U.S. News & World Report recognized massage therapist as one of the 50 best careers for 2011, based on factors like salary, employment outlook and job satisfaction. As of July 2014, there were more than 500 accredited institutions in the U.S. offering programs that prepare students for a career in this area, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The National University of Health Sciences, Miami Dade College and the New York College of Health Professions are among the top schools offering programs in this field.
1. National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL
|School Highlight: The National University of Health Sciences offers a chiropractic assistant program, which includes massage therapy program courses.|
The National University of Health Sciences offers a massage therapy certificate program and an Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy. Students learn about anatomy, business and various massage techniques, including sports massage, deep tissue work, Swedish massage and trigger point therapy. Graduates of National University's massage therapy program generally score above state and national averages on the compulsory licensing exam, according to the school's website.
2. Miami Dade College in Miami, FL
|School Highlight:Miami Dade College offers a Career Technical Certificate in Massage Therapy with three tracks: transitional, accelerated and generic.|
The Medical Campus of Miami Dade College is home to a massage therapy certificate program that has three track options. Current physical therapists or physical therapist assistants can select the accelerated option and other healthcare professionals can select the transitional option; these tracks allow students to skip some of the introductory health courses and move directly into core massage therapy courses. Other students can select the generic track, which is for those who do not have a current healthcare-related certification or license.
3. New York College of Health Professions in Syosset, NY
|School Highlight: New York College of Health Professions was the first U.S. college to offer a massage therapy degree in therapeutic bodywork.|
The New York College of Health Professions offers an Associate in Occupational Studies in Massage Therapy program. In addition to the main campus in Syosset, the college has satellite schools in New York City and operates a medical facility in the People's Republic of China. The New York College of Health Professions offers students and faculty the opportunity to spend two weeks at the center in Luo Yang, where they can attend presentations and immerse themselves in Chinese culture.
Top Schools Offering Massage Therapy Programs
|Arizona Western College||Operates student clinic for stress reduction and relaxation massages||Yuma, AZ|
|Idaho State University||Offers a technical certificate program in massage therapy as well as an associate degree, the latter of which qualifies graduates for transfer to a bachelor's program in health sciences||Pocatello, ID|
|Lake Washington Institute of Technology||Massage therapy program teaches students business skills||Kirkland, WA|
|Ohio College of Massotherapy||Offers an online massotherapy program||Akron, OH|
|Parker University||Offers a certificate program and am associate's degree in massage therapy||Dallas, TX|
|Siena Heights University||Bachelor of Applied Science in Massage Therapy builds on students' associate degree studies||Adrian, MI|