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HomeNatural Healing School Articles → How To Choose a Massage Therapy School

How to Choose a Massage Therapy School

Your office is designed to instill feelings of peace and relaxation and is warmed by gentle music, calming scents, and welcoming decor. Your tools are your hands, and your skillful, therapeutic touch relieves physical discomfort and relaxes the bodies and minds of your clients. Your clients leave their sessions groggy-eyed and grateful, better able to cope with the physical and mental demands of their stressful lives.

Massage Therapy

This is the vision that lures many career-seekers into the rewarding field of massage therapy. It's also the reality for many workers in the profession, and one of the reasons massage therapists enjoy a high degree of job satisfaction.

More Workers, More Jobs in Massage Therapy

The American Massage Therapy Association estimates that there are 280,000 to 320,000 massage therapists and massage school students in the United States, a number that continues to increase. Of practicing massage therapists, those who are self-employed account for 96 percent of the workforce. Thirty-eight percent work in a business or corporate setting, or in a client's home; 25 percent work in a health care setting; and 23 percent work in a spa.

Fortunately for those in the profession, as the number of massage therapists grows, so does the demand for massage services. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth of 19 percent from 2008 to 2018. As of 2010, 40 percent of Americans had received massages to relieve their stress, and 86 percent of Americans agreed that massage can be beneficial for health and wellness.

Why is massage therapy so well regarded? A quick look at some recent research is illustrative:

  • Preterm infants receiving massage gain more weight and are discharged earlier from hospitals
  • Preschool children receiving massages right before bedtime fall asleep earlier and stay sleeping longer
  • Troubled adolescents receiving massage are less depressed, anxious, and aggressive after massage
  • Massage can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce headache frequency, decrease pain in cancer patients, alleviate low back pain, and ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms

In short, massage has been shown to have numerous psychological and medical benefits, and the research showing its value continues to emerge.

How to Choose A Massage Therapy School

If you're attracted to the field of massage therapy, whether to enter the workforce for the first time or break away from a stressful cubicle job, you may want to explore a massage therapy school to prepare for your new career. There are over 300 accredited massage schools and programs in the United States, so narrowing your options might be the hardest part.

How can you determine which massage therapy school to choose?

First, you'll want to make sure that your massage school meets state licensing requirements, if necessary. At present, 43 states and the District of Columbia regulate massage therapists or offer voluntary state certification. If the state in which you intend to work regulates the profession, you should enroll in a program that offers at least the minimum required hours of training and prepares you to take a certification exam.

Second, consider your career objectives. Are you interested in working with athletes? Schools offering sports massage may have the massage therapy programs for you. Do you want to work with hospital patients in rehabilitation? Look for schools with a strong curriculum in anatomy and physiology and that offer internships with local hospitals. Do you want to have your own practice and be a jack-of-all-trades? Look for schools that train students in a variety of modalities, and that offer courses in business development.

Massage Therapy Schools: An Online Option

Many adults seeking a massage therapy education don't consider the possibility of an online education. After all, you have to learn massage through a hands-on classroom setting, right?

Not necessarily. Online massage therapy schools are growing in number. Many of these schools use a combination of textbook and video instruction to teach students, who are able to study from home as they have time. Online programs are also a popular choice for massage therapists needing continuing education credits. For many busy massage therapists, the massage therapy classes are ones they can work on between clients at their own pace.

Online massage therapy schools offer a wide array of online courses and programs. For example, therapists can learn:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Canine massage
  • Cranial-sacral techniques
  • Hot stone massage
  • Polarity therapy

Online education may also offer the massage therapy courses for those wanting an introduction to the field, without the commitment of a full massage therapy education.

Will Your Education Pay Off?

As of 2009, massage therapists earned a mean hourly wage of $19.13. Many massage therapists work part-time, making it an excellent career for parents with family commitments or people wanting to supplement income from another job.

Perhaps most importantly, massage therapists can earn a livable wage while working in a low-stress profession they love. Does lowering your stress and increasing your happiness pay off? You bet.

Schools

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    2 Program(s) Found
    • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
    • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
    • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
    • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
    • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
    • Financial Aid
    1 Program(s) Found
    • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
    • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
    • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
    • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
    • Online Courses
    1 Program(s) Found

    About Brightwood College

    Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

    About Education Corporation of America

    Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

    1 Program(s) Found
    • One of the largest massage therapy schools in the nation teaching since 1979.
    • First massage school in California to be nationally accredited.
    • Has a successful job placement record— 86% of graduates get placed into work in massage therapy.
    • Provides massage therapist education with multiple methods to ensure every student learns the material.
    • Offers lifetime career placement assistance and holds partnerships with a variety of employers.
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    Good for Working Adults
    • Accredited
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    1 Program(s) Found
    Mayfield College , Cathedral City
    • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
    • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
    • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
    • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
    • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
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    Good for Working Adults
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    2 Program(s) Found
    Start your career with training from Blake Austin College - Beauty Academy. We offer programs in cosmetology, massage therapy, and holistic health, plus a combination esthetics/massage program.
    • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
    • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
    • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
    • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
    • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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    • Financial Aid
    Platt College , Ontario
    • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
    • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
    • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
    • 3 campuses in Southern California.
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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    Good for Working Adults
    • Accredited
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    2 Program(s) Found
    • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
    • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
    • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
    • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
    • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
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    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    Intercoast Colleges , Online (campus option available)

    • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
    • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
    • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.

    Show more [+]
    Good for Working Adults
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid