Massage Schools

Aspiring massage therapists should consider several factors when selecting from among the many massage schools for their education. A school's credentials, faculty, curriculum, location, cost, and convenience are all important things to analyze before writing any checks or signing on any dotted lines. The school one chooses has a direct impact on career success in massage therapy.

The first and, perhaps, the most important, thing to consider when selecting from the many massage schools in the United States is whether or not a school is accepted as an approved school of massage therapy in the state that you will be working in. Nearly every state in the U.S. has appointed a board or commission to oversee the licensing of massage therapists in that particular state.

That entity acquires information about each school offering an education in massage therapy, including its curriculum requirements, standards for graduation/completion, faculty experience, and methods of teaching. If a school's standards and regulations don't measure up to minimum guidelines set by the state, the school will not be approved as an acceptable source of education. With this in mind,prospective massage therapy students should check with their state for a complete list of accepted massage schools before committing to any school.

A student should ask officials at massage schools for information about its faculty. It's appropriate to inquire about the minimum standards for the faculty members. A good school will require its faculty to have a minimum number of years of experience, along with education beyond the minimum certificate, to teach at its institution. Most schools employ members of faculty who have worked for many, many years outside of the educational realm.

Massage Schools

The curriculum at acceptable massage schools should include a wide array of classes that include courses in anatomy, physiology, anatomy, communicable diseases, massage theory, massage technique, and kinesiology. Other classes such as pathology, hygiene, professional ethics, first aid, CPR, Swedish massage, and hydrotherapy may also be taught. Additionally, many schools offer instruction in alternative therapiesthat may include hot/cold therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, stone massage, and other homeopathic methods of treatment. Generally, basic massage therapy certification programs require at least 500 hours of classroom instruction that may include an internship or hands-on training component.

Massage schools' locations are often an important factor to think about when selecting a program. If a school is a considerable distance from one's home, it will cost more to attend, because it may require moving and finding a new place to live, or commuting a considerable distance daily. Even commuting within the city can be cumbersome, depending on the distance and conditions. An aspiring massage therapist should choose a massage school that is located within reasonable commuting distance. However, depending on place of residence, it may be difficult to find a school that is approved in the licensure requirements in one's state nearby.

The cost of a massage school is an issue for many massage therapy students. Some schools provide various payment options, such as the option to pay monthly or in quarterly installments. Many massage schools are eligible for state or federal funding for their students, such as the use of Pell grants or federal student loans. Some private schools offer scholarships that may be based on need or ability. A student should compare costs between schools and determine which education will be the best bang for the buck.

Lastly, some massage schools are simply more convenient to attend and acquire an education from than other schools are. Massage schools that offer nighttime, weekend, or flexible schedules are much more convenient for students who may have a family or who are working full-time jobs. Online classes are typically not accepted by most states' guidelines for licensure, however, many massage schools offer flexibility in portions of their curriculums.

Last Updated: 05/22/2014