As today’s society becomes more and more wellness-focused, massage therapy is fast becoming a thriving industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states this field is expected to grow quickly between 2013 and 2016.
The first thing to look for when choosing a massage school is whether they teach several different types of massage, including Swedish, prenatal, medical, relaxation, deep tissue, sports, acupressure, Shiatsu, neuromuscular therapy, healing touch techniques, rehabilitation, and pain relief – just to name a few. The school should not only teach all of these variations, but should teach them at a deep enough level to be of value once you are practicing them professionally.
Additional factors to consider include whether the school is well known in the industry and has a good reputation, whether the teachers have sufficient experience in the profession, whether the school offers assistance with job placement, and whether they assist you in preparing for the state and national licensing and certification exams.
New Jersey requires 500 hours of training for a massage license, so massage school can typically run between $5,000 and $9,000. Your school choice should provide you with the highest amount of options possible for your future career, so it is highly recommended you attend a school that is accredited.
Financial aid is typically available for eligible students attending accredited massage schools. As soon as you decide you want to attend massage school, you should immediately fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out if you are eligible for student loans or pell grants, which are loans that do not need repaid. Some massage schools also offer no-interest payment plans, private loan financing, and veteran’s assistance.
If you are a non-traditional student – meaning you are an adult deciding to go back to school – you should check into schools that offer flexible class schedules for adult students. Many schools understand their adult students have families and jobs they need to work around.
The mean wage for an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) as of May, 2011 is $15.57 per hour, or $32,380 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry that pays the highest wage for massage therapists is specialty hospitals, with an hourly mean wage of $24.32 per hour, or an annual mean wage of $50,590 per year.
Potential Career Opportunities
Massage therapists have a plethora of choices when it comes to choosing their ideal work environment. They can work in hotel spas or independent day spas, at fitness and recreation centers, in shopping malls, or in airports. They can also work in sports facilities or hospitals performing sports massages and rehabilitation massages for athletes and injured patients. Some choose to work out of their own private office, with massage clients coming to them. Others choose to be traveling massage therapists and go where their clients are, typically to private homes or offices.
Chiropractors often have massage therapists on site, giving massages to their patients. Prenatal massages are popular with pregnant women to help relieve their aches and pains of pregnancy and some clients have their newborn babies receive infant massages as well. Nursing homes also employ massage therapists for their senior residents.
Find Your Massage Therapy School
If you are ready to take the next step towards a career as a professional massage therapist, use our online directory to contact the programs that interest you.