Advanced Massage Therapy Certificate: Program Overview

Oct 15, 2019

An advanced certificate program in massage therapy builds upon basic massage therapy skills through improved techniques and knowledge. In addition to having completed a basic massage therapy program, admission requirements may include placement exams and/or state licensing.

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Essential Information

Advanced certificate programs in massage therapy cover areas such as tissue manipulation, patient assessment, basic pharmacology, advanced human anatomy and patient care. For admission, students need to have a high school diploma or GED.Students are required to meet state medical board requirements and take placement tests in math or English. The duration of these advanced programs varies. Graduates can expect to develop and refine their critical professional skills, translating to improved career options in the field.

Advanced Certificate Program in Massage Therapy

With the framework of a formal training program in place, many massage therapists seek additional training and skill development. In an advanced certificate program, students learn more detailed massage techniques, as well as gain more clinical, ethical and professional training. Coursework may cover topics such as:

  • Medical terminology
  • Massage in a medical setting
  • Hot stone massage
  • Trigger points
  • Aromatherapy
  • Sports massage

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for massage therapists are expected to grow 22% between 2018 and 2028 ( This increase will mean a demand for more therapists in a variety of settings. Individuals who complete formal training and complete certified programs have an advantage, the BLS noted. Networking and referrals are two ways in which a massage therapist may develop a base of clients for their work. The BLS reported that massage therapists had an average annual salary of $45,880 as of 2018.

Advanced training in massage therapy may allow individuals to work in settings such as:

  • Gyms
  • Spas
  • Hospitals
  • Medical offices
  • Assisted living/nursing homes
  • Physical therapy centers
  • Hotels

Continuing Education Information

The BLS noted that massage therapists may be required to hold a state license. Licensure usually requires passage of a state examination or through an exam administered by a nationally recognized professional organization such as the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination.

Advanced massage therapy certificate programs teach students more detailed techniques and receive clinical and ethical training. A state-issued license may be necessary to practice as a massage therapist.

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