Is there a right and wrong way to choose a massage therapy school? Yes, and because we care about you, we have a list of key factors you need to consider before joining a massage therapy program.
Not all massage schools are created equal. The options will surprise you, with so many massage therapy specialties available. It’s hard to choose.
Since the quality of your education you get is directly proportional to the quality of the program you join, we want to help you understand what to look for.
This is the first step to become a massage therapist. If you take it wrong, it’ll lead you down a path of lost career opportunities.
With so much at stake, let’s delve deeper into the key factors you should consider.
The Right Massage Therapy School at the Right Time
There are more than 1,000 massage therapy schools in the United States. Probably, there are dozens in your area. As your friends, we won’t allow you to take a shoot-and-pray approach to choose one. Take your future seriously.
Consider the following factors while you’re searching for your massage therapy school:
1. School Age:
It’s a critical factor that determines whether the school has stood the test of time. Moreover, it also indicates how many students completed the program and became licensed massage therapists. It makes you confident to know that your school has years of experience behind it.
2. Massage Therapy Philosophy
Fundamentally, massage therapy is a medical field. But it still has various schools of thought. Look up their mission statements and see whether you agree with it.
3. Science or Art
Many schools view massage therapy as a scientific disciple, while others believe it to be an art.
Both have valid arguments. Both have downsides. Depending on your approach to massage, you might be inclined to one view or the other.
The key factor here is deciding whether you want to join a massage therapy school that’s strictly teach massage therapy only, or a school that integrate it with other wellness and bodywork programs.
4. Online or Offline
Your learning style will play a crucial role in your success in a massage therapy school.
Whether online or offline, you’ll need to decide if the curriculum suit your needs. By its nature, massage is a first-rate hands-on practice.
So, take your education to the next level by enrolling in a program that emphasizes training in various disciples.
5. Accredited or Not Accredited.
This should be the number one factor. Approved schools are accredited by national organizations to prepare you for your license right after graduation.
You don’t want to sign up for a program that gives you an unaccredited certificate because then, you’ll have to do more training to get licensed.
Know the leadership of your desired school while doing your research. They’re the people who designed the culture of the school.
It’s essential to know their qualifications and years of experience teaching massage therapy.
7. Teacher’s Quality
Almost anybody can become a therapeutic massage therapist. Right after leadership, you must research your instructors. Usually, the higher up the school the more likely it’ll hire qualified teachers.
But you still need to make sure your teachers are top caliber. Furthermore, you must be certain you’ll get the highest quality education in terms of present-day technology, recent discoveries, and up-to-date teaching methods.
8. Teacher-Student Ratio
You must know how many students will be in hands-on classes. If there’re many students and a few teachers, you won’t get the attention you need and deserve.
Too many students distract the teacher from teaching and degrade the learning experience for everyone.
Make sure your class has few students so you can receive all the knowledge you need to advance.
9. Your Peers
Fellow students should also give you a clue about your learning experience. You’ll be working with them on assignments, and some of them will become your best friends.
It’ll help you to know their ages, professions, and educational background.
10. Your Schedule
Since massage therapy school requires commitment, you’ll need to figure out how it fits in your schedule.
Your availability will be an important factor in making it work. If you have a day job, you might want to consider a night school. Other obligations shouldn’t stop you from continuing your education.
11. Attrition Rate
The attrition rate determines what percentage of students graduate successfully. It also provides a clue about how difficult learning will be.
A low attrition rate might also mean the screening process is hard to pass.
Does your school help you find a job after graduation? It’s important to know whether your school will have your back when it comes to job hunting.
A good massage therapy school helps its students with employment. If you aren’t prepared for the job market this could be an important factor to consider.
13. Advanced Programs
Graduation isn’t the end. If you have higher aspirations, you should consider whether your school offers advanced programs to further your education.
Continuous training will be key to your long-term success as a massage therapist.
Your Massage Therapy School Most Burning Questions Answered
After checking all these factors, there remains a few questions you need to know:
- How does the school screen students? What are the eligibility requirements, if any?
- What is their Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards rating?
- Are they associated with national massage therapy organizations?
- How are they different?
- How do you feel about them?
Now that you’ve completed your research, only one last step is left.
Start interviewing professional massage therapists who graduated from your target school. They should help you finalize your decision.
To help you with your research, use our school finder tool.
Create a list of the most likely candidate school, and dig deep until you signal out the best massage therapy school for you.
When you’ve done all your research. Relax with a cup of coffee and start planning your graduation ceremony celebration. You’ve earned it.