Massage Therapy in Quebec, a market study

Following the publication of our first article on Massage School, we are pleased to have the opportunity to continue to share information about massage therapy in Quebec, Canada. We are encouraged by the feedback we have received!

This second article provides a summary of the results obtained through a market study conducted in early 2013 by AQTN. AQTN stands for Alliance québécoise des thérapeutes naturels, ( we are a regulatory body in Québec for massage therapy. We currently have two classifications for massage therapists, those with over 400 hours of training and those with over 1000 hours.

We felt that a market study was particularly important because in provinces where massage therapy is not regulated (ie: Quebec), as there are no official statistics. As a regulatory body we must conduct such surveys every few years to ensure that our training requirements reflect the reality of the programs offered throughout the province in private massage therapy schools.

Market study conducted in March 2013 – Massage Therapy in Quebec

Determine the standard number of training hours required for a massage therapist based on data collected from schools operating in Quebec. Is it 400 hours, 1000 hours or 2200 hours? Have there been any significant changes since 2010 when we conducted our first market study, which was used to determine our training requirements?

We contacted approximately 40 schools to determine if they offer the possibility of studying 1000 hours and whether it was a standardized program or different courses that add up to 1000. We also asked for the number of graduates in the last 12 months with 1000 hours or more of training.

We excluded schools that did not return messages. We left a minimum of 3 messages over a 10 days period.

The final sample size of schools is N = 33.

Our results represent an approximation and should not be interpreted as “exact”. Exact numbers are unknown, just as the real total population of China is unknown, to provide an analogy.


  • 47 % of schools do not offer the possibility of reaching 1000 hours. 
  • Schools that do offer 1000 hours do so mostly by different techniques, not via a standardized program. 
  • Of the students who study 1000 hours, the majority do so in three steps: 
  1. Initial training of 400 to 465 hours – almost all programs are Swedish Massage;
  2. Schools strongly recommend going to work for 2 or 3 years;
  3. Do a second and / or third training to reach 1000 hours.

  • The cost of a 1000 hour program hovers between 8,500$ and 10,000$ Many schools offer financial aid of some sorts. A 400 hour-training costs between 2,000$ and 4,000$.
  • 72% of massage treatments provided in Quebec are Swedish massage, requiring only 400 hours.

Source here

Conclusions :

  • Of the estimated 19,000 massage therapists in Québec (statistic taken from (Soins Personnels, less than 1% graduated with 1000 hours in the last 12 months.
  • According to the most common (72%) type of treatment rendered, the Swedish massage technique, 400 hours is more than sufficient. 
  • The norm in Quebec for hours of training varies between 400-465 hours.
  • The average number of hours of a typical massage therapist has, going back 25 years, would be much lower than 400 hours.
  • AQTN ( will maintain its educational requirements.

Graphical representation of schools broken down into three categories:

Sample size (N) = 33

Article written by the AQTN team.

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