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Massage Therapy Schools and Training Programs

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Massage Therapy Schools

Massage therapists are professionals who are in the business of helping people feel better by alleviating stress, relieving pain, and/or assisting them in the process of healing from injuries. They do this by manipulating the soft tissue muscles of the body in an effort to improve circulation and promote general healing of the muscles. Often referred to by the familiar term of "masseuse", a massage therapist has a high degree of personal interaction with his/her clients and is usually able to derive a great deal of satisfaction from being afforded the opportunity to help people.

Massage Therapists picture    Massage Therapists image

Massage Therapy Schools

The majority of U.S. states require massage therapists to complete a formal education program through a massage therapy school, and pass an exam to obtain a license. You can get trained as a massage therapist though private or public colleges or through massage therapy training centers or schools. You typically need a high school diploma prior to applying to these programs.

Massage therapy education requirements vary by state and program, but most schools have programs that require 500-1,000 hours of study and hands-on experience. Courses may include:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Business management

Similar to health care careers, massage therapists usually have continuing education requirements to keep their certification and license current.

Massage Therapist Certification

Educational requirements for massage therapists vary widely by state and locality. Hundreds of massage therapy schools and college programs are currently in place throughout the country; however, the licensing requirements of a particular jurisdiction in which a candidate wants to practice should be checked before making a decision on which school or program to pursue. Also, candidates who are interesting in a certain specialty should try to find a school that caters to that specialty.

In general, massage schools tend to be somewhat expensive; however, most offer some kind of financial assistance including federal student loans. Most of them require a high school diploma for admittance and many also require a personal interview. A large number of schools regularly arrange internships with local massage practices so that graduates can start out with a valuable amount of practical on-the-job experience under their belts.

Massage Therapy Licensing

Licensing requirements are also quite variable and depend on the state and also by particular localities within states. Most states regulate the profession in some fashion and those that do not usually contain municipalities which impose their own requirements for a business license. Licensure typically requires some combination of education, experience, and/or the ability to pass an exam. Presently, most states require a minimum of 500 or more hours of massage training.

Many jurisdictions recognize the exam-based national certification program offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), or both. The exams, which are given at test centers across the country, do not result in licensure, as their are other requirements for that (the requirements vary by state).

A very helpful credential for a massage therapist is membership in a professional massage therapy association. Memberships help therapists network and establish contacts in the industry, which in turn often leads to finding new clients. Many of these associations require that members graduate from a nationally credentialed training program, have a state license, and/or be nationally certified by the FSMTB or NCBTMB.


Resources for Massage Therapists


Sources:

  1. Massage Therapists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/massage-therapists.htm#tab-4
  2. Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, https://www.fsmtb.org/

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Massage Therapy Schools by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Massage Therapy Schools, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

  • Overview
  • Top Cities
  • Career Stories
  • Top Industries
  • Browse Schools

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Massage Therapy Schools

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Massage Therapy Schools relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Metro Area Jobs Salary
(2013)
Relative
Popularity

Alabama

     
Huntsville 150 $24860 1.02
Mobile 40 $34490 0.39

Alaska

     
Anchorage 570 $80870 4.83
Fairbanks 40 $94700 1.65

Arizona

     
Flagstaff 70 $30150 1.93
Phoenix 3150 $37310 2.51
Mesa 3150 $37310 2.51
Scottsdale 3150 $37310 2.51
Prescott 70 $33640 1.89
Tucson 520 $45030 2.17

Arkansas

     
Hot Springs 40 $21440 1.71
Little Rock 0 $41180 0
North Little Rock 0 $41180 0
Conway 0 $41180 0

California

     
Bakersfield 0 $33360 0
Fresno 50 $31540 0.21
Chico 0 $27950 0
Oxnard 110 $34620 0.58
Thousand Oaks 110 $34620 0.58
Ventura 110 $34620 0.58
Redding 40 $56650 0.9
Riverside 1460 $35530 1.66
San Bernardino 1460 $35530 1.66
Ontario 1460 $35530 1.66
Sacramento 940 $35170 1.61
Roseville 940 $35170 1.61
Arden 940 $35170 1.61
Arcade 940 $35170 1.61
Salinas 190 $43330 1.78
Los Angeles 5380 $40420 1.43
Long Beach 5380 $40420 1.43
Anaheim 5380 $40420 1.43
Napa 430 $43570 9.16
San Diego 1470 $36870 1.63
Carlsbad 1470 $36870 1.63
Santa Cruz 90 $65490 1.47
Watsonville 90 $65490 1.47
Santa Maria 300 $44000 2.46
Santa Barbara 300 $44000 2.46
Santa Rosa 460 $55440 3.68
San Francisco 2470 $41660 1.69
Oakland 2470 $41660 1.69
Hayward 2470 $41660 1.69
San Jose 440 $52490 0.65
Sunnyvale 440 $52490 0.65
Santa Clara 440 $52490 0.65
Vallejo 0 $37700 0
Fairfield 0 $37700 0

Colorado

     
Fort Collins 150 $44070 1.53
Grand Junction 30 $0 0.86
Greeley 30 $29820 0.52
Boulder 350 $54060 3.1
Colorado Springs 0 $46390 0
Denver 3300 $40540 3.59
Aurora 3300 $40540 3.59
Lakewood 3300 $40540 3.59

Connecticut

     
Hartford 430 $44640 1.12
West Hartford 430 $44640 1.12
East Hartford 430 $44640 1.12
New Haven 0 $24040 0
Bridgeport 0 $47330 0
Stamford 0 $47330 0
Norwalk 0 $47330 0

Florida

     
Gainesville 140 $56570 1.63
Jacksonville 590 $37750 1.41
Cape Coral 150 $38680 0.97
Fort Myers 150 $38680 0.97
Crestview 60 $27360 0.82
Fort Walton Beach 60 $27360 0.82
Destin 60 $27360 0.82
Deltona 170 $34630 1.42
Daytona Beach 170 $34630 1.42
Ormond Beach 170 $34630 1.42
Orlando 1150 $36740 1.54
Kissimmee 1150 $36740 1.54
Sanford 1150 $36740 1.54
Palm Bay 90 $34270 0.71
Melbourne 90 $34270 0.71
Titusville 90 $34270 0.71
Panama City 90 $32530 1.74
Pensacola 90 $42700 0.83
Ferry Pass 90 $42700 0.83
Brent 90 $42700 0.83
Port St. Lucie 160 $46320 1.87
Lakeland 0 $26550 0
Winter Haven 0 $26550 0
Miami 2710 $36630 1.67
Fort Lauderdale 2710 $36630 1.67
West Palm Beach 2710 $36630 1.67
Naples 150 $54120 1.73
Immokalee 150 $54120 1.73
Marco Island 150 $54120 1.73
North Port 370 $40570 2.04
Sarasota 370 $40570 2.04
Bradenton 370 $40570 2.04
Sebastian 0 $30590 0
Vero Beach 0 $30590 0
Tampa 1120 $38430 1.37
St. Petersburg 1120 $38430 1.37
Clearwater 1120 $38430 1.37

Georgia

     
Atlanta 1420 $25860 0.86
Sandy Springs 1420 $25860 0.86
Roswell 1420 $25860 0.86
Brunswick 40 $30260 1.71
Macon 0 $34170 0
Savannah 0 $32530 0

Hawaii

     
Kahului 180 $64540 3.71
Wailuku 180 $64540 3.71
Lahaina 180 $64540 3.71
Urban Honolulu 940 $33180 3.09

Idaho

     
Boise City 120 $34210 0.62
Idaho Falls 60 $37690 1.55

Illinois

     
Bloomington 0 $39120 0
Champaign 0 $19240 0
Urbana 0 $19240 0
Peoria 70 $0 0.57
Rockford 60 $45250 0.59

Indiana

     
Fort Wayne 140 $31820 0.97
Indianapolis 410 $32090 0.62
Carmel 410 $32090 0.62
Anderson 410 $32090 0.62

Iowa

     
Iowa City 40 $27790 0.67
Cedar Rapids 0 $70290 0
Des Moines 240 $36350 1.03
West Des Moines 240 $36350 1.03
Dubuque 80 $26460 1.98

Kansas

     
Wichita 190 $23480 0.95

Kentucky

     
Bowling Green 50 $37780 1.07
Lexington 220 $34810 1.27
Fayette 220 $34810 1.27

Louisiana

     
Baton Rouge 0 $35550 0
Lafayette 50 $25010 0.35
New Orleans 180 $29210 0.48
Metairie 180 $29210 0.48
Shreveport 0 $42360 0
Bossier City 0 $42360 0

Maine

     
Portland 160 $35740 1.22
South Portland 160 $35740 1.22

Maryland

     
Baltimore 1100 $43900 1.25
Columbia 1100 $43900 1.25
Towson 1100 $43900 1.25

Massachusetts

     
Pittsfield 70 $67130 2.71
Barnstable Town 40 $0 0.61

Michigan

     
Ann Arbor 140 $42190 1.01
Bay City 30 $22340 1.31
Flint 60 $36430 0.69
Grand Rapids 310 $55530 0.88
Wyoming 310 $55530 0.88
Detroit 1010 $43770 0.79
Warren 1010 $43770 0.79
Dearborn 1010 $43770 0.79
Lansing 180 $54190 1.28
East Lansing 180 $54190 1.28
Kalamazoo 70 $50210 0.76
Portage 70 $50210 0.76
Niles 40 $48230 0.97
Benton Harbor 40 $48230 0.97

Minnesota

     
Rochester 50 $42690 0.61
St. Cloud 50 $37070 0.73

Mississippi

     
Gulfport 70 $21040 0.68
Biloxi 70 $21040 0.68
Pascagoula 70 $21040 0.68
Jackson 90 $18080 0.5

Missouri

     
Columbia 0 $18500 0

Montana

     
Missoula 60 $21310 1.64

Nebraska

     
Lincoln 40 $0 0.32

Nevada

     
Reno 100 $17960 0.7
Las Vegas 1550 $19870 2.56
Henderson 1550 $19870 2.56
Paradise 1550 $19870 2.56

New Hampshire

     
Manchester 70 $51680 1.03

New Jersey

     
Atlantic City 250 $26810 2.99
Hammonton 250 $26810 2.99
Ocean City 70 $46350 2.53
Trenton 390 $45620 2.61

New Mexico

     
Albuquerque 210 $19500 0.82
Santa Fe 80 $27690 1.92

New York

     
Albany 210 $25780 0.72
Schenectady 210 $25780 0.72
Troy 210 $25780 0.72
Glens Falls 50 $50460 1.35
Buffalo 100 $40870 0.28
Cheektowaga 100 $40870 0.28
Niagara Falls 100 $40870 0.28
Binghamton 0 $61690 0
Rochester 100 $49090 0.28
Syracuse 80 $66940 0.38
Utica 70 $35260 0.91
Rome 70 $35260 0.91

North Carolina

     
Asheville 220 $55480 1.83
Fayetteville 0 $35370 0
Greensboro 110 $27040 0.45
High Point 110 $27040 0.45
Hickory 70 $36520 0.71
Lenoir 70 $36520 0.71
Morganton 70 $36520 0.71
Durham 90 $37370 0.49
Chapel Hill 90 $37370 0.49
Raleigh 870 $36350 2.31
New Bern 0 $32530 0
Wilmington 40 $56900 0.47
Winston 140 $54890 0.83
Salem 140 $54890 0.83

Ohio

     
Akron 160 $25790 0.73
Canton 0 $29620 0
Massillon 0 $29620 0
Cleveland 280 $33770 0.4
Elyria 280 $33770 0.4
Columbus 630 $32190 0.94
Dayton 120 $37140 0.48
Toledo 100 $28630 0.52

Oklahoma

     
Oklahoma City 290 $33350 0.7
Tulsa 0 $28650 0

Oregon

     
Bend 110 $57010 2.42
Redmond 110 $57010 2.42
Eugene 240 $60720 2.49
Salem 50 $35320 0.51
Medford 80 $64680 1.49

Pennsylvania

     
Harrisburg 0 $34980 0
Carlisle 0 $34980 0
Chambersburg 50 $35100 1.33
Waynesboro 50 $35100 1.33
Pittsburgh 330 $32950 0.44
Reading 130 $28800 1.16
Lancaster 170 $43570 1.13
Lebanon 0 $17910 0
Scranton 120 $43210 0.72
Wilkes 120 $43210 0.72
Barre 120 $43210 0.72
Hazleton 120 $43210 0.72
York 0 $23430 0
Hanover 0 $23430 0

Puerto Rico

     
San Juan 100 $18860 0.22
Carolina 100 $18860 0.22
Caguas 100 $18860 0.22

South Carolina

     
Greenville 200 $30870 0.77
Anderson 200 $30870 0.77
Mauldin 200 $30870 0.77
Hilton Head Island 0 $34720 0
Bluffton 0 $34720 0
Beaufort 0 $34720 0
Charleston 250 $23140 1.2
North Charleston 250 $23140 1.2
Columbia 260 $34580 1.08
Spartanburg 50 $37370 0.51

South Dakota

     
Rapid City 0 $37360 0

Tennessee

     
Cleveland 0 $36410 0
Knoxville 160 $36100 0.63
Nashville 600 $34980 1.02
Davidson 600 $34980 1.02
Murfreesboro 600 $34980 1.02
Franklin 600 $34980 1.02

Texas

     
Abilene 30 $35890 0.77
Austin 980 $38080 1.58
Round Rock 980 $38080 1.58
Houston 1560 $35200 0.8
The Woodlands 1560 $35200 0.8
Sugar Land 1560 $35200 0.8
Corpus Christi 0 $42380 0
Dallas 1490 $33460 0.67
Fort Worth 1490 $33460 0.67
Arlington 1490 $33460 0.67
San Antonio 480 $40680 0.75
New Braunfels 480 $40680 0.75
Lubbock 70 $29960 0.79
McAllen 110 $28620 0.67
Edinburg 110 $28620 0.67
Mission 110 $28620 0.67
Killeen 30 $50000 0.34
Temple 30 $50000 0.34

Utah

     
Provo 110 $36980 0.82
Orem 110 $36980 0.82
St. George 60 $44830 1.69
Salt Lake City 640 $30870 1.45
Ogden 330 $34800 2.13
Clearfield 330 $34800 2.13

Vermont

     
Burlington 110 $60980 1.37
South Burlington 110 $60980 1.37

Virginia

     
Harrisonburg 0 $31450 0
Charlottesville 50 $23680 0.75
Richmond 420 $25210 1.02
Lynchburg 0 $85470 0

Washington

     
Bremerton 150 $46490 2.79
Silverdale 150 $46490 2.79
Bellingham 120 $53990 2.23
Kennewick 130 $56820 1.84
Richland 130 $56820 1.84
Olympia 220 $59410 3.22
Tumwater 220 $59410 3.22
Seattle 2740 $54110 2.26
Tacoma 2740 $54110 2.26
Bellevue 2740 $54110 2.26
Spokane 250 $51600 1.68
Spokane Valley 250 $51600 1.68
Wenatchee 50 $53840 1.81
Yakima 30 $58400 0.55

West Virginia

     
Morgantown 30 $40140 0.74

Wisconsin

     
Appleton 250 $26390 3.11
Eau Claire 50 $17660 0.92
Racine 90 $34270 1.76
Madison 180 $47330 0.72
Milwaukee 540 $35220 0.98
Waukesha 540 $35220 0.98
West Allis 540 $35220 0.98
Wausau 0 $43570 0
  • Overview
  • Top Cities
  • Career Stories
  • Top Industries
  • Browse Schools

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Massage Therapy Schools

To find out more about building a career as Massage Therapists, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

  • Overview
  • Top Cities
  • Career Stories
  • Top Industries
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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Massage Therapy Schools

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent Salary
(2008)
Personal Services 22,160 43% $32,480
Medical Office 14,070 27% $39,470
Hotel And Accomodation 6,810 13% $30,530
Amusement Gambling And Recreation 5,050 9% $35,740
Education 890 1% $44,990
Hospital 800 1% $40,870
  • Overview
  • Top Cities
  • Career Stories
  • Top Industries
  • Browse Schools

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

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Brightwood College
Riverside, Vista

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy
  • Degrees: Diploma
National Holistic Institute
Emeryville, Petaluma, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Studio City

At National Holistic Institute, our history and network of relationships in the field continue to help our graduates succeed. With campuses across California, we offer a comprehensive massage therapy training program that prepares our graduates for a successful career in massage therapy. Whether you are looking to start your career or take it to the next level, NHI has a program for you.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy/Therapist
  • Degrees: Diploma
Mayfield College
Cathedral City

Give your career a boost with an education from Mayfield College.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy
  • Degrees: Certificate

Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

  • Programs: Advanced Professional Massage Therapy Program, Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Degrees: Certificate

Start your career with training from Blake Austin College - Beauty Academy.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy
  • Degrees: Certificate

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Rehabilitation Sciences (Certificate) - Online, Rehabilitation Sciences (Master of Science) - Online
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master
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Massage Therapy Schools by State

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Massage Therapy Schools.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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