What Training Do I Need to Become a Spa Tech?

Working as a spa tech can afford you the opportunity to help people who suffer from muscle and joint pain, or even stress. You can work with private clients, with people who are on vacation, or even for athletes. You can help promote a healthy lifestyle for your clients and provide wellness relief to those in need. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to become a massage therapist. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

As a spa tech, or a massage therapist, you could work independently, for a salon, for a resort, for fitness centers, on a cruise ship, at a hotel, or for a massage therapy outfit. You could assess clients in your own office or travel to their homes. Clients may be referred to you for joint pain, muscle pain, and stress relief. You would use your hands and fingers to apply necessary amounts of therapeutic pressure. It will be important for you to learn of your client's medical history, and if they were referred to you by a doctor, such as a chiropractor, it will be important for you to know why. Your main goal is to promote wellness and healing via massage therapy.

Massage therapy involves treatment plans to provide ongoing relief for your client. You need to keep track of records regarding client history, treatment, and progress. Working with your client's muscles, and sometimes using specific oils and other treatments, you help injuries and pain progress and help strengthen your client's muscles. You might also use treatments such as wraps, compresses, and baths.

Important Facts About Becoming a Spa Tech

Degree Levels Bachelor's and master's degrees are also available
Specializations Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, sports massage
Online Availability Certification programs fully available online
Continuing Education Requirements vary by state; typically 24 hours of practice is to be completed biennially to maintain license


You could begin your career path by earning an associate's degree in massage therapy. Some community colleges may offer such a degree. Such a program may prepare you to take a licensing exam (required by most states to practice as a massage therapist). Most courses in such a program focus on theory, massage therapy, anatomy, nutrition, reflexology, shiatsu, business and ethics. Some programs are also designed to incorporate training you as a nail technician as well.

Another option, aside from community colleges, to seek training is through a cosmetology school. These schools offer programs that teach you Swedish and Thai massage, deep-tissue massage, and massage techniques that are helpful to athletes. Courses focus on techniques, anatomy, and theory. You also learn different types of massage techniques, what they are used for, and what they promote. For example, reflexology focuses on the feet. You'll also learn how to use hot stones, body scrubs, and baths.

Licensing and Certification

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), some states have regulations on massage therapy. If your state has such regulations, you must obtain a license once you have completed your educational program and training. To obtain such a license, you'll more than likely need to take an exam. The BLS reports that you may take a state-specific exam or a national exam, such as the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB).

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:

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