Acupressure Technician: Educational Requirements

Sep 30, 2019

Acupressure technicians require some formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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An acupressure technician is a massage therapy specialist who uses hand pressure as a natural healing technique. Many acupressure technicians complete an associate degree program that incorporates traditional Chinese methods into the curriculum. Formal training and certification are required in states that mandate licensure for massage therapists.

Essential Information

People interested in learning about a specialty area of massage therapy might study to become an acupressure technician. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but it uses hand pressure rather than needles. Candidates can get started in this career field by completing a 1- or 2-year program and earning a license or certification.

Required Education Certificate or associate's degree in massage therapy or therapeutic massage
Licensure or Certification Required in most states
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 22% (for massage therapists
Median Annual Salary (May 2018)* $41,420 (for massage therapists)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Acupressure Defined

Used as a non-needle alternative to acupuncture, acupressure is a traditional Chinese healing method that involves applying pressure to parts of the body to relieve pain and reduce stress. Acupressure technicians might work in various medical settings, including hospitals, clinics and health clubs.

Educational Requirements for an Acupressure Technician

In states that require licensure for massage therapists, aspiring acupressure technicians must undergo formal training. Programs that offer acupressure training may integrate other methods of Chinese healing into their curricula. Topics of study may include anatomy, business, ethics, reflexology, shiatsu, aromatherapy and acupressure bodywork. Students also are likely to participate in supervised clinical practicums.

Licensure and Certification

Regulations regarding massage therapists vary by state. In states that require licensure, prospective massage therapists usually must complete a training program and an examination, such as the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards' Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork's (NCBTMB) National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Periodic renewal of state licensure may be required.

NCBTMB offers voluntary national certification for massage therapists. Applicants must complete a minimum of 500 hours of classroom instruction, in addition to passing the organization's certification exam ( Continuing education requirements must be met for recertification.

Career and Salary Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), massage therapists were forecast to experience employment growth much faster than average between 2018 and 2028 ( An increase in the number of spas and massage clinic franchises was expected to contribute to the increase employment growth. Massage therapists who have completed formal training and obtained licensure were expected to see the best employment opportunities. The BLS also reported that the mean annual wage for massage therapists was $45,880 in 2018.

Earning a degree in a relevant associate program, or certification, is typically a requisite for acupressure technicians. While certification is optional, it is strongly advised as it's preferred by clients. It may be even necessary, along with a license, in certain states.

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