What you would like to accomplish with your training? Will you practice full or part time? Would you like to own your own business, have a private practice or work in the medical, spa or sports industries? Fortunately opportunities and demand for massage therapists are increasing with many areas to specialize in.
Visit school websites to narrow down your search. Schedule a tour.The admissions director should be able to answer most of your questions or guide you to answers. You should be able to get a good feel for the environment, quality and value during an initial tour. If the school has a public teaching clinic schedule a massage therapy session and experience first-hand that aspect of your curriculum. Some schools offer this service for free, just ask. Check out the schools social media presence. You could find out more about the industry, community and the school’s engagement through these informal communication channels.
The Cost of massage schools can vary. The quality of training, equipment and facility, number of certifications and length of program are a few determining factors that indicate the schools value. Education is an investment in your future. Research, asking questions, and a tour of the school will help determine if the investment matches the value you seek. Financial aid, for those who qualify, is available through federally accredited schools.
Accreditation is a verification of quality. Becoming an accredited massage school is a voluntary process that involves periodic rigorous examination by a recognized, independent agency. The accrediting agencies attest to the fact that the programs are sound, the faculty is highly qualified, the administration is responsible and ethical, that the students report having a valuable experience, and that completing and placement rates meet high standards.
What direction or specialty do you want to pursue? There are many choices available including medical, spa, private practice, on-site, working with those with special needs or athletes. Make sure the programs you consider support the career you desire. If you are not sure about a specific direction then choose a massage therapy program that offers an integrated curriculum with a strong foundation for any route you choose to take in the future.
Determine if the program schedule and school location work for your needs. If you will be working while going to school make sure there is an option that supports that. Some schools make available day, evening and part-time programs which offer a desired schedule for almost anyone.
It is critical to identify the licensing or certification requirements for the state in which you intend to practice. It varies by state and not all have licensure but may require certification.
Does the school have a teaching clinic? Hands on experience with the public can enhance one’s credibility, experience and confidence. As a student you can gain real life experience that supports your massage therapy career. Does the school market for clients or are students responsible for recruiting friends and family?
Is the facility clean and professional with a supportive learning environment? Are equipment , supplies and learning resources of quality and up to date?
Visit and tour the schools you are considering. Are the staff and instructors professional, knowledgeable, friendly, and sincere? Do the students look happy?
Alumni can offer a real life perspective on the value of a school. They can share how a school supported their career by the quality of education, instructors, and experience. An alumni’s feedback can give you additional critical information to help determine if a particular massage program will supply you with long-term benefits and be worth your investment.