Massage therapists are becoming more in demand with clients opting for alternative healing and relaxation methods over traditional health and wellness solutions. In Florida, there are over 60 massage therapy programs and schools to choose from, making it an ideal state to pursue a career in massage therapy.
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.
The massage therapy curriculum in Florida is meant to prepare students to learn the craft of therapeutic massage in as little as 20 weeks for traditional programs. Once in a program, your courses will focus primarily on subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, combined with different massage techniques including Swedish.
Basic massage therapy programs consist of 500 hours but you will have the option to take advanced courses at a number of schools, including the Florida Academy. These advanced courses will give you the opportunity to focus on specific massage industries including medical, sports and neuromuscular and typically require 200 additional program hours.
Learn About the Massage Therapy Licensing Requirements in Florida
In order to become a massage therapists, the Florida Department of Health requires that you first obtain a license to practice in the state. One of the requirements of becoming a licensed massage therapist is to be 18 years old or older with a high school diploma or G.E.D. Furthermore, you will need to show proof that you have finished a course in massage therapy at a licensed beauty school or have a degree in massage therapy. Preventing medical mishaps is a major concern, which is why it is also required that you take a 2-hour safety course in medical errors.
Upon completion of your massage therapy program, you must pass one of these exams to be considered for licensure:
– National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage and Body – National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage – National Exam for State Licensure – Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination
Finally, in order to get licensed, you will need to pay the $155 licensure fee.
Florida also will allow you to become licensed as a massage apprentice. In order to qualify for this certificate, you may not be currently enrolled in a massage therapy program and have a sponsor who has practiced in Florida for a minimum of three years. Apprenticeship training generally lasts for 12 months but you are allowed 24 months for completion. During training you will be required to meet a set number of hours in subjects such as Theory and History of Massage, Physiology and Statutes and Rules of Massage Practice.
Employment Outlook for Massage Therapists in Florida
The job outlook for massage therapists in Florida is positive, with a multitude of work settings available for you to choose from including spas, private medical offices, sports rehabilitation centers, hospitals, hospices, and they can even set up their own private clinic. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics the job growth increase is 20% in the next ten years, with Florida being the second highest state for employment opportunities.