Although around 16 institutions offer massage therapy training in Wisconsin, individuals interested in attending a not-for-profit school only have two school options. These schools provide students with the technical knowledge and clinical skills needed for entry-level work as massage therapists. Some of the following schools offer alternative schedule options, such as evening classes, and all incorporate hands-on massage practice into the curriculum. Admission requirements may include a clean bill of health, including a drug screening, and clear background check.
Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork
Located in Grafton, Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork offers a massage therapy program with three different tracks: therapeutic/relaxation, therapeutic/medical and therapeutic/energy. This flexible program is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) and allows students to take day or evening classes. It offers a full-time option that can be completed in 11½ months or a part-time option that is 23 months long. The admission process requires applicants to complete an interview with school staff and submit two letters of recommendation. Applicants must also provide a letter from a health care professional stating that he or she is in good all-around health and physically able to provide and receive massages.
Madison Area Technical School
Madison Area Technical School in Madison offers a one-year technical diploma program for students interested in entry-level massage therapist training. This program can also help health care professionals who want to improve their clinical knowledge and skills. The first term covers subjects like therapeutic massage, general physiology and musculoskeletal anatomy. The second term focuses on massage clinic and business practices, pathology and specialized massage modalities.
The state of Wisconsin requires anyone offering massage therapy services to be licensed. These workers must first submit an application and then pass the Massage Therapist Jurisprudence Exam and a national exam. The state also requires applicants to have completed an approved massage therapy or bodywork therapy program. Individuals who meet all the requirements but have not received national exam scores can get a temporary license that lasts for six months.
Both of the programs in this article prepare students to take the National Certification Exam for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers, and students can also apply to become Registered Massage Therapists with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Massage Therapy Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork||Less than 2-year, private not-for-profit; rural fringe||Massage Therapy Diploma||no data found|
|Madison Area Technical School||4-year, primarily associate's, public; midsize city||Therapeutic Massage Technical Diploma||$4,407 per year in-state; $6,512 per year out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.