Massage therapy is a flexible, rewarding career that improves people’s health and well-being. Because of the hands-on nature of massage therapy, it is essential to undergo supervised, in-person training in order to gain practical experience and qualify to sit for a certification exam. However, there are blended programs offered by online massage therapy schools, which allow you to complete the academic portion of the program from home at your own pace. If you would like to build a successful career as a massage therapist, learn more about massage therapy schools online.
Requirements for Attending Massage Therapy Schools Online
Educational requirements for massage therapists vary greatly from one state to another. A high school diploma or GED is usually required for admission to online massage therapy school. Massage therapists are typically required to complete a postsecondary education program with 500 hours or more of study and practical experience. Programs can be completed in a little as two months or as much as two years, depending on the time you have to devote to your classes. Students are typically awarded a postsecondary certificate or associate’s degree.
Most states regulate massage therapy, requiring massage therapists to obtain a license or certification to practice after graduating from an approved program. In order to obtain a license, you may be required to take one of two nationally recognized tests, either the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) or the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). Massage therapists might also be required to undergo a background check and complete CPR and first aid training.
What You Learn in Massage Therapy Classes Online
Online Massage Therapy Courses
Massage therapists use specialized touch to manipulate soft-tissue muscles of the body and help clients relax and heal. Students might be required to take the following classes online:
- Applied anatomy
- Anatomy & physiology
- Ethics & professionalism
- Basic pathology
- Nutrition & diet therapy
- Specialized modalities
Massage therapists use a variety of massage techniques. Classes that will be conducted in-person may include study in:
- Swedish massage,
- Hot stone massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Prenatal massage
- Sports massage
After completing all of your coursework, you will then be required to participate in a practicum in order to gain hands-on experience and acquire the necessary hours to graduate.
Online Continuing Educating Courses
In addition to your initial coursework, there are also continuing education courses in massage therapy available online, such as those offered through the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) for example, which can help keep you abreast of the latest industry standards throughout your career.
Massage Therapist Career Overview
Massage therapists evaluate clients to locate painful and tense areas and discuss their symptoms with them. They manipulate muscles and other soft tissues of the body to treat injuries, relieve pain, promote relaxation, and aid in general wellness. Because massage therapy is a physically demanding career, massage therapists must use proper techniques in order to prevent injury and avoid fatigue.
Massage therapists work in a variety of settings. They work in hotels, cruise ships, offices, fitness centers, hospitals, airports, and more. Many massage therapists are self-employed, and many only work part-time.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of massage therapists is expected to grow 23% from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth in massage therapy is increasing as more healthcare providers incorporate it into treatment plans. Also, like most areas of healthcare, as the baby boomer population ages, massage therapy will be in more demand—especially in nursing home facilities. To some extent, the growth in massage therapy will also reflect the health of the economy. In 2012, the states with the highest employment for massage therapists were California, Florida, Texas, Washington, and Arizona.
In 2012, the median annual wage of massage therapists was $35,970, which breaks down into an hourly wage of $17.29. The bottom 10% earned $18,420, and the top 10% earned $70,140. Most massage therapists earn a combination of wages and tips. The top paying stares were Alaska, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington, and Delaware. Top paying industries for massage therapists included ambulatory healthcare services, nursing care facilities, technical and trade schools, and physicians’ offices.
Enrolling in an Online Massage Therapy School
Massage therapy has become widely accepted as an effective method for treating pain and improving wellness. Taking massage therapy classes online is a great way to start building a career as a massage therapist, because it allows you to complete the required coursework at your own pace. If you would like to help clients relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, and achieve overall wellness with the power of touch, explore online massage therapy schools today.