Massage Education Requirements

Massage therapy is rapidly gaining ground not only for leisure but also in the health care field. The effectiveness in relieving pain and producing pleasure has more individuals seeking massages for various reasons. Schools are adding this certification to the course work and enabling individuals to start working within a year or less.

Currently, 42 states have the capability to give licensure for massage therapy. Becoming a massage therapist is a fast growing career that enables an individual to work in a wide range of areas and with a variety of people. Certification requirements are standard state to state, however hours, testing, and license renewal varies depending on what state an individual works in. The standard requirements have a student working within six to seven months after attending school full-time. For individuals who attend school part-time the requirements will have the student working after a year of professional training. Logged required classroom hours typically range from 500 to 700 depending on the state, sometimes more hours are needed.

Typical class work includes; Anatomy, Professional Development, Trigger Point Therapy, and Russian Sports Massage. In the program students are taught light energy work with structural bodywork modalities. Students will learn Eastern and Western theory and technique. In keeping with the holistic approach to health and healing individuals will obtain the knowledge on how to treat specific pain and dysfunction. Most programs involve a comprehensive Professional Development class. The course helps the student learn how to start and operate their massage therapy business. Students will gain understanding in:

  • Presentation
  • Advertising

…and most important the integration of a solid business with the overall theme of practicing in a holistic manner in regards to health care.

Just finishing natural healing training is not enough; every state that awards licensure requires individuals to pass an examination. The examination is an overall test based mblex exam on the schooling obtained. Two different exams can be taken to gain a license, however this depends on which state an individual attended school. The MBLEX or NCETMB is required in every state to be a licensed massage therapist.

The price of tuition will vary from school to school. On average a student will pay $9 to $10 per credit hour. If 500 hours is required by the state, then tuition will cost approximately $4,500 to $5,000. This does not include other expenses such as:

  • Books
  • Travel
  • Food

Tuition will vary depending on the schools requirements; some schools include a massage table in the tuition price. An additional $500 should be added if purchasing a massage table is necessary. Additional expenses may be included depending on the specific area students choose to study such as alternative healing training.

Upon completion of an accredited massage therapy program and passing the final examination a wide job market is available depending on skill level and experience. The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation ( ) accredits quality career preparation programs. Massage therapists can start their own business and work out of their own home or find a business location in the community of their choice. Other jobs include working for hospitals, spas, cruise ships, resorts, and physical therapy offices. In bigger cities a massage therapist can charge $60 to $70 an hour, in a rural community the typical hourly rate is $35 to $50. The demands physically on a massage therapist have them on average working 35 hours or less.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised on

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