ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Colleges & University

Massage Therapy Education: Become a Massage Therapist

Updated on August 5, 2011

What is massage therapy?

Massage is the manipulation of soft tissue for healing or relaxation treatment. When you attend a massage therapy college, you'll learn the proper way to massage muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and joint. Sometimes inner gastrointestinal organs are massaged, too. People requiring massage therapy do so to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, help minimize depression, and improve physical conditions such as heart rate and blood pressure.

What is the outlook for massage therapist?

Considering that massage therapy is in the health care industry, the future is looking good because Congress and President Obama are passing laws that will expand healthcare coverage in America.

Additionally, many healthcare professionals and patients already believe in the preventive benefits of massage therapy. Still, massage therapists can also find employment in the recreational industry working for spas, luxury hotels, and resorts. Not to mention that many licensed massage therapists teach in your local massage therapy college. So the choices to find employment are improving.

A Healing Massage Therapy
A Healing Massage Therapy

How to become a massage therapist?

To be a practicing massage therapist, most states require a formal training and a national certification (licensed massage therapist). This means you have to

  • complete 500 hours of formal instructions from a massage therapy college
  • pass a standardized test given by the massage therapy board called NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork)

There are two types of national massage therapy exam given out by the NCBTMB -- the NCETM (National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage) and the NCETMB (National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork).

The exams cover similar areas of knowledge. The difference is that the NCETMB includes questions about bodywork assessment and application. Which national massage therapy exam you have to take depends on the licensing requirements of the state you intend to practice.

What to look for in a massage therapy college?

The two national massage therapy exams cover the following areas:

  • General knowledge of body systems
  • Detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Therapeutic assessment
  • Therapeutic application
  • Professional standards, ethics, business and legal practices

Also, the NCBTMB prescribes a minimum of 500 hours with the following:

  • 125 hours of body systems (anatomy, physiology and kinesiology)
  • 200 hours of massage and bodywork assessment, theory and application
  • 40 hours of pathology
  • 10 hours of business and ethics (minimum of 6 hours in ethics)
  • 125 hours of additional instruction in an area or related field that theoretically completes the massage program of study

The school you select should be able to prepare you for the exam and meet the minimum requirements of the NCBTMB. There are many schools across the US. Some you may already heard of during TV commercials. For example,

  • UEI College in California with campuses in Chula Vista, El Monte, Huntington Park, Ontario, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Van Nuys.
  • Omega Institute with a campus in Pennsauken, New Jersey
  • Advanced Career Training (ACT) with campuses in Jacksonville, Florida and Morrow, Georgia.
  • Pura Vida College of Massage Therapy, Cedar City, Utah

How much is an average massage therapist salary?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, the national average for a massage therapist salary was $19.16 per hour. Yearly income average was $39,850.

The top 10% massage therapist salary was $33.47 hourly or $69,620per year!

The Personal Care Services Industry hired the most massage therapists. Income on the average was $17.90 per hour or $37,230 per year.

The section of the industry that paid the highest massage therapy salary was the Private Schools and Other Instructions.  This industry paid an average of $35.11 hourly or $73,020 yearly.  This is not surprising since many career seekers are looking to the health care industry for their long term future.

The top 5 states paying the highest for massage therapist salary were Alaska (average income $38.70/hr), Connecticut (average income $27.70/hr), Washington (avg $26.67/hr), Oregon (avg $25.86/hr), and New York (avg $24.64/hr).

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      LMS 6 years ago

      This is a great hub to read on.

    • profile image

      Ralph Cochran 7 years ago

      By far the best information I've observed on HubSpot these days. Keep it up!

    • profile image

      Massage Therapy School in Delaware 7 years ago

      Dawn Career Institute should also be added to the list.

    • profile image

      Massage Therapist Training 7 years ago

      I believe that there has never been a better time to become a massage therapist, the world is stressed out and people are crying out for ways to help them survive the pressured lives they live.

    • profile image

      massage business 7 years ago

      I believe the future is indeed positive for massage therapists as the world becomes more aware and embraces more of the holistic approach.

    • profile image

      Meagan Danielle Meyer 8 years ago

      I am thirteen and i am thinking about what i want to be when i grow up and i was wondering how long you need to college to become a massage theripist? and what do you need to take in highschool to do this

    • profile image

      G Torres 8 years ago

      The NCBTMB is a very difficult exam. My school didn't cover the majority of information on test test. I compiled useful study information into a guide to help other aspiring massage therapists. Feel free to check it out if you are preparing for the national exam. http://www.lulu.com/wservices

    • profile image

      ericsjoberg 8 years ago

      you have put some really nice data in your hub ,its really good to learn about massage therapists all over country

    • profile image

      Twin XL 9 years ago

      Massage is a great way to help people without getting into the blood and guts of nursing. Who doesn't love a good massage!?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)