Selecting a Massage School

Do you enjoy helping others? Massage is a career that will improve your life and the lives of your clients. Imagine yourself working in a lavish spa, with a professional sports team, or in a prominent medical center.

Those are some of the career paths available to massage therapists. Many prefer to be self-employed and manage their own massage practice. The possibilities are endless for this growing field. A career in massage can be extremely rewarding, but to be successful you need to graduate from a great school.

How to Choose the Right Massage School

Choosing a new school can be a daunting task. To make the best choice it is important to be informed. Here are several important considerations in determining which massage school is right for you. You should consider these questions before you begin your education in massage therapy. Take this massage school guide with you when you are selecting a school.

1. Does the massage school have valid credentials?

  • Naturally Accredited schools meet standards approved by the Federal Department of Education.
  • The school must be approved by the State Massage Therapy Board.
  • The school must be licensed by the State.
  • Certified by a professional association indicates a level of quality.
  • Membership in various professional massage associations shows an allegiance to the profession and industry standards. Massage associations to look for are the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF), Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) and the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)

2. Does the massage program hours meet the State requirement? Michigan requires a minimum of 625 supervised hours of training in order to get a massage license.

3. How much is tuition? Does the school provide financial aid and scholarships? Obviously cost, financial aid and scholarships are important considerations for students. When measuring value and cost, calculate the hourly tuition rate.  Divide the total tuition by the number of hours in the program.

4. Does the massage school pay for your massage licensing exam?

5. Does the massage school pay for and help you apply for a State Massage License?

6. Does the massage school have an advisor on staff to guide you through school?

7. What are the massage school’s Completion and Placement Statistics? What percentage of students actually graduate and how many graduates secure jobs in massage?

8. What are the massage instructors qualifications and how long have they been teaching? At the very least, a massage instructor should have several years of professional massage experience and adequate teacher training.

9. How long has the school been teaching a massage program? There is a lot to be said for experience. Make sure the massage school you consider has been State Licensed to teach massage for at least five years.

10. What is the school’s massage licensing exam pass rate? You must be able to pass the massage board licensing exam to begin your career.

11. Do students graduate fully prepared to begin their new massage career?

12. Does the school have career services and someone on staff to help you find a job?

13. Consider the appearance and feel of the campus. Look at the student massage clinic, cleanliness, professional environment, number of classrooms and general upkeep. How do you feel when you visit? Does the staff make you feel welcome?

14. Does the school have a professionally run student massage clinic? The state requires students to work on the public under faculty supervision.

15. Can you customize your massage education with a variety of elective subjects? 

16. Do the class schedules fit into your busy life?

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