Massage Therapy Schools: Get a Degree for Massage Therapy

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Massage Therapy Career Facts

Massage Therapist Degree: What Can You Expect

This page explains all the details you need to know about going to massage therapy school and getting your massage therapist license.

Most states require that massage therapists secure a license first before they can begin their practice. To secure a license, you must first complete the requisite number of hours of education and pass the MBLEx, the entry-level licensing test.

Each state has its own standards and requirements for issuing and renewing the massage therapist license. If you are transferring states, make sure you check the regulations to determine if you are legally qualified to practice in the new location.

We maintain a table that shows each state’s requirements for massage therapy licensing.


What Type of Training Will I Get in Massage Therapy Courses?

Massage therapy courses vary according to specialization. In the same vein, the type of training and theory you will study will also differ.

For instance, you will learn deep tissue, shiatsu, Swedish, reflexology, hot stone, and Thai massage, among others.

You will need further education if you intend on pursuing a specialization such as sports massage, pregnancy massage, or infant massage.

Most massage therapy courses will cover the following subjects:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology and pathology
  • Massage theories
  • Business license and licensing procedures
  • Limitations
  • Contraindications
  • Hygiene
  • Health benefits of massage
  • Ethics of the profession
  • Self-care
If you decide to specialize and further your education then you will take additional massage therapy courses covering your specialty.

How Long is Massage Therapy School?

Each state has a different standard on the minimum number of hours of training. On average, you are looking at 500 hours of training or up to 1,000 hours.

The training being offered also varies, taking into account the legal minimum number of hours by the state and how the course is structured.

In this regard, you can finish the training in as short as a few weeks or a maximum of two years. Of course, you need to pass the MBLEx, as well, to secure your certification and start to practice your craft.

You can always check with your state’s health board to determine the requirements of securing your massage therapist license.

How Much Does Massage Therapy School Cost?

On average, training schools charge between $9 and $10 per hour but it can go as high as $17 per hour. The cost only covers tuition and doesn’t include miscellaneous expenses.

The cost will be dependent upon your location and the training you get. Most states require at least 500 to 600 hours of hands-on training. Based on that, you can compute the possible expenses you will incur.

At $10 per hour, you are looking at around $5,000 and $6,000 for the tuition alone. You may also spend another $500 for the massage table in case your school doesn’t include one in the tuition cost.

If you find the costs too steep, you can consider the financial aid that most massage therapy school offers.

Can I Take Online Courses?

Unfortunately, if you want to secure a massage therapy license, you need to study on-site. That’s because 80 to 90% of the training will be spent on practical and hands-on approaches.

Enrolling in a massage therapy school doesn’t need stringent requirements. You only need a high school diploma, for instance, and you must also have an interest in promoting health care and holistic treatments.

Does the Massage Therapy School Need Accreditation?

It’s important that you get training only from an accredited massage therapy school. This is a requisite before you are allowed to take the MBLEx.

Among the federal accreditation agencies are:

  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Schools and Colleges (ACICS)
  • National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  • Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)

Going to an accredited school will also open opportunities for you to secure federal loans and grants to help write off some of the expenses in securing your massage therapist license.

If you think you’d make a good massage therapist then click the blue find schools button to compare massage therapy schools near you.

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