What will I learn in massage therapy school?

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Regardless of which state you wish to complete a massage therapy program in, your curriculum will consist of courses that have a strong focus on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology, in addition to courses that cover different massage therapy techniques and applications.  Most massage therapy schools also require you take courses in business ethics and business management to prepare you for work in the industry.  State’s differ in what areas of study they put more of an emphasis on, so there is no universal set hours you must complete in each area.  For example, Louisiana massage therapy schools require you to complete 325 of your 500 hours of your coursework focusing on massage therapy techniques and clinical practicum whereas massage therapy schools in Texas only require this portion to be 200 of your 500 hours.  Finding a massage therapy school in your area is the best way to see how the school curriculum is broken up.

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What are the most common massage therapy techniques taught in school?

There are a number of different massage therapy techniques that are often taught, some more in-depth than others, during your training program.  You will most likely take courses that focus on  Swedish, aromatherapy and hot stone massage techniques.  Other techniques, that may not be offered at every school may include deep tissue massage, shiatsu, sports massage, reflexology, and pregnancy massage.  If you are interested in becoming specialized in one of these, be sure to ask the schools you are considering if courses in these techniques will be available for you to choose from.

Why do I need to take business courses while in massage therapy school?

It may seem odd to you to take business and ethic courses while completing your required training hours but these courses may prove to teach you the most valuable lessons.  Most states and schools include these courses to train you on the fundamentals of professionalism.  Because you will work with clients day in and day out, it is essential that you learn how to deal with conflicts within professional limits.

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Great Falls (DC Metro Area)

How do I become a massage therapist?

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Becoming a massage therapist has become a popular career choice in recent years and BeautySchools.com is excited you are considering joining this fast-paced industry. We want to give you the scoop on the most important aspects to consider, so that when you pick a school, you are confident it best fits your educational needs and ultimately will help make you a successful masseuse.

Like most other cosmetology programs, the requirements for those who wish to practice massage therapy vary from state to state. According to the  American Massage Therapy Association, there are approximately 1,120 massage therapy schools across the country, that offer at least 500 hours of initial training.  Although 500 hours is not the required hours for every state, it is the normal.  We recommend you  check out your state licensing board’s requirements to learn how many hours you will be expected to complete.

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What is the difference between becoming licensed and becoming a certified massage therapist?

While some states will allow you to work once you have received certification,  other states require you become licensed.  What is the difference you ask?  To become licensed in the state in which you wish to practice, you have to complete the required education from an accredited massage therapy program.  Becoming licensed is required by law in order to practice so it’s seen as nonvoluntary for those who wish to become massage therapists.  If you receive your license, it is an endorsement from the government agency that regulates massage therapy in your state, that you have completed the required training and seen as competent to work with patients in the massage industry.

Certification is done through non government agencies, and is an acknowledgment from the association that you have completed its qualifications and that it deems you have the necessary skills. Certification is not required and is seen as a voluntary process.  Although you do not have to be certified to practice, we recommend you look into a certification process for a number of reasons. First, different associations and certifications allow you member benefits including networking events and continued education opportunities.   Additionally, becoming certified show potential clients that you have completed additional training and are competent to perform a number of different massage therapy techniques safely and accurately.

Is there a national exam I must pass in order to practice massage therapy?

Again, each state has it’s own regulations that it will require you to follow.  A few states administer their own exams through the massage licensing board, but in most cases, passing one of two national exams is accepted.  The MBLEx is offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and costs $195.  You can take this massage therapy exam as many times as needed to pass, but will be required to pay the $195 testing fee each time.

You can also choose to take one of two licensing exams provided by the NCBTMB.  Depending on your state requirements, you will need to successfully pass either the national Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.  Each exam costs $185.

In order to best be prepared to pass either a licensing or certification exam, completion of a massage therapy program is essential.

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Great Falls (DC Metro Area)

What is cosmetology license reciprocity?

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Typically, when you earn your cosmetology license, you are only eligible to work in the state in which you are licensed. However, if you want to work in other states, you may have heard of cosmetology license reciprocity. Reciprocity is one way to work in a state other than your state you have licensure in without having to go through the educational requirements of the new state.

Although reciprocity allows you to work in a state with your license from another state, it  is not always available. To figure out if you are eligible for license reciprocity, you have to contact the Board of Cosmetology  in the state where you want to work. Some state boards may provide a list  of states that it accepts licenses from on its website. If a list is not readily available, you will need to contact the Board of Cosmetology directly to find out if reciprocity is an option.

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Do I need work experience to be eligible for reciprocity?

In addition to needing an active license from your state of licensure, some states will require you have completed a certain number of work experience hours before they award reciprocity. At minimum, you need an active cosmetology license from your state. At most, you need five or more years of cosmetology experience in your current state. Checking the requirements for the state you hope to work in can save you time and an application fee if you do not qualify.

In most cases, reciprocity is more likely to be an option when the education curriculum and licensure requirements are similar in your state of licensure and the state that you want to work in. If your state’s licensure requirements are much more relaxed than the requirements of the state you want to work in, reciprocity is less likely to be accepted. However, if your state of licensure has much more rigid requirements, reciprocity is more likely to be an option for you.

If you meet reciprocity requirements and you are ready to proceed, you can fill out the required application from the Board of Cosmetology in the state where you plan to work. You may also have to submit a copy of your licensure or certification from your current Board of Cosmetology. In many states, you also have to pay an application fee. If an examination is required, the Board of Cosmetology can tell you when your exam is and what you need to bring. After completing the application process, you should get a notice from the Board of Cosmetology that tells you if you can work in their state.

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