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Overview & Index:
The Massage Learning Center at NJMassage.Info is dedicated to all of my past Massage School teachers & Continuing Education lecturers who cared deeply about the art and practice of Massage Therapy and educating others how to help people suffer less and be more alive through Massage.

Explore our online resource, which may be a great help to those considering becoming Massage Therapists, currently practicing Massage Therapists, as well as students of Massage Therapy, Nursing, Pre-Med, Biology, Chiropractic Care, and other related fields of study.


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Massage School
Untitled Image From Teaching At Her Massage School by Hmmlargeart.

Massage School: The Path To A Rewarding Career Helping Others

Right now, Massage School is a choice many individuals are taking on their career path. Massage Therapy is a rewarding career for those who like helping others. You get to help people relax, and maybe even feel less pain. You also get to have far more flexible hours than with most jobs.

Massage Therapy is being proven by study after study to have positive effects for people, both young and old. Further, there has been a growing trend in "Alternative Modalities" of maintaining health, such as Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic Care, and Homeopathy. Out of all the above, Massage Therapy may well be the best supported by clinical research and studies.

Massage Job Trends
Massage Job Trends courtesy of

Massage Therapy School: A Good Choice, Looking At Current Job Trends

The schooling is about half a year in many instances, and the ten year growth rate for Massage Therapists is 162%, according to USA Today ( Click to Link) The reason cited for this increase is the aging of the nation's "Baby Boomers". Of course, there are many additional reasons as well.

I am a Massage Therapist; I attended a well-planned, thorough program at a local New Jersey school, not a spammer writing nonsense for click cash! I can tell you that there is work for you if you are 1) good at massage 2) friendly 3) professional 4) on-time 5) dependable all around.

This Learning Center is geared toward helping others start on their career paths in massage; it's our way of giving back to the Massage Educational Community. Everything here is free! Check out our other pages. This info is here to help you! If only someone had posted this info for me! : ) Be sure not to miss the Body Positions Pages. Learn that before starting school, and you will be ahead of the game.

Massage School - Learning About Depth of Pressure           Event Massage In NJ
Learning About Depth of Pressure & and 'In Action' by H.M.M.Large Art.

How Much Do Massage Therapists Make?

Massage School is a good choice if you are looking for a career where there will probably be more and more available work with time. According to that same USA Today article, in 2012, the median pay for a massage Therapist was $17.29 an hour. For five or ten months schooling, that's not too bad. Click here for Massage Therapist Salary Page.

And of course, that's just the median, or middle range, just an average really. At Mountainside On Site Massage Therapy (the company sponsoring this site) we pay our therapists $40 - $60 an hour for their time. That's a BIG difference. Also, some Massage Therapists work at more than one spa, or have their own friends and family as clients on weekends.

As Massage Therapists ourselves (this is our site, not some spam junk!), we feel that schooling is absolutely necessary. While some people are just naturally empathic, have "Good Hands", and do good work, Massage Therapy School is a necessity. I myself doubted this, having been lucky enough to have a natural proficiency for massage therapy. But once at school, I realized that I was very wrong, and made every day of the experience count. I treasured and valued everything that I learned.

How Long Is Massage School?

Depending upon which program you enroll in, and which state you take your classes, the number of hours will vary from about 250 to over 1,000. This translates into about six months of schooling. If you were to take night classes, you could also take the program while working, which usually takes twice as long to complete in this manner.

Day Classes are generally full time, while Night Classes are often for part-time students. Find a time of the day that works for you. Remember, once you begin working, you may choose a later schedule if that's best for you. If you can do the same while in school, it may be a good option, especially if you're already working and can't quit without losing your source for school tuition funds.

Continuing Education Classes Are Usually Fun.
Continuing Education Classes Are Usually Fun. Ben Benjamin's CEU Class by Corey Pud.

Finding the Program and Location That's Right For You

Every Massage School must have an accredited curriculum that is approved by one of the various boards. These include the State Boards (as is the case for NY and NJ), as well National Certifying Boards like MBLEx and NCBTMB (most states).

Depending on where you want to work now, or where you're planning to move to in the near future, plan accordingly and get the proper licensure or certification that you will need. Click here to link to a map of which states require each sort of certification or licensure.

Each school is unique. While every school of massage therapy must have an accredited curriculum that is approved by one of the various boards (National or State certifying boards), every school offers a slightly different take on the Science and Art of Massage Therapy, with a potentially vastly different philosophy and a resultant extreme difference in the sort of education you will receive.

This may translate into a different curriculum, different choice of textbooks, different teaching styles, different sorts of assignments, different decor, different levels of overall difficulty, and even different rules for the students!

Some schools are quite difficult. You might find this surprising, but academically, the work is a challenge, and does not differ significantly from college-level material on the same topics.

Some schools are more liberal, and tolerate far more nonsense from students. If you're not so serious, such an environment might be best, in that at least you won't be kicked out. Teachers and staff are used to turning bored and restless, less-than-serious students into proficient and focused starting-massage-therapists who are awed by their own potential to help others. Classroom learners like to sit still. Most successful Massage Therapists will probably like moving around. Good schools know this and will work with you, not against you.

The best idea is to start moving today. I kept putting off enrolling. Finally, one day my friend called and scheduled an appointment, and then we took a ride out to the school. The Admissions Coordinator, Liz, met with us, and was enthused to get me started right away - that is, the very next day! I like to think things over. So when this option was presented to me, I felt like one day would not be enough time to think about it. And, I told Liz, it's really too cold to begin classes. (It was the time of the Arctic tundra!) She reassured me that it wasn't going to remain that cold. I realized it was now or never: Get started or forget all about it.

It turns out that the new semester had just begun that week - total coincidence! This only happens a few times per year. The classes I had missed earlier in the week would be made up easily, as the teacher had been ill. Another wonderful coincidence!! So I started the very next day! I may have kept procrastinating signing up forever had it not been for Liz! I am thankful for her honest assessment of my situation, and helping me realize that there's no better time to get started than the present.

Location: Finding A Massage School That You can Get to Easily

If you look around, you may find that there are many Massage Schools right near your home. If so, you have more choices. Transportation will be a factor. If you like School A, but it's forty miles away, and you have to get to work right after class, School B, that is only five miles away, would be the obvious choice. But maybe your boss is more accommodating, and you can shift your schedule around to deal with your preferred school, which may be the one further away.

Some schools are in an urban setting, such as would be found in Manhattan or Hoboken. Others are out in the suburbs, like schools in Paramus or Wall, NJ or other more suburban communities. Find a school that you can get to, by car, bus, train, light rail, ferry, or bicycle! And find a school that is in the setting that you want to be in. It might be worth the extra time to drive fifty miles out to the country if the school is more spacious, and classes are sometimes held outdoors!

If you hate Manhattan, don't take classes there! Plus, you want to go to school in a state that you will actually work in, or one that reciprocates with the state you will be working in, in terms of requirements for Massage Therapists. Check this out and learn the details.

Massage School Desks Are Actually Massage Tables!
Massage School Desks Are Actually Massage Tables! NZCM Wellington Diploma Class 2006-07 by Mo Gest.

Paying For Your Massage Education

Going to a trade school or even college program for Massage Therapy is not going to be cheap. Tuition ranges in price, but expect to pay thousands. When you consider how many more tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars, you can earn with your diploma, it makes sense to deal with the expense.

There are many ways to go about paying for your coursework. You can get an income-based grant, like a Federal Pell grant for low income students., This doesn't even have to be paid back! If you haven't yet received a Bachelor's Degree, this is still an option; once you do, Pell Grants are not something you can consider.

Even if you have earned a Bachelor's Degree or higher in some area of study in the past, loans are still available, even if Pell Grants are not. There are both Federal Government student loans, as well as private loans available. Check out your options; most schools have a Financial Aid Advisor there just to help you with this.

Lastly, you may make arrangements to pay the school in cash or cheque installments. Make sure you understand that if you do not pay, you may be barred from attending classes. You may save up from a part-time job, borrow money from your parents or other adults, or get a new temporary job to fund your studies.

Remember to set aside funds for travel costs. And lunch. You must get to and from school, and you must eat. To save the most, make your own food the evening before, and forego the packaged store-bought junk and the take-out greasy garbage. Both your wallet and stomach will thank you!

How Much is Massage School?

Program costs vary, but expect to pay anywhere from 5,000 to tens of thousands for very exclusive programs. Massage Therapy programs that cost more are not necessarily better, though in life many will argue that generally, you get what you pay for. In all reality, Massage Schools being like most things, this is likely true to some extent. But like in real life, there are values and bargains.

For instance, you may forego the book fees by purchasing used books. You can do the same with the massage table offered by your new school; find one on CraigsList used and save big time. Need a school-logo uniform? Catch a senior student in the lounge on your orientation day, and see if she would be willing to sell/give you her old school uniforms when she's done.

In-Person Schooling: Why Massage Therapists Need Real Life Education for Massage

At Massage School, I found a great environment for learning about massage. I realized why there is no distance learning online course for this sort of career choice: There is just too much that has to be communicated in-person. If this ever changes, Massage Therapists going for a diploma online will be at a strong disadvantage to their peers who went to a school with a real-world location and in-person learning. That may work really well for some sorts of education, but with Massage Therapy, there really is no substitute.

First, there are your teachers. At my Massage School, we had both chiropractors and Massage Therapists as instructors. You should find out about the teachers at the school you are interested in attending, and look them up online. You may find that one school has a staff with more of an Eastern Philosophy, which is exactly what you were looking for. Or another school may have been founded by a greatly lauded individual. The more info that you gather in your quest, the better.

Then there's your classmates. During the course of the year, we became like brothers and sisters. Sure, it will remind you of third grade, but also is nothing like anything you've ever done, educationally. Having to work on one another in your hands-on classes, you will end up becoming trusting of one another in a way students usually will not, as our physical boundaries are a big part of our social experience. I have to say, we were all different, from different backgrounds and cultures, but by the end, we felt like a family.

In your hands-on classes, you will learn how to do the various types of massage. Depending on your program, you may learn Shiatsu, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial, Craniosacral, Hot Stone, or other modalities. Make sure you learn a little about all this before you sign up, and find a school that offers what you naturally have an interest in. Sure; you may end up surprised, but if hot stone is what drove you to Massage, why attend a school that lacks such a course?

I've been doing massage since I was a kid. I'm good at it. But I have to say, my teachers taught me a great deal about body mechanics (how not to misuse your body and avoid future injury!), as well as many new techniques that I am finding quite useful, session after session. If you are a person who "learns by doing" (Kinesthetic learning style), you may love massage therapy as a career path.

Before you get to working, there's more than just learning the basics of how to practice massage therapy. There's also your academic classes. These classes are not necessarily going to be easy for active learners who prefer hands-on work to sitting quietly in lectures, but (good) schools try to gear the classes to such individuals, making multimedia presentations, group-work, and discussion routine activities.

If your teachers are good, they will make it fun. Well, as fun as any class is going to ever be, at least! Honestly, though, if you are enthused to become a Massage Therapist, everything you will learn in Massage School will enthrall and fascinate you. This isn't like learning about imaginary numbers in high school, or about the atomic weight of carbon! These are facts and info you'll regularly use, if you succeed and make it as a Massage Therapist.

Massage Teacher Demonstrating On Student in Class
Massage Teacher Demonstrating On Student in Class. NZCM Wellington Diploma Class 2006-07 by Mo Gest.

Massage School: The Classes You Will need To Take

Now, depending upon your state and the specific program you are enrolled in, you may have Ethics, Hygiene, Business, Marketing, Computer and Internet classes. If you're lucky, you'll get a good number of these "bonus classes". They all help in the beginning., and get you on the path to a good future. I've met therapists from schools weak on business, and it shows.

At the core of every Massage School program is anatomy and kinesiology, pathology, and the body's systems. Anatomy is learning the names of the bones, how they move, and in some states, also the nerves. Pathology deals with illnesses, so that as a massage therapist, you will be prepared to encounter real people in your career and be able to know what you're dealing with, in terms of any health issue that they may have,.

The body systems class is like high school or college biology. You learn about the body. It's fairly straightforward. If you did OK in these classes in high school or college, you'll enjoy the refresher. But health is science, and so if you graduated high school ten years ago, be shocked to find that there's a lot more knowledge added to the base of info we were all provided.

Clinic: Dealing With The Public For the First Time

Finally, there's clinic. That's where you work on real clients who make appointments with your school. This will be your first encounter with the public, a chance to put your newly learned techniques to practice. You will receive feedback from these paying clients, and even if it's highly critical, if you learn and grow from it, it's still a good thing! Of course, you don't get paid for the clinic hours you do, and can't even take a tip at most schools. But the experience is invaluable, and it's great to do your first real sessions surrounded by teachers and peers.

Massage School is not for everyone. It is by no means an easy route. There is a lot of hard physical work done in Massage School, and your career will involve the same. You may have to work for hours on end. Some people are energized by this. If you are not, massage may not be right for you. You have to really like massage, and not just the potential for good money that may come with it, or else you will probably last only a short while as a Massage Therapist.

The classroom work is heavy on sciences, although there isn't any math. (That should be a relief to many people out there!) The pace is a bit fast, but most schools have study hall and study groups. If you put your best effort forward, you can do well. I graduated with a 3.83 GPA from Cortiva Hoboken! : )

Massage School: Graduation and Getting a PAYING Job!

By the end of clinic, you will feel ready to work as a Massage Therapist. Your school will likely help you to arrange the actual paperwork and logistics of acquiring your state license or National Certification. If you need to take the MBLex or NCBTMB tests, the people at your school will likely arrange this for you, sending transcripts, and informing you of what to do next.

Many schools have job offering bulletin boards at the school and/or online on their web site. There may even be a specific Career Advisor on staff to help you out. Some Massage Schools, like Cortiva, also operate Massage Spas, and can help you get work there.

Of course, you should do well in school. Try to get high grades. Pay attention and take notes. Make sure you attend class. Study and do the homework! Watch your hands-on teachers, and ask plenty of questions. And learn from feedback. As in everything in life, you want to be the best. Think about it: Your class will graduate maybe fifteen people. Out of that group, will everyone find successful work and stick with it? Probably not. But that's true for every single career there is.

To learn more about which schools are right for you, click on the links provided on this page.

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We hope that this site helps you launch your future career as a Massage Therapist!

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