Massage Therapy Classes and Schools

Massage therapy programs provide students with the training and skills needed to give therapeutic and relaxation massages. Learn about the courses offered in a massage therapy program, and find out the average salary of a massage therapist. Schools offering Holistic Health Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Classes in massage therapy can provide you with training on general deep tissue massage techniques or how to perform specialized services like hot stone therapy. To work as a massage therapist, most states require that you become licensed or certified.

Program Options Certificate in Massage Therapy, Associate in Applied Science in Massage Therapy, Associate in Occupational Studies in Massage Therapy
Classes Swedish technique, Asian bodywork, kinesiology, reflexology, clinical massage
Training Programs typically include 500 to 1,000 hours of training

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Massage Therapy School Offer Me?

Taking courses at a massage therapy school teaches you to use manual techniques to manipulate your patients' muscles for therapeutic relief. You will learn skills that help you assess your patients' discomfort levels and prepare appropriate treatment plans. A massage therapy school should provide all the large equipment needed to practice massage therapy, including the specially-made tables and chairs. Schools often provide clients for you to treat once you complete a certain amount of your education.

What Kind of Training Will I Receive?

Coursework will focus on understanding how the human body functions in relation to massage therapy practices. You may learn techniques that address treatment ideas and plans for infants and pregnant women. You might be required to make rounds in a clinical setting to get hands-on massage experience.

Due to the physical nature of massage therapy, schools only offer on-campus coursework. You may be able to complete some of your general requirements online. You can expect to take courses, such as anatomy, first aid/CPR, orthopedic massage, pathophysiology and therapeutic massage.

How Do I Become Certified?

You will need to complete an accredited degree program to be eligible to take the massage therapy licensing exam. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork licensing exam will assess your skills in areas like patient rapport, massage techniques and treatment planning (www.ncbtmb.org).

Alternatively, you could take the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, which uses similar testing criteria (www.fsmtb.org). Many states also offer their own independent massage therapy license exams. Make sure you find a program that adequately prepares you for licensing exams after graduation.

What Careers Can I Pursue?

Graduates of a massage therapy certificate or degree program can become licensed massage therapists who specialize in any of number of the approximately 80 different types of massages. Some specializations you could learn include reflexology, deep tissue, cross fiber, hot stone, reiki, acupressure, myofascial or lymph system massage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapists earned an average hourly wage of $20.09 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • George Mason University

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    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

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  • The George Washington University

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  • Strayer University

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  • American University

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  • Utica College

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  • Kaplan University

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  • Northcentral University

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  • University of the Southwest

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