How to Become a Massage Therapist

Interested in massage therapy as a future career option? Massage can be a perfect treatment for many suffering from back and neck pain, sport injuries, and even migraines, not to mention relaxing and calming effect of massage. Here is some information and steps you will need to take in case you are wondering how to become a massage therapist.

For starters, let’s define the role of massage therapist in healthcare. Should you choose to become a massage therapist professional, you will be able to help people with the following problems:

–   back pain
–   arthritis
–   strains and sprains, other sports traumas
–   rehabilitation after injuries or surgeries
–   headaches and migraines
–   stress and fatigue

In order to become a massage therapist, you have to choose a suitable training program. Prior to that, try to find out what authority controls the work of massage therapists in your state or city. You will need to understand the main requirements of your state for practicing massage therapy. Note that differences between states is quite significant: some states require a certain form of licensing, others don’t have specific rules. Moreover, you should remember that sometimes your state doesn’t have any requirements, but your city might. The same concerns a type of massage: to practice a certain type of massage you may need license, while other types don’t have to be certified. Reputable schools and accredited programs can guide you in understanding whether you need a license: applying for such program, you can find out all the details through the school’s website and inside information packages that are specific to the program of study.


Look for the program that will not only provide education, but also help you with licensing (if needed). In addition, decide on a specific kind of massage you want to practice: whether it’s sports massage, or clinical massage, or maybe even animal massage. Most training programs offer a course of Swedish massage (around 500-600 hours are required, combining theoretical course and practice). It’s a good idea to learn several types of massage, starting from Swedish and then continuing your education. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to earn.

Great benefit of massage therapist training programs is their availability: they are not too expensive and you can choose the most suitable time for studying, easily combining work or college with massage program. You can choose even online massage therapy courses (theoretical part, practice is required anyway).

As was mentioned above, certification may not be mandatory depending on your state. However, it’s a good idea to become board certified: it will open more doors to you and make you a more valuable employee. Certification exam is administered by the US National Certification Board of Massage Therapy.

Becoming a massage therapist, you can look for a job or you can consider starting your own business. As you may guess, massage therapists who work independently can receive higher earnings, however, they are always concerned with clients search.

So the main thing you should remember about massage therapy education is state requirements. Look for the reputable massage therapy school that will help you with all these legal details, and after a while enjoy your work.