How can I become a Massage therapist in 2022? Schools, Cost Programs & Salary

Who doesn’t love to get a subtle massage from time to time? Given that massages are pretty intimate treats to receive, the services of massage therapists have gone on the increase. In this article, I’m going to show you how to become a massage therapist.

Honestly, I tell you, there is no better way to unwind and ease off the sickening stress of a hectic day than to have a perfect stranger, a masseuse particularly, prod and poke you at your limp body.

Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. During a massage, a massage therapist will apply gentle or strong pressure to the muscles and joints of the body to ease pain and tension.

Ever wanted to become a massage therapist, it is not just a bad thing to desire. I can assure you, you will have a swell time in your chosen career as a massage therapist if you carefully follow the steps that will come below.

What does a massage therapist do?

Part of the massage therapist’s job is to use his hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead muscles and soft tissue of the body in order to help treat injuries and to promote general wellness of the patient.

On the job, most massage therapists generally have a variety of duties:

  • Create a comfortable environment for the client
  • Discuss the needs of the client which may revolve around pain relief, stress relief, etc.
  • Provide the necessary massage therapies to relieve client’s problems
  • Contact the client regularly to guarantee comfort and be sure they are doing well
  • Respect for the privacy and comfort levels of each client
  • Follow the regular progress of the client

Types of Massage therapies

There are so many areas a massage therapist can specialize in. They are usually called modalities. Below are a few examples of modalities.

  • Swedish massage
  • deep-tissue massage
  • sports massage
  • Asian bodywork
  • medical massage

Most massage specialists specialize in different methods that require different techniques. Usually, the type of massage depends on the needs of the client and the physical condition.

For example, therapists can use special technology for older clients. Some forms of massage are only given to certain types of clients. For example, prenatal massage is given to pregnant women.

A massage therapist may be specialized in Asian bodywork massage which focuses on using hand and finger pressure to influence the body’s energy channels, while medical massage is based on specific, outcome-driven treatments.

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Massage therapists may use lotions and oils, massage tables or chairs, and medical heat lamps when treating a client. And they may also have the duty of offering clients information about additional relaxation techniques or exercises to practice between sessions.

Usually, a massage session can be as short as fifteen minutes or could last for more than an hour depending on the needs of the client.

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What are the requirements to be a massage therapist?

Before you can work as a massage therapist, you must register and complete an educational program for massage therapy. You must follow between 330 and 1000 hours of training, this can take weeks to two years.

The time you spend in training prepares you for taking the MBLEx Junior Massage Therapist license exam, administered by the State Massage Therapy Association.

Not every state has the same licensing requirements for massage therapists, so check with your state’s regulatory board to make sure the massage therapy program meets their minimum requirements.

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How long does it take to become a massage therapist?

A massage therapy license is obtained through vocational programs. Vocational training has a more limited scope than traditional degrees and the curriculum focuses exclusively on the job and industry involved.

This means that instead of a four-year degree training to work in the industry, you can easily complete your approved training in less than 5 months if you are full-time.

Depending on your commitment to the program, the training program takes about 5 months to two years to complete.

So you would really need to stay committed to attending all your classes, studying for exams, and participating in lab sessions where you learn the various techniques of massage.

Make sure you choose a program that offers many practical options so that you are ready when you enter the job market.

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Which Schools offer massage therapy training?

Students who are aspiring to become massage therapists can find relevant training programs in this area through full certification programs, as well as individual courses. These programs can be found in schools that focus on health, as well as traditional institutions that last one to two years.

The list below shows you some of the best schools for massage therapy programs. These schools provide wide-ranging training that covers many topics related to massage therapy.

Some of them also offer students the opportunity to focus their studies on a particular specialty of massage.

  • National University of Health Sciences
  • Miami Dade College
  • New York College of Health Professions
  • Arizona Western College
  • Idaho State University
  • Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • Ohio College of Massotherapy
  • Parker University
  • Siena Heights University

National University of Health Sciences

The National University of Health Sciences situated in Lombard, Illinois is one of the schools offer massage therapy training. Students can follow a massage therapy certification program and an associate of applied sciences in massage therapy.

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Here students learn about anatomy and various massage techniques, including sports massage, deep tissue work, Swedish massage, and trigger point therapy.

Usually, graduates of the massage therapy program of the National University above state and national averages in the compulsory license exam. In 2015, the success rate for National University graduates was 100%.

Interested students who want to further in natural healing can find a chiropractic assistant program with massage therapy courses.

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Miami Dade College

The Miami-Dade College Medical Campus in Miami, Florida, is home to a vocational certificate massage therapy program. The associate program is designed for existing physical therapists or physical therapist’s assistants and the transition option is available for other healthcare professionals.

With these pathways, students can skip a number of introductory health courses and go directly to basic massage therapy courses.

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New York College of Health Professions

The College of Health in New York is the first American college to offer massage therapy. Students in the institution can obtain associate professional studies in massage therapy.

The School of Health Professions in New York offers students the opportunity to spend two weeks at the Luo Yang Medical Center, where they can attend presentations and enjoy the Chinese culture.

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West Arizona College

West Arizona College in Yuma, Arizona, has a student clinic for stress relief and relaxation. Massage therapists can obtain an Associate of Applied Science or a professional certificate in massage therapy. In these programs, students learn the most important types of massage and complete clinical trials in the field.

For experienced massage professionals who are looking for higher education, the school offers a master’s program for massage therapy that leads to certification and can include a paid internship.

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You can find the other schools here:

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Steps to becoming a massage therapist: the complete guide

How to Become a Massage Therapist: Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to become a massage therapist?

The cost of massage therapy school ranges between $6 to $17 per hour of education, with the average cost* around $9 to $10 per hour.

This means if your state has no—or minimal—requirements, you can choose to take a shorter program, which will cost you less in massage therapy tuition. So if you multiply $10 by the number of hours it will take to complete you will have something around $10000 to $15000.

Are massage therapist in demand?

Employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for alloccupations. 
Demand will likely increase as more healthcare providers understand the benefits of massage and these services become part of treatment plans.

Can you make good money as a massage therapist?

Yes, Massage Therapists make decent money working at a spa. According to the current Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for massage therapists is $39,860 per year.

Can you become a massage therapist online?

Yes, there are tons of massage therapy programs you can do online.

In a Nutshell

Being a massage therapist is a rewarding yet challenging profession. Even though there might be some awkward experiences, they make for good massage stories and as well buffers one’s professional experience. The guide you have here is a complete success guide for getting on top of this career.

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