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5 Things to Consider When Going to School for Massage Therapy


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.

5. Specialization

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.

6 thoughts on “5 Things to Consider When Going to School for Massage Therapy”

  • Good post! Thankyou for sharing! Yes its a hard field to stay in being a massage therapist. I been told if you are lucky you can last 10 years. You can develop arthritis, carpaltunnel syndrome and serious backaches! Trust me after 10 years I wonder if its worth the pain I endure now ? :(

  • Many people worry about trying to get the word out about being a new therapist. Heck even therapists with years of experience have a hard time gaining new clients because of the expense of marketing. There are easy ways to get your post out on social media without paying.

    Facebook is key.

    In the general settings of your business page simply turn on targeting for post. Now when you go to write a post, you can target your audience. This will get you in front of more people organically.

  • I loved your post ! I read your blog fairly often and you always come up with gret stuff
    ! I shared this on my Facebook and my followers loved it
    ! Keep up the good work !

  • just amazing the post,

  • These are all valid points. Plus, the responsibilities of the workplace. Employment may mean managers that aren't that good at managing. Nice people, maybe, but perhaps they don't give positive feedback, or a million reasons that any employee doesn't like where they work. Patience, kindness, and your passion to work get you through. Self- employed? Again, patience and kindness to yourself and others will win the day. Self-care. Careful body mechanics. Rest. Good nutrition and fluids. Work smart. Take care!

  • I like that you mentioned that pursuing this career path gives personal satisfaction and professional growth. I guess this is why my daughter wanted to study this course since she has always loved helping people ever since she was a kid. When she was younger, she would actually help beggars and old people on the road whenever we go out. Thanks for the tips!

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