Diploma programs in massage therapy can prepare graduates for entry-level positions providing massages in a variety of styles and techniques. Programs may be completed in a year by full-time students. Most massage therapy diploma programs require students to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent for admission.
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Diplomas in Massage Therapy
A diploma program in massage therapy often can be completed in a year of full-time study. Students in this program take coursework which trains them on massage techniques and principles of running their own business. Students take a variety of courses, such as:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Fundamentals of massage
- Introduction to business
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates might pursue jobs in hospitals, health clubs, private spas, and clinics. They also might become self-employed.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that, as of May 2015, massage therapists earned a median annual salary of $38,040 (www.bls.gov). Massage therapists who worked at specialty health care services earned more than therapists working in other settings. The BLS also noted that employment in this field was expected to grow faster than many other professions between 2014 and 2024; however, new massage therapists likely will be limited to part-time work until they establish a client base big enough to sustain full-time employment.
Continuing Education Information
Most states require massage therapists to be licensed or certified. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) has partnered with 38 states to offer certification exams (www.ncbtmb.org). These tests have written and practical assessments. To be eligible for certification, individuals must complete a minimum of 500 hours of instruction, demonstrate knowledge and core skills relating to massage, and pass the exam. Continuing education is required for re-certification.
NCBTMB also offers a national certification for individuals who wish to practice massage therapy in more than one state. This credential can be important because it identifies you as representing the highest standards of massage therapy. This could give you an advantage when competing for massage therapist jobs.
Students pursuing body therapy will likely find interest in diploma programs in massage therapy, which cover massage techniques and related principles of human anatomy. The field of massage therapy is expected to experience very healthy growth over the next decade, though graduates will need to attain licensure before beginning practice.