Massage Therapist Educational Programs
In almost every state in the US, massage therapists will need to have a degree or license of some kind in order to legally practice their work. It is important that individuals understand the regulations in their particular area. Most areas will require massage therapists to complete a course, pass some sort of examination, and then continue or update their education or license as necessary. The first step down the path to becoming a massage therapist then is to find the right school.
Massage Therapy Schools:There are all kinds of school and massage therapy programs that one can enter into. Many community colleges offer programs as do specialty training centers for massage therapy. There are no massage therapy programs that will be done exclusively online and grant an individual a real license to practice. A valid program will be one that requires the individual to actually practice the art of massage on clients before being licensed. The best way to know that a program is legitimate is to find out if it is accredited by the United States Department of Education, the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, or the American Massage Therapy Association. These are governing bodies set in place to ensure that the schools they accredit provide adequate training for individuals to work as massage therapists.
Selecting the Right Program:
One should begin the process of selecting a school or program by narrowing down his or her search to a few good and accredited schools. After this has been done, the individual will need to do research on the program itself. He or she should find out what the requirements are, what other graduates of the program have gone on to do, what types of massage are taught, and whether there are any specialization programs for those interested in working in particular environments or with a particular type of massage. He or she should compare the findings to the type of work the individual wishes to do. A good program will be one that is well rounded and that covers at least the basics of all types of massage therapy.
The individual should also be sure that he or she understands the requirements for admittance to a particular program. These vary from school to school, with some of the more prestigious schools requiring a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in any subject. If an individual is interested in becoming nationally licensed or in joining the American Massage Therapy Association, he or she will need to be sure that the program will give him or her the tools to do so. It is recommended that those wishing to go further with their licenses participate in a program with at least 500 hours of supervised hands on training and courses on anatomy, physiology, massage therapy, and several different electives or specialization courses.
Massage therapy can be an exciting and lucrative career, but only if one takes the right steps in being licensed by an accredited and esteemed massage therapy program that will adequately prepare him or her for this career.