If you’ve been considering a career in massage therapy, you’re probably wondering, “How long is massage therapy school?” Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
The length of massage therapy school programs can vary depending on several factors, including the school you attend, the type of program you enroll in, and whether you choose to pursue additional certifications or specialties. But don’t worry; we’ve got all the details you need to start a career in massage therapy.
Follow along as we break down the different types of programs, discuss what to expect from each, and give you an idea of how long it typically takes to complete your training and become a licensed massage therapist.
Requirements to Get a Massage Therapist License
Most states require a license to practice to become a massage therapist. This isn’t just some bureaucratic red tape; it’s an extremely important safeguard for clients. That’s why, to get a license, a massage therapist needs to meet certain requirements set by the state regulatory board.
Those requirements can vary widely from state to state. The best place to get a broad overview of the regulations and requirements in your state is on the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) website.
As a general rule, though, you can expect to complete somewhere between 500 and 1,000 hours of training at a board-approved massage school. Depending on your state, there might be additional requirements as well. For example, you might need to get certified in CPR or take a first aid class.
Once you’ve completed your education, you’ll need to take your state’s licensing exam. This is the final hurdle before you can start actually practicing as a massage therapist.
Massage Therapist License vs. Certification
It’s worth noting that there’s another thing called a massage therapist certification. This is different from a license, and it involves additional education and training in a specific massage specialty.
A certification can be a good way to demonstrate your expertise and set yourself apart in the field. Ultimately, getting a massage therapist license should be your top priority if you want to practice as a massage therapist, though.
While there are numerous programs you can enroll in to receive a license, here are a few of the most popular ones:
- Associate of Applied Science Degree in Massage Therapy
- Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB)
- Certification Exam for Structural Integration (CESI)
If you practice in California, a certification from the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) is helpful to have, too.
How Long Is Massage Therapy School?
So, you’ve decided to enroll in a massage therapy program, and now you’re wondering, “How long is massage therapy school?”
Programs can range from 300 to 1,000 hours of in-class instruction and practical training, which means you could finish in as little as a few weeks to up to two years. The length of the program will depend on how many different massage techniques are taught and how much practical training is included.
At Healthcare Career College, the top massage therapy school in Orange County, you can earn your certification in as little as 11 months. The program covers everything from sports massage applications to the ever-popular Swedish massage technique.
During your time in the program, you’ll learn various massage techniques.
These include massage techniques for sports massage applications, where you’ll learn how to help athletes and sports teams recover from injuries or enhance their performance. You’ll also learn Swedish massage training, a popular technique that helps reduce stress and anxiety.
You’ll also learn practical skills like anatomy and physiology, so you know exactly what you’re working with when accepting new clients.
Overall, the length of your massage therapy education will depend on your goals and chosen program. However, with dedication and a great school like Healthcare Career College, you can be certified in less than a year and start a rewarding career helping people feel their best.
What to Expect From a Massage Therapy Program
A question we often receive from prospective students is, “Why does massage therapy school take so long?” While you can complete your program in just 11 months at Healthcare Career College in Orange County, CA, you’re packing a lot of learning into those few months.
For example, by the end of your training, you’ll have a deep understanding of anatomy and kinesiology, the skills to perform different types of massages, and the knowledge to launch your career in the field.
Here’s a quick rundown of the courses and techniques you’ll learn.
Anatomy and Kinesiology
One of the main courses you’ll take in any massage therapy program is anatomy and kinesiology. You’ll learn about the structure and function of the human body, with a focus on how different muscles, bones, and joints interact.
This knowledge is crucial for any massage therapist, as it allows you to understand how to target specific areas of the body for maximum relief.
Another important aspect of a massage therapy program is professional development. This course will teach you how to operate as a professional massage therapist, from establishing a client base to developing strong communication skills.
Typically, courses regarding professional development as a massage therapist also include helpful workshops and information about ethics and legal issues.
Safety and Sanitation Guidelines
Of course, safety and sanitation are essential when it comes to massage therapy. In this course, you’ll learn about the importance of proper sanitation practices and the precautions to avoid injuring your clients. You’ll also learn the best techniques to ensure your clients are comfortable and safe throughout the massage.
Trigger Point and Deep Tissue Massage
Two of the most common types of massage therapy are trigger point and deep tissue massage. In a massage therapy program, you’ll learn about the muscles and areas of the body that are most receptive to these techniques.
In most massage therapy programs, you’ll learn a lot about how to use these types of massages to relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote overall wellness. Expect to learn a lot about techniques and proper massage form.
Swedish Massage Training
Swedish massages involve using long, smooth strokes to relax muscles and improve circulation. In massage therapy school, you’ll learn about the techniques and benefits of Swedish massage and how to adapt it to the various bodies and needs of your future clients.
Massage Techniques for Sports Massage Applications
Lastly, many massage therapists work with athletes to help them recover from injuries and optimize their performance. So, you’ll also learn about different massage techniques used for sports applications, including techniques that can help reduce inflammation and improve circulation to affected areas of the body.
Choosing the Right Massage Therapy School
If you’re considering pursuing a career in massage therapy, choosing the right school is key to your success. You want a school that not only provides a high-quality education but also offers additional support, resources, and opportunities to enhance your skills and career prospects.
Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:
First and foremost, ensure the program is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). This accreditation guarantees the quality of your education and is also required by most states for licensure.
Next, consider the program length and curriculum. Each school offers different programs with varying requirements, so choose a program that aligns with your goals. Remember that some states require a minimum number of hours of training to qualify for licensure.
Aside from those basic requirements, let’s talk about the Healthcare Career College difference. Here are just a few of the perks we offer.
Practice Massage Room
Our on-campus massage room and wellness center allow our students to practice their skills in a real-world setting. This provides hands-on experience often unavailable to students at other schools and gives our graduates a leg up when entering the job market.
Our online classes provide flexibility for students juggling work and other responsibilities. Experienced instructors teach our virtual classes, providing the same quality education as in-person classes.
State-of-the-Art Massage Therapy Equipment
We use only the latest and greatest equipment for our massage therapy program. Our students get hands-on practice with cutting-edge technology, positioning them ahead of the competition.
Our program provides students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience through internships. Working with experienced professionals, our students learn how to apply their classroom knowledge in practical settings, increasing their employability after graduation.
Our career services team is dedicated to helping our students secure employment after graduation. From resume-building to job search assistance, we provide our students the tools to succeed and find a job with their new massage therapy license.
Become a Massage Therapist
So, how long is massage therapy school? At Healthcare Career College, you can complete our program in just 11 months.
By choosing Healthcare Career College, you’re choosing a school dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive education, additional support and resources, and valuable opportunities to kickstart your career in massage therapy.
Ready to jumpstart your career? Learn more about our massage therapy program and how we can help you achieve your career goals.