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Choosing a Massage School: a How-to Guide

Choosing a massage school involves identifying a school that has everything you need to be successful when becoming a massage therapist. Factors to consider should include the program schedule and the length of time required for completion, quality of instruction, commute time, and the cost of your education. Research is vital in helping you make your decision.

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Teacher experience: Take the time to meet the instructors when you visit a massage school and perhaps even sit in on a class to discover their unique teaching styles. Find out what teachers will be involved in your education and what their qualifications are. Ask how long the teachers have been teaching in their field and how long they have been with the school. You might also consider talking to current students and graduates of the massage school to see what they think about the program. Conducting a little online research of your own may give you a better picture about individual experience at this particular massage school.

Geography: When becoming a massage therapist, different individuals may consider commute time more or less important. The quality of the massage school curriculum and instructors may make a longer commute worth the time and effort.

State authorization: Ensure that your state’s governing massage therapy board recognizes the school. In order to operate in any state, the massage school must be fully authorized. Each school is required to post documentation indicating compliance with state mandated guidelines. Ask to see this documentation if it is not pointed out in your visit to the school.

Courses: Some massage schools tout classes that might not be essential for everyone interested in becoming a massage therapist. Though most massage schools offer the same or very similar curricula, others might add information or techniques that may be useful for some but could create more of an overload to students than a learning opportunity. Each state specifies the subject matter and required hours in the curriculum; anything beyond that is not necessary to fulfill state requirements. (In the state of Georgia, the requirement for massage therapy education is 500 hours.) How the information is sequenced and presented is a key difference between schools.