Different massage therapy educational programs offer a variety of options. Most courses offer a practical approach that prepares you to practice as massage therapist in spas and wellness centers. Alternatively, advanced programs, such as a bachelor’s degree, offer theory-based programs that prepare you to work as an educator or in advanced therapy care that is available only in hospitals and physical rehabilitation centers.
Each state provides specific educational requirements for its massage therapy students. Before enrolling into any educational program, go through your state’s specific requirements to ensure you comply with the law from the start. Generally, most states require a GED or high school diploma to enroll into a massage therapy program. However, different institutions may have different entry requirements that require early preparation.
If you are looking to enroll into a continuing education program, check with your state licensing board for the minimum number of continuing units. Depending on your career prospects, you can choose to work on the minimum or take all the available continuing units.
Save money in advance to help you pay for your course. Typically, massage therapy schools and training programs offer lessons from $6 to $17 an hour. If your state offers licenses with little or no educational requirements, you can take a short course to help you access entry-level jobs, and then advance your education while working. A comprehensive training program may take up to 750 hours of educational training.
Massage therapy takes up a lot of your physical energy. You must use energy when working on tense muscles to achieve the desired effect. Some sessions take up to two hours, which requires physical stamina. During busy seasons, you may book extra clients, which can force you to spend long hours on your feet.
Depending on your job description, you may also take on additional duties in wellness care or in administrative roles such as supervising or management. As you grow your experience and skills, your job may include extra training duties, speaking engagements at wellness events or training at massage therapy seminars.
At the beginning of your course, you will cover general concepts that teach all aspects of massage therapy. However, as you advance, you will come across different specializations that will define your career in the long-term. Familiarize yourself with the different specializations available before enrolling into an educational program. You can also visit specialists in different techniques to gain information that will help you choose your specialty.
Licensing requirements vary by state, which directly influences the educational program you choose. Look at your long-term career prospects before enrolling into a training program. Some massage therapy training schools offer nationally approved programs that can help you access a practicing license easily across the country. You should consider such schools if you would like to work out of state.
Dedicating your time and efforts to your studies in massage therapy school improves your chances of success. Create time in your schedule for all school activities and leave enough time to attend to your personal life. For example, if you are a working parent, set aside time for your children, work activities, and studies. Use the school calendar to plan your activities accordingly and achieve a work-study balance.
Depending on the program you take and the school you attend, you may qualify for educational grants, scholarships, and/or student aid. Your school counselors will guide you in the application process, and help you find the aid you deserve. This may also influence the school or training program you choose.
A massage therapy program demands your dedication and hard work; after training, you qualify to start working in a fulfilling industry that allows you to help people enjoy optimal health and wellness. Take advantage of learning and networking opportunities in school, as they may help you later in your career. For more information contact the Institute for Therapeutic Massage today.