Education requirements for massage therapists greatly vary by region or state. Most massage programs are offered at either public or private postsecondary schools. Most programs take 1,500 or more hours total. Most massage therapy programs require a high school degree or equivalent to be admitted to a massage therapy course. Some states do not require licensure, but may have additional licensing requirements on certain areas of massage therapy such as pathology and physiology. Get the facts about massage therapist
When applying to become a massage therapist, most programs will require a medical history and background check. This includes a drug screening, physical exam, and completion of a training or practice period in massage therapy. If you’re applying to teach massages, you must complete an education and training program, as well. Depending on your location, you’ll need to pass the Medical History Examinations (MHE) or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) exam.
Massage therapists can work in a variety of ways, from providing individual, group, or family services to large companies that include thousands of employees. Some individuals work in settings that require a long list of certifications, including those found at hospitals, nursing homes, hospice, doctors’ offices, retail sales, etc. Others may work in more generalized settings, such as day spas or salons, or in corporate settings. There are also options for working as a therapist with government agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and some local schools.