These days, more and more people have decided to pursue a career in massage therapy. This makes sense given the fact that the field offers opportunities for competitive pay as well as the ability to positively contribute to the mental and physical health of others. If you're fairly certain that a career in this dynamic sector is right for you, it's important that you carefully consider a few things before you make your final decision:
1. Educational Requirements
The educational requirements for becoming a massage therapist vary from state to state. For this reason, it is important that you look up these requirements to ensure that you are operating in compliance with the law. Generally, massage therapists are required to attain a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, they must complete coursework that covers vocationally relevant topics such as neurology, physiology, anatomy, hygiene, pathology, kinesiology, infection control procedures, CPR, first aid, and the theory and practice of both western and oriental bodywork therapy.
2. School Costs
Costs for massage therapy school typically range from $6 to $17 for each hour of education. The average cost thus ranges from $9-$10 per hour. If your state has minimal or no educational requirements, you can opt to take a short program to cut costs. However, the majority of states require students to successfully complete between 500-600 hours of training. This means that tuition can typically costs anywhere from $3,000-$10,000. An example would be IPSB in San Diego. This educational facility charges students $10,995 for a certification program totaling 750 hours.
3. Continued Education Requirements
While completing your educational requirements to become a massage therapy is important, you should keep in mind that there may be continued education requirements in your state. In fact, ongoing education is now a long-term requirement for individuals who want to maintain their licensure. Each state will post its minimum number of "Continuing Education Units" so residents know how many courses they are required to complete. The CEU's typically range from 8 to 48 hours of additional education each year. You can access the requirements for your state here.
4. Burn Out
Another thing you should consider if you decide to go to school for massage therapy is the likelihood of burning out. Unfortunately, massage therapy involves a great deal of physical rigor that can be likened to kneading dough from 5 to 8 hours each day. This intense work can be very taxing on the joints and hands. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the burn out rate in the massage therapy industry is quite high. In fact, enrollment statistics indicate that while 50,000 students enroll annually, 45,000 leave the field each year. It has been stated that individuals who massage for 40 hours a week will burn out quickly.
One final thing to consider as you prepare to enter school for massage therapy is your specialization. Although there are some general concepts that almost every massage therapist will learn, you may find yourself drawn to a specific modality. Some areas you may want to specialize in include Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, Shiatsu, and reflexogy. If there is a specific modality you want to specialize in, you need to ensure that the educational facility you choose offers courses in that area.
Don't Delay – Pursue Your Passion Today!
If you've decided to become a massage therapist, you're ready to enter an exciting work field that offers opportunities to attain personal satisfaction and professional growth. To ensure that you make prudent decisions regarding which school to attend and how to work within the field, be sure to refer to the information and advice that appears above.