Massage therapy training is one of the fastest growing allied health professions. In fact, massage therapy career employment will grow faster than average, increasing 21 to 35 percent between 2002 and 2012 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Related professions, including physical therapy are growing as well.
Physical therapists held approximately 137,000 jobs in 2002, and there are over 203 accredited programs at physical therapy schools nationwide. Acupuncture and oriental medicine, holistic/alternative health, chiropractics, personal training, and nutrition are just a few other spa and wellness careers from which you can choose.
Each year, thousands of people pursue careers in massage therapy. Typically, these are individuals who are interested in different types of therapies that promote well-being and a higher quality of life. Still, there are over 100 different massage therapy techniques available today, and it's hard to know where one should start!
If you are uncertain of the type of bodywork you want to pursue, getting an education as a massage therapist first is a great way to begin and to set the groundwork for your future career. You can easily expand from your massage therapy training, and add new therapies to your practice in the future. The following pages will introduce you to massage therapy training and schools, and help you get started toward a great career!
What you are taught at massage therapy training?
Massage therapy education is offered both in private and community colleges in the United States. Typically, private colleges are fast paced programs that are usually more expensive. Community college programs are usually slower paced and less expensive. Investigating the different options in your area will help in deciding what educational program best suits your individual needs. The fees will differ from school to school and from different countries, states and provinces.
The general curriculum for a massage therapy program covers many different areas from both arts and sciences.
You can expect to study in areas such as:
• Anatomy (the study of the human body)
• Physiology (the study of functions and vital processes of organs and their systems)
• Kinesiology (the study of movement)
• Pathology (the study of disease)
• Massage history and theory
• Massage techniques and practical
• Assessment (the study of regional orthopedic tests for client evaluation)
• Principles of treatment
Many schools offer supervised clinics which are available to the general public, as this allows students the opportunity to work on a variety of clients and conditions.
What is the Qualification criteria for massage therapy training?
Every massage therapy school will have somewhat different entrance requirements. However, most require a high school diploma, although a post-secondary education is very useful.
Some programs may require an interview to assess personal qualities and characteristics such as:
• Communication skills
• Capacity of empathy
• Trust and understanding
• Listening skills
Some schools may also require prior knowledge or training in certain subject areas, such as:
• Sciences (anatomy, physiology)
Another factor to consider is that some educational facilities may waive certain entrance requirements if you are considering taking massage therapy part-time.
Check each educational facility in your area and compare the entrance requirements before you apply.
What is the cost of massage therapy training?
For 2006-2007 the general tuition was around $2,500. However, no one knows exactly how much tuition will be for the 2006-2007 academic year. Generally schools make every effort to keep tuition costs low so that all who want to participate in this medical program may.
Tuition at private massage therapy schools can range from $3,000 to $10,000 for a basic 500 hour course. [250 hours shorter than our Department of Education certified course]
Further, in order be become a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in the state of Florida graduates from this program must take the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. The cost of this examination is $225 at this time.
When a graduate successfully passes the NCBTMB examination, then and only then, may he/she apply for a massage therapy license in Florida. The cost to apply and obtain a Massage Therapy License is an additional $205.00.
Therefore, to receive an initial license, fees are approximately $430.00. [The cost of the examination plus the cost of the initial license] This is required at the end of the massage therapy program to obtain a Florida Board of Massage Therapy License.
What is the course duration for massage therapy training?
Program length is approximately 28 weeks for a total of 750 classroom hours.
Daytime students generally attend from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Evening students normally attend from approximately 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. However, program hours are subject to change.
Students must be physically able to attend class with a minimum of absences and successfully participate in the physical demands of this occupational training program. Successful student receive a Certificate of Completion.
What are career opportunities in massage therapy training?
Massage therapist have many opportunities to practice in a variety of settings. Your options include, but aren't limited to:
• Private practice
• Multidisciplinary clinics
• Spa and holistic centers
• Doctors or chiropractors' offices
• Rehabilitation centers
• Nursing homes or hospitals
• Health clubs or fitness facilities
• Sports teams or sports medicine clinics
• On-site massage in the work place
• Some massage therapists have portable tables to do house calls
The setting depends on the individual massage therapist. You may try several locations before you find the one most suitable for you.
Massage therapists may work as:
• Self-employed practitioners
• In private or group offices
• As salaried or commissioned employees
• As independent contractors