment as a massage therapist. Students may take either the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination or the National Verification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. These exams are given on a state-by-state basis, and each state may prefer a particular examination. Those wishing to become a practitioner of massage must also ensure all legal requirements are met for the locality in which they plan to practice.

Job Outlook & Salary

Upon graduation of online massage therapy programs, students may find careers working in massage clinics, spas, fitness centers, chiropractor’s offices, and hotels. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for those pursuing a career as a massage therapist are expected to increase by 20% from 2010-2020. The BLS also reported the median salary for massage therapists as $34,900 annually and the median hourly wage of $16.78 as of 2012.

Recommended Schools

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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
Locations:  Newport News

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