The previous post examined four main factors to consider when selecting a massage therapy school: accreditation, state regulations, curriculum, and opportunities for hands-on practice. These are an excellent start and they can help you narrow down your options to a short list. This post will explore a few more factors that can help you select the best massage therapy school to meet your educational needs.
Exam Prep Courses
To obtain a license in most states, you must pass a state or nationally recognized exam, such as the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx). Look for a school that offers special courses or workshops to help you prepare for this exam.
Business Skills Training
Almost half of massage therapists are self-employed, owning their own brick-and-mortar shop, working out of their homes, or traveling to clients’ homes and businesses. Building and running a successful business requires skills including understanding finance and accounting, marketing and promotion, and customer service skills. Look for a massage school that not only teaches massage, but also offers courses on core business topics.
Self Care Training
Giving massages can be tough on your body, and masseuses need to take special care of themselves to avoid injury and burnout. Ensure that the school you attend provides information and training about how to take care of yourself as a massage therapist.
The best way to learn is to learn from the best. Make sure that the instructors teaching you how to massage know their stuff and are licensed by the state. Another indication of quality instruction is the students. Most schools have a student clinic, so schedule a time to get a massage. Are the students well trained? Are they happy? Seeing the students in action is a great way to gauge the quality of the school and of the instructors.
Even if you want to start your own massage business, it is always a good idea to get some experience first. Many massage schools also run their own clinics or have connections in the local community to help graduates find their first jobs. Inquire about the career services the school you are considering offers and ask about its job placement rate.
Schedule and Cost
Finally, massage schools vary greatly in their schedule and cost. Some schools are full-time, whereas others offer part-time programs on evenings and weekends. The cost can also be different from one school to another. When asking about the cost, be sure to find out the total cost of everything—equipment and fees can add a lot to the base tuition. Finally, ask if there is any financial aid available.
These last two posts have highlighted ten top things to look for when selecting a massage school. Keeping these factors in mind will help you find the best school to prepare you for your future career.
American Massage Therapy Association. Starting a career in massage therapy: What you need to know.
Renaissance College. Massage program.