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Associate Degree in Medical Massage: Program Overview

An associate degree in medical massage covers methods for manipulating the body's muscles and soft tissues to reduce stress and treat injuries or illnesses. Read more about the program and learn how it prepares graduates for massage therapy careers.

Essential Information

Associate degree programs in medical massage give students the necessary skills for passing state licensing exams and launching a massage therapy career. Most medical massage therapy programs combine lectures with hands-on training and an internship. Prospective students must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent to gain admission.


Associate Degree in Medical Massage

Medical massage therapy studies often combine liberal arts courses such as English, mathematics, and science with core classes that are specific to the major. Common courses include:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Legal information and ethics
  • Western massage
  • Eastern massage
  • Psychology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of medical massage degree programs work in a variety of environments, including spas and fitness centers, medical facilities, doctor's offices, and in-home businesses. Networking and referrals are a primary means of growing professional opportunities and clientele.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for all massage therapists are expected to grow by 22% from 2014-2024, much faster than average due to industry growth and continual increases in demand (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities are projected to increase as the number of clinics, workplace programs, and senior citizen facilities offering massage services increase. The BLS also reported that the median annual wage of massage therapists was $38,040 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Although regulations vary from state to state, many states require massage therapists to become licensed by passing a licensure exam and may also require licensed medical massage therapists to fulfill a certain amount of continuing education requirements to maintain their licensure. Graduates may also go on to earn an advanced degree, such as a bachelor's degree or master's degree in massage therapy, or obtain a degree in a related degree program, such as acupuncture, nursing, physical therapy, or Oriental medicine.

Medical massage associate degree programs provide students with classroom lectures and hands-on practice of the different therapeutic massage techniques. Graduates can obtain licensure, as required by most states, and continue their studies through more advanced degree programs.


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