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Massage Therapy Education in Tennessee

What comes to mind when you think of Tennessee? Do you think of The Great Smokey Mountains rising majestically across the state? They are a sight that visitors to the state have a difficult time putting behind them. Maybe not as notable as The Smokies, the state is also known for having one of the top women's basketball teams in the country. The Lady Volunteers at The University of Tennessee are one of the most successful women's basketball programs in collegiate history.

Speaking of institutions of higher learning, this is a good place to mention that massage therapists in the state of Tennessee must meet certain levels of training before practicing in the state. While some applicants across the country complain about the licensing process and the many hoops they feel they are required to jump through in some states, the licensure process is beneficial to quality certified therapists because licensing weeds out unqualified individuals and therapists who are not maintaining standard practices. Thus this sometimes tedious process eliminates some of the unworthy competition. However, this process is primarily put in place to protect patients and clients of massage therapists.

One of the best teachers is experience, and that is why therapists are required to earn at least 500 hours of training before being considered for licensure in Tennessee. Once these hours have been accumulated, course work will continue even after a graduate of a training program becomes a practicing massage therapist. This continued training is designed to ensure that therapists do not fall behind the advancements in there profession or allow their knowledge and skills to fade. Therapists must complete an additional 25 hours of training every two years. Failure to complete these hours can lead to decertification and loss of licensure.

After their initial 500 hours, students are allowed to apply for licensure, but first they must verify their educational background and register for, take and pass the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination. Once one of these exams is passed and all fees have been paid, and all background checks have been passed, including a criminal background check, the student is ready to become a professional.

Yearly salaries in Tennessee will vary based on where a therapist works, but the primary factor determining salary will be how much a therapist works. The more clients she is able to attract the more money she will make. In Tennessee, therapists usually charge $60 to $75 for a one hour massage. Multiple these numbers by the number of hours a therapist works per day and then multiply that by five and you get a good reading of the potential income for a massage therapist.

The biggest challenge for a therapist in Tennessee will probably come in the early years when she is attempting to establish herself in the occupation and build a cliental. In theory, once she proves that she is qualified, her client list will grow each year, earning her a considerably better than average income.