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Massage Therapy College FAQs

What Is Massage Therapy Practice?
Massage therapy is a type of treatment in which a trained and licensed professional manipulates the soft tissue of the body, like the muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments by using varying degrees of pressure and movement. The systematic manipulation is for well-ness related purposes, like pain relief and tension.
How Much Schooling Do You Need to Become A Massage Therapist?
Usually, to become a massage therapist, you need a high school diploma or a GED for admission. Some people entering the field have experience from another field, however, and having experience and education beyond high school can enrich what you bring to your massage career.
How Do I Prepare For Massage Therapy School?
When pursuing a license in massage therapy, you will have to take a Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination, or MBLEx for short. Some states may require an additional exam, or alternative exams, but the MBLEx is the standard. This is a two-hour long, computer-based test that assesses your knowledge in the following:
  • Client assessment, reassessment, and treatment planning
  • Ethics, boundaries, laws, and regulations
  • Benefits and physiological effects of techniques that manipulate soft tissue
  • Guidelines for professional practice
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Overview of massage and bodywork modalities, culture, and history
You can learn more on the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards exam content page.
What Is The Admissions Process Like?
When applying for a massage therapy school, you will need to schedule an interview with an admissions representative. If you did not apply online prior to the interview, bring the application with you to the interview. In addition to an application, bring proof of your high school diploma or GED. You may need to take an assessment test and pass before beginning training. When you are accepted, you can meet with a financial advisor to see if you are eligible for financial aid.
How Long Does It Take To Get Your Massage License?
This partially depends on how many hours your state requires for licensing and how many hours you take at a time. The program could be several months to two years, and could require a minimum of 500 hours of practice to get your license.
How Much Does A Massage Therapist Make?
Depending on where you work and the kind of massage therapy you specialize in, your salary will vary. Further, your income will vary by the demand for your services in your area, as well as how much you charge per hour, if you accept bill insurance, and if you sell retail products in addition to your massage therapy services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median annual pay for a professional massage therapist is $38,640 a year in 2018, which comes to $19.92 an hour. 
Can I Give Massages Without a License?
Individual states regulate massage therapy as opposed to the federal government, so depending on where you want to practice, you may not need a license. States like Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Wyoming do not have state laws that regulate massage therapists, meaning that you can practice in these states without a license. However, the American Massage Therapy Association believes it is crucial to have a license because:
  • It allows protection of the public through the establishment of high standards for entry into the profession. 
  • It allows protection of the public through the regulation of practice and recourse to effective disciplinary action.
  • It instills the right of massage therapists to define their practice, through proposed legislation and through regulation under an authoritative or advisory board of massage therapy.
How Much Do I Charge For Massages?
The cost of your massages can vary with the duration, the area the massage is in, the type of massage, and any add-ons with your massage. Further, the level of experience and knowledge may also impact prices. A massage from a student in training, or a massage therapist that has just earned their license may be less expensive than a professional who has had a decade of experience.
Where Do I Look For Work After Graduating?
The massage therapy field is growing in demand, and as the public seeks out massages, there are a number of venues adopting the practice. You can look for work in:
  • Your own private practice
  • Spas
  • Massage franchises
  • Hospitals
  • Chiropractic offices
  • College or professional athletic teams
How Much Does Massage Therapy School Cost and Can I Get Financial Aid?
Depending on where you live and where you plan on practicing massage therapy once you finish school can all impact how much your schooling experience costs. Your expenses will include things like tuition, textbooks, fees, a massage table (if it is not included in the fees) as well as student liability insurance. Six-month programs could be around a few thousand dollars, where a one- or two-year program could be around $15,000 or more.

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