Massage Therapy Programs in California
Are you interested in becoming a massage therapist in California? If so, now is the time to pursue your dream. According to 2012 statistics from the BLS, California is the top state for employment in the massage therapy industry. Massage therapy has become increasingly popular in the past few years for its benefits to physical and psychological health, leaving more and more opportunities for students such as yourself to study massage therapy techniques and develop careers in the field.
Find Massage Therapy Programs in California
You must attend a school that is approved by your state to provide training in the discipline you want to practice. Check with the school and the state board to be sure that your program of study will prepare you for any applicable state licensure.
In early 2013, California instituted certification requirements for massage therapists who wish to practice massage therapy professionally, so getting training from an accredited program is a must.
It should come as no surprise that the top state for massage therapy employment has over 250 massage therapy programs for you to choose from. California’s new massage therapy regulations now classify massage professionals into two categories. Certified massage therapists and certified massage practitioners are now both licensed by the California Massage Therapy Council and fall under two separate certifications.
Those who have completed between 250 and 499 hours of massage therapy education at an approved school may be qualified to become a certified massage practitioner. The Certified Massage Practitioner designation is temporary and will be phased out by 2015. At that point, Certified Massage Therapist will be the only credential for which aspiring massage therapists may apply. As a massage therapy student in California, you are required to complete at least 500 hours of education at a state approved school to qualify to become a Certified Massage Therapist.
California Massage Therapy Course Requirements
In California, your course requirements for becoming either a certified massage practitioner or certified massage therapist must focus on anatomy, physiology, contraindications, health and hygiene and business and ethics. Although each school may put a stronger focus on one over the other, all programs will cover these five subjects. As of May 2013, you must complete the first 250 hours of education at an approved California massage therapy school. The remaining 250 hours needed the California Massage Therapy Council may accept your hours completed either with distance learning or online programs.
Massage Therapy Licensing Requirements in California
Upon graduation you must then achieve a passing score on the MBLEx exam or the NCETMB/NCETM exam and then must pay a $150 fee to obtain the certificate. An additional $150 must be paid every two years to maintain an active status as a Certified Massage Therapist.
Employment Outlook for Massage Therapists in California
California massage therapists earn a yearly salary of nearly $40,000 on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest concentration of massage therapists are employed in areas such as traveler accommodation, recreation and amusement, physicians’ offices, other healthcare practitioners’ offices, and personal care services. The highest paid massage therapists typically work in nursing care facilities, physicians’ offices, other ambulatory care service areas, specialty hospitals, and technical and trade schools.
Massage therapy can be a rewarding career for you if you wish to earn a decent salary while improving the general well-being of others. You will find that the strongest qualities to have are to be compassionate, work well with others, and wish to have a dynamic career in order for massage therapy to be an excellent fit.