How to Choose the Right Massage School
Choosing a massage school is just like choosing any other institution of higher education—it takes careful consideration. There are many things to keep in mind when making this important decision, each as important as the next. Before choosing a massage school, gather all the information you can—talk to each school, find out what their program is like. This is a significant step toward your future career as a massage therapist, and it is important to have all the facts.
Before you decide on a massage school, think about the direction you want your massage career to take you. Do you want to relieve pain? Sooth aches? Encourage relaxation? The possibilities are nearly endless, as are the types of work environments for trained massage therapists. Would you like to work for a medical practice? How about a hotel or spa? What about having your own practice? Find a school that will help you achieve your dreams.
Program of study
Different massage schools teach different techniques, so it is important to research your options. Would you like to learn Swedish or Shiatsu? Deep tissue or acupressure? Make sure you know what the program covers before you begin, to ensure you learn what interests you.
Other important considerations when it comes to choosing a massage school program are time and location. Can you take a shorter, more intensive course, or would you prefer to take classes over a long period of time? What about night classes? Will you need to commute very far? How will this impact the rest of your schedule? Can you do any of the classes online? Make sure to find a massage school that fits into your life.
Also, it is important to learn about licensing and certification requirements for the state(s) in which you want to practice massage. Each state has different requirements that a massage therapist must meet before being allowed to work with clients. This may include a certain number of supervised training hours, and it usually includes taking some form of test. Make sure to find a school whose program of study helps its students meet those requirements.
The best place to find out about a massage program is at that school’s website. Most schools have an online form for prospective students to fill out and which is sent automatically to the proper person at the school. This is a great way to receive important information which will help them make their educational decision.
And what’s the best way to search online for a variety of schools, and then choose which ones to investigate farther? Visit www.massageschool.org for a complete listing of massage schools in the United States.
Accreditation is very important when it comes to choosing a massage school. Different massage organizations provide accreditation, which is a form of official recognition or approval of that massage school and its program. There are various types of accreditation: some organizations focus on broad educational standards, whereas others focus more narrowly on health and massage credentials.
Whether we like to admit it or not, cost plays a big role in determining educational choices, especially for professional schools like massage schools. Be sure to take the cost of attendance into consideration. Costs vary depending on the type of training you receive; it is relatively inexpensive to become certified, but acquiring a license, which is mandatory in many states, requires more training and thus more money. Financial aid, including federal loans and grants, are available for massage therapy education; your massage school should direct you to organizations available to assist you with aid.
Choosing a massage school is a big decision, and it is always a good idea to be well-informed before deciding. Take time to ask questions and find more information. Visit the school’s website, and request more information online. By spending time now to carefully consider all options, you are making an investment in your future career as a trained massage therapist. Good luck!