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How to have a Career in Massage Therapy

Updated on November 8, 2014
Use your hands to heal
Use your hands to heal

Certification and procedures

If you want a career in Massage Therapy there are several ways you can go about it. Most people do not know that in some states you may actually practice massage without certification just as long as you have a business license and purchase liability insurance.

However, there are reasons for getting certification even with this being said. When you are certified to Practice Massage therapy your earning potential is greater. You will know more ways to take care of your client and keep them happy. If you want to work with another company and not for yourself the likelihood of you getting hired is much greater based on experience. If you choose to go into business for yourself then you show that you are in a legitimate business, and thereby keeping authorities suspicions to a minimum as to your genuine intentions. Some massage parlors will practice what is know as sexual massage which is considered prostitution and is, of course, illegal.

There are three educational options to practice Massage with Certification:

1) Massage Practitioner Certificate

To achieve the Massage Practitioner Certificate takes the least amount of time and cost. You need at least 210 hours in class time, and would spend about 6-12 months to complete your training. You would be taking classes such as Therapeutic Massage I, Fitness Anatomy and Kinesiology, Massage Therapy Skills lab, and have 50 hours of supervised and 50 hours of unsupervised practicum. Which totals to 100 hours of hands on massage practice.

2) Certificate of Achievement in Massage Therapy

This option requires you to have 728-824 hours of Educational Curriculum (roughly 28-30 units) and would take about 16-24 months to complete depending on whether you choose to go to school full time or part-time. The training is much more extensive and, of course, costs more than a Massage Practitioner Certificate. Classes you would be required to take in order to fulfill you certificate are: Therapeutic Massage I, Therapeutic Massage II, Massage Therapy Skills Lab, Advanced First Aid and Emergency Care, Health Psychology, Basic Human Anatomy & Physiology, Fitness Anatomy & Kinesiology, Sports Massage, and Clinical Massage.You also have a choice of additional classes to include in your curriculum for credit such as: Healthy Licing, Medical Terminology, Nutrition, Prevention & Care of Athletic Injuries, Personal Fitness, Weight Training, Core Matwork, Tai Chi, Yoga, Dance Aerobics I & II, Circuit Training, Flexibility & Relaxation Techniques, Fitness through Swimming I & II, and Fitness Exercise Physiology.

3) Associate of Science Degree in Massage Therapy

This option takes the longest and holds the highest level of Certification because you would also have a degree. In order to achieve this goal you would have to complete all the requirements for the Certificate of Achievement, General Education Requirements and at-least 11-14 credits of electives in order to receive your degree. That means 60 units and would take 24 or more months to complete.


The following are basic expenses you can expect to pay for:

  • Materials

    • lotions
    • oils
    • sheets
    • comfortable clothing
    • Binders
    • Notebooks
    • Pens/Pencils
    • Erasers
    • Highlighters
  • Lab Fees
  • Books
  • Tuition (pay per unit for each class you take)
  • Student Body Fee
  • Parking Fee
  • Admission Fee (When first enrolling)

When you look at all the expenses it can become pretty overwhelming. Luckily there are programs available to help with College tuition as long as you enroll into an accredited college.
After you have chosen a college be sure to make an appointment with the Counselor to discuss your options and visit the financial center. They will have information available for you so that you may apply for funding.
A great website for reference information and would ultimately become your financial portal is called FAFSA.

Relieve headaches with massage

A Rewarding Career

A career is Massage Therapy can be quite rewarding. If you enjoy helping others and like working with your hands then finding a career in Massage Therapy just might be what you are looking for. There are also perks. When you attend school you will be practicing on your fellow classmates. That also means...they will be practicing on you as well. Making friends with a Massage Therapist is major plus, and you will make plenty of friends in your quest for Certification. No matter what level you choose to achieve.

Massage for everyone

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