How long is massage therapy school? The length of massage therapy school varies depending on the state one lives in. Typically the program can be between 300 to 1000 hours long, and it can take between 3 to 12 months or longer, depending on the schedule (part-time or full-time)
Each state may decide how many hours a student has to train to become a massage therapist in the U.S. Once the school program and the required hours are completed, a student has to get through a final examination to get the license to be able to work.
Therefore, the route to becoming a massage therapist is through training for the needed amount of hours and final examination by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) or the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).
Training programs can vary depending on the school and how many massaging techniques and methods they are teaching. For example, a student training full-time (for example, 40h a week) on a 600 hours program will get through it within four months.
For those working already another job and want to attend massage therapy school on a part-time basis, on a 600 hours program, it will take 8-9 months to get through it. In addition, massage therapy schools have requirements.
Typically, they ask a student to:
- Have a GED
- Have a High School Diploma
- Background check
A student has to verify with the school if there are additional requirements and the exact training program as they may differ depending on the school.
A student can specialize and train in many different specializations depending on the field or area one wants to work in. For example, one can decide to take care of pregnant women, do sports massage, or work with people recovering from a trauma. In this case, it is possible to choose schools that offer additional training and certification.
A student has to consider that once the training is completed and the license is gotten, most states still require to continue the education and do updates to maintain the license. Additional training is typically between 8 to 48h a year.
What Do You Learn In Massage Therapy School?
Massage therapy has to do with applying pressure to specific points of the body to create an effect. Therefore, students are required to have knowledge in the following fields:
- First aid
- Western and oriental bodywork
Most schools teach the history behind massage therapy, the art of massage, and train students to learn the human body, mainly where the organs and muscles are located and the mechanism behind healing people’s pains using massage therapy.
Some schools teach their students business management to teach them how to deal with customers in a business-like manner and run their own practice in the future. A big part of the training is the hands-on training.
Students have to learn how to do massages, and thus, practicing repeatedly is vital to becoming proficient and skilled. A massage therapy school can teach the following types of massages, depending on the school:
- Swedish massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Sport massage
- Remedial massage
How Much Is Massage Therapy School?
The costs of Massage Therapy School depend on the length, the number of programs available, and the type of school. Private schools and more extended training programs are more expensive. One can expect to spend between $3.000 to $20.000 for a 12 months massage therapy school.
In addition to the tuition costs, a student has to consider the costs of materials and supply, school fees, and final examination fees.
Materials and supplies can cost over $1000, and administration fees and other fees can vary between $99 to $200. For those who can’t afford the high cost, there are financial aids in place at various levels, such as federal financial aids, private scholarships and grants, and government funding programs.
Students should check with their school what types of financial aid are available and what they need to do to qualify for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Massage Therapists Make Good Money?
The yearly income of a massage therapist can vary between $19.000 to $75.000 depending on location, type of practice one works in, and the number of hours worked. In the U.S., the national average annual income is estimated to be around $48.000. The state of employment can make a significant impact on the annual wage.
Some massage therapists make more money because they are in a more lucrative field, for example, sports massage. A more experienced and well-known massage therapist can charge more depending on their reputation and skills.
Is It Hard To Learn Massage Therapy?
Message therapy school is not difficult in itself. However, the school is intense due to the hands-on training and may be physically demanding for a person who cannot work standing for long hours and the physical work required. Additionally, a student has to know that part of the job deals with customers, who may be demanding and challenging.
The best candidate for this type of school are those who like manual work and like to be amongst people. Additionally, once graduated from school, the work as a massage therapist may require long hours and can be challenging at the beginning.
Is 40 Too Old To Become a Massage Therapist?
There is no age limit to become a massage therapist. Some people may add a second income stream and train to become massage therapists to open new work opportunities. Such specialized training can be excellent for people who want to shift their career options or change their way of life. Message therapy school is not long, and it can be done at any point.
What Are The Cons of Being a Massage Therapist?
There are few disadvantages to becoming a massage therapist, such as long hours standing, clients with too many unreasonable expectations, and too many repetitive motions that can become boring.
The initial income can be low, and one has to build up to higher pay. For example, one has to attract customers and build a customer base to have a constant and stable income; otherwise, the salary has big ups and downs.
Giving a lot of massages can create stress in a particular part of the massage therapist’s body, thus who will work in this field need to know how to take good care of themselves.