Massage Therapy Associate's Degree

Massage therapy education programs explore massage techniques through scientific coursework and hands-on learning. Learn about schools, associate's degrees, course topics and professional licensing exams. Schools offering Massage Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Massage Therapy Associate's Degree Program Like?

In a massage therapy associate's degree program, you gain both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience helping clients relieve pain, increase vitality, optimize system health, relax and reduce stress. You gain the communication and business skills you need to interact with clients and work independently. Most states require massage therapists to be licensed, and an associate's degree program usually fulfills the requirements necessary to apply for licensure.

Community colleges and technical schools frequently offer massage therapy 2-year programs, but you can also find schools devoted entirely to massage therapy and other wellness practices. In some cases, these are for-profit institutions; however, they often meet state licensing requirements. You can't earn a massage therapy degree online because much of your coursework is hands-on practice and observation.

How Will I Learn?

The curriculum consists of lecture, lab and practice. You often learn various types of massage techniques, such as Swedish and deep tissue massage. Reflexology, shiatsu, aromatherapy and hydrotherapy are also frequently covered. Anatomy and body mechanics are required introductory courses. You also learn how to assess a client's needs.

As this position is highly interactive, communication skills are emphasized. Business techniques may assist you in starting your own massage therapy practice. You also gain an understanding of massage therapy business law and ethics.

How Do I Get Licensed or Certified?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most states require massage therapists to be licensed, but the requirements vary greatly (www.bls.gov). Many states regulate massage therapy schools, and you might have to graduate from an approved school to earn licensure. You also have to pass a state or national exam after you graduate. The two national exams are the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination. You might also have to keep up-to-date through continuing education during the course of your career.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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