Massage Therapy Resources
Massage therapy is one of the fastest growing professions in the country, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the massage therapy industry will grow at a robust 22 percent through 2024, which is much faster than average for all occupations. Much of this growth trend is in response to western medicine professionals catching up with holistic practitioners and the public by embracing the health benefits of massage and its effective treatment for pain management and overall well-being.
Most states now have a state board and state-specific regulation for massage therapy licensing, which has also helped legitimize the industry. Franchise and self-employment opportunities are expanding as massage becomes an important aspect of the spa industry, and many chiropractors are also incorporating massage into their practices.
Find Your Calling
As a massage therapist, you can choose to specialize in one or more areas of treatment, and even specific industries. For example, most professional sports teams employ massage therapists for pain relief and rehabilitation, and massage is also advocated for pregnant women, infants, and specific diseases such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
Some examples of specific massage specialty areas are chair massage, hot stone massage, Shiatsu, and Swedish massage. Reflexology, aromatherapy massage, and Thai massage are also specialties of the industry. Nurse massage therapists hold a massage therapy license in addition to their nursing license and are highly sought after in the healthcare industry where they provide their services in hospitals and clinics.
As holistic healthcare makes advances in the western world massage therapy has made significant growth in regards to being accepted as a viable treatment. With the aging baby boomer population in place this profession should continue to see growth in both research and practice for the foreseeable future.
If you’re planning to become a massage therapist, the most important thing to remember is to verify that your school of choice has approved accreditation by your state. You should also check the specific requirements for licensure to verify the educational program you’re enrolling in has the required credit hours to comply with state regulations.
The BLS reports the median annual pay for massage therapists as $38, 040, with the highest ten percent earning over $74,860. You’ll be able to regulate your earnings, especially if you’re self-employed, by how often and where you choose to work. But no matter whether you’re self-employed or work for a clinic or spa, you’ll still need to earn a post-secondary non-degree which is comprised of a minimum of 500 credit hours from a board approved school. This will qualify you for state certification so it’s vital that you confirm your school’s accreditation before enrolling in a massage therapy program.
Annual pay for massage therapists
As you prepare for your massage therapy program you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of material there is to consider. But whether you’re a student, teacher, regulator or licensed professional, we’ve compiled some of the best massage therapy resources available. Browse websites, find state board agencies and professional industry organizations. Watch some videos and read publications to learn the latest on the growing and evolving massage therapy industry.
American Massage Therapy Association
The American Massage Therapy Association offers members discounts, career guidance, insurance, and networking as well as the latest research. Membership is available to students as well as professionals and there’s a job bank for national openings.
Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
The Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals is the largest community of massage and bodywork professionals. Besides networking they offer insurance, education, resources and advocacy throughout the industry.
The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education
The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education is a non-profit that serves as an advocate for the industry. The Alliance keeps you up to date on the latest in regulatory issues, accreditation and other issues affecting massage therapists.
American Medical Massage Association
The American Medical Massage Association offers liability insurance, health insurance, seminars and continuing education for members who are in the massage therapy industry.
International Association of Infant Massage
The International Association of Infant Massage has a mission to promote the practice of infant massage throughout the world. They offer training, support, research and education to all members.
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork advances the highest standards in the industry. They serve the profession through board certification and also designate providers and assigned schools.
Massage Therapy Foundation
The Massage Therapy Foundation offers research, community service and education for massage therapists. They also give scholarships and grants to students pursuing a career in the field and offer resources and support to members.
National Association of Massage Therapists
The National Association of Massage Therapists offers liability insurance, continuing education, business tips and other resources for members of the organization.
National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists
The National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists promotes the touch therapy techniques of nurses who are also licensed massage therapists. The association is committed to a holistic approach to healing which includes massage.
World Massage Therapists Association
The World Massage Therapists Association has a mission to promote the industry worldwide and to unify professional massage therapists. They promote public awareness of the benefits of massage through professionalism and education.
The American Massage Therapy Association Scholarship
The Massage Therapy School Scholarship Award is granted each year to a student who is enrolled or has been admitted to a 500 hour massage therapy program. The scholarship is in the amount of $5,000.
MTSI Massage Therapy School Scholarship Award
The MTSI Institute offers the annual Massage Therapy School Scholarship Award, which is a $1,000 private scholarship awarded to an aspiring massage therapy student who demonstrates competencies and interests in the field of massage.
Imagine America Foundation Scholarship
The Imagine America Foundation Scholarship is awarded to students enrolling in one of over 1,000 career education centers throughout the nation. They award scholarships to graduating seniors, adults and military veterans.
Massage Therapy Foundation Research Grants
The Massage Therapy Foundation Research Grants award up to $30,000 for studies that advance specific applications of massage. This grant supports research that will significantly enhance the public perception of massage.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the national standard used by schools to determine the need for student aid. The FAFSA is typically the first step for scholarship, grant and loan eligibility for all schools.
Federal Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grants are need-based grants, meaning they are based upon income. Unlike loans, grants do not require repayment upon graduation.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is designed for lower income students to ease the financial burden of tuition.
Massage Warehouse knows massage. For over 10 years they have delivered quality massage products at fair prices in a timely manner. Additionally, they pass along educational information to massage therapists to keep them knowledgeable of the practice and products.
Earthlite Professional Massage Therapy Supplies
Earthlite’s products are environmentally responsible. They use no rain forest hardwoods, only Canadian hard maple for massage table legs and braces and Baltic birch plywood for their table tops, both of which are farmed and renewable wood sources.
Bodywork Mall offers a huge selection of massage and bodywork products and equipment at your fingertips. They promise the lowest prices on massage therapist supplies and host a rewards club to earn points through which you may purchase products.
Pure Spa Direct
Purepasdirect.com offers a huge selection of products to ensure you’ll have the right supplies on hand to perform all massage services and bodywork modalities—all at wholesale prices.
Whether you’re purchasing a massage table or massage lotion, you can rest assured that when you buy from BestMassage.com, you’re doing business with a corporation in good standing with the state of Illinois.
Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies: Social Media Marketing Tips for Massage Therapists
Social Media Marketing Tips for Massage Therapists gives useful advice for creating and maintaining a social media presence to promote your massage business.
Massage Magazine’s Must Have Social Media Tips for Every Massage Therapist
Must have Social Media Tips for Every Massage Therapist is just that: a comprehensive list of tips designed to help navigate social media for your massage practice.
American Massage Therapy Association
Your business isn’t just about massage; you’ll also need to know the ins- and-outs of marketing. Marketing Tips offers practical advice to attract new customers and keep your current customers coming back.
Massage Therapy World Social Networking
Social Networking offers weekly tips on navigating online networks to promote your business. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are examples of platforms that are covered.
Massage Practice Builder: Using Facebook to promote Your Massage Business
Using Facebook to Promote Your Massage Business gives you step-by-step directions on setting up and maintaining a Facebook page for your business.
Massage Therapy Promotes Healing and Relaxation in the Body
Massage Therapy is a Facebook group page that promotes healing and relaxation in the body. The page offers regular posts on the advantages of massage and the healing benefits of touch.
Being a Massage Therapist!
Being a Massage Therapist! is a Facebook page for those currently working as massage therapists. The page offers insights, advice and meditations to advance your knowledge of the industry.
Massage Therapy Works
Massage Therapy Works is a group page for those in the industry. Members can network with other and share advice and experiences about owning their businesses.
Twitter: American Massage Therapy Association
The Twitter feed of the American Massage Therapy Association offers daily Tweets on the industry.
Massage Magazine on Twitter
Follow MASSAGE Magazine on Twitter for the latest Tweets on the massage business.
Twitter: Massage Today
The Massage Today Twitter feed gives you regular Tweets on subjects pertaining to the industry of massage therapy.
Massage Education on Twitter
Massage Education offers regular Tweets on the educational aspect of becoming a massage therapist.
How to Get a Business License for Massage Therapy
Who to contact and how to find your local information when you’re ready to open your business.
Basic Massage Therapy Business Supplies for The New Massage Therapist
Here’s an article that outlines the tools and supplies you’ll need when you open your business.
Starting Simply: Share Office Space
Here are some ideas on finding space for your new business as a massage therapist—either as a solo venture or with an office mate.
Better Movement: Why Do Muscles Feel Tight?
Why do Muscles Feel Tight? is a podcast that details the physical aspects of tight muscles and how they respond to massage.
Body in Mind: Trigger Point Evaluation
Trigger Point Evaluation details the specifics of pinpointing trigger points and the effects of proper massage in pain relief.
Human Antigravity Suit: Why Trigger Points are Not in Muscles
Why I Don’t Buy the Idea that Trigger Points are in Muscles gives the alternative view of trigger points in a concise podcast.
Pain Science: Why Massage Makes You Tingle
Why Massage Makes You Tingle discusses the scientific explanation for the common feeling of tingling often felt during and after a massage treatment.
How Massage Therapists Can Recognize and Deal with a Heart Attack
How Massage Therapists can Recognize and Deal with a Heart Attack is just that: a podcast that details the signs a client may display when having a cardiac attack and what the therapist should and shouldn’t do if this occurs.
Massage Therapy Development Centre Podcast
Massage Podcast is dedicated to the art and science of the profession. The podcasts feature therapists who are highly recognized in the profession as they speak on various aspects of the industry.
The Massage Therapy Podcast
The Massage Therapy Podcast offers speakers who are the best in the massage business as they discuss their specific specialties and insights.
Massage Professionals Podcast
Massage Professionals Podcast offers featured speakers who give their views on the business of massage and specific foci such as sports massage or infant massage.
Massage Therapy Podcast
Podcasts offer a wide range of interviews on the physical and business aspects of the business. Learn how to handle customers, build your clientele and keep up to date on the latest in the industry.
Massage Therapy Foundation on Massage Research
Massage Research will keep you up to date on the latest advances in the industry. Each episode details an article from the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
Massage Magazine is celebrating over 30 years as the leading publication in the industry. All aspects of massage are covered, from education to running a successful business.
Massage Therapy World
Massage Therapy World delivers weekly tips to your inbox and covers everything from setting up a business webpage to the ins- and-outs of online schooling for continuing education.
Massage Therapy Journal
The Massage Therapy Journal offers the latest information of the profession, from practice pricing to specific massage techniques. The Massage Therapy Journal is available to members of the American Massage Therapy Association.
Massage Today is a digital magazine that offers insight into specific areas of concern for massage therapists. From business practices to personal interactions, every therapist will find useful articles in each edition.
Massage and Bodywork
Massage and Bodywork dedicates each issue to specific areas of treatment, such as fibromyalgia, fascia and sports medicine. Massage and Bodywork is one of the most highly read magazines of professional therapists.
Massage Nerd is perhaps the biggest online publication for professional massage therapists. It offers over 3,500 massage videos and over 4,000 sample national exam test questions as well as massage photos and much more.
Day Spa Magazine
Day Spa Magazine offers feature articles on spas, wellness, business and news as well as resources and blogs for massage therapists.
International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
Research, Education, & Practice offers the latest advances in the industry. This open access, peer reviewed journal is dedicated to promoting education in the massage therapy community.
Musculoskeletal Science and Practice
Musculoskeletal Science and Practice delves into the science of massage. Articles are scientific and peer reviewed and detail specific aspects of case studies.
Massage Mastery: From Student to Professional
Massage Mastery: From Student to Professional is the go-to manual for the education of massage therapy. Both digital and paperback editions of this book are available and often used as a textbook in massage therapy curriculum.
Alabama Board of Massage Therapy
The Alabama massage therapist license requirements are a minimum of 650 hours from an accredited massage therapy school and be certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
Alaska Board of Massage Therapists
Massage therapists in Alaska are required to have 500 hours of supervised in-class instruction from a board approved school in order to be certified by the state.
Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy https://massagetherapy.az.gov/
In Arizona, a massage therapist must have completed a minimum of 700 hours from a recognized school and pass a state exam before certification.
Arkansas State Board of Massage Therapy
Arkansas requires massage therapists to complete 500 hours from a board approved school in order to become certified by the state.
California Massage Therapy Council
To become a certified massage therapist in California, one must complete 500 hours of schooling. California certification is voluntary.
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
In Colorado, a massage therapist must have completed 500 hours from a board approved school in order to become licensed.
Connecticut Department of Public Health
To become a licensed massage therapist in Connecticut you’ll need to complete 500 hours of class time at a board approved school.
Delaware Board of Massage and Bodywork
In Delaware, a licensed massage therapist must have completed 500 hours from a board approved school; Delaware also offers certification for those with 300 hours of class time.
District of Columbia Board of Massage Therapy
In D.C. a massage therapist must complete a minimum of 500 hours of class time at a board approved school in order to qualify for a license.
Florida Department of Health Board of Massage Therapy
To become a licensed massage therapist in Florida you must complete 500 hours of class time at a board approved school.
Georgia Board of Massage Therapy
Georgia massage therapists must complete 500 hours at a board approved school in order to earn their state license.
Hawaii State Board of Massage Therapy
Licensed massage therapists must have completed 570 hours of class time at a board approved school in order to apply for their license in Hawaii.
Idaho Board of Massage Therapy Bureau of Occupational Licenses
Idaho massage therapists must complete 500 hours of class time at a board approved school before they qualify to apply for the state license.
Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
In Illinois, massage therapists must complete 600 hours at a board approved school before applying for a state license.
Indiana State Board of Massage Therapy
To become a licensed massage therapist in Indiana you’ll need to complete 500 hours of classes at an approved school.
Iowa Board of Massage Therapy
In Iowa one must complete 600 hours of class time at a board approved school in order to apply for a license.
Kansas State Board of Nursing
You’ll need to pass a national exam and earn 500 hours from a state approved school in order to become a licensed massage therapist in Kansas.
Kentucky Board of Licensure for Massage Therapy
Kentucky massage therapists must take 600 hours of classes from a board approved school before applying for their license.
Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy
In Louisiana a massage therapist must complete 500 hours of classes at a board approved school in order to become licensed.
Maine Massage Therapy
Maine massage therapists must complete 500 hours of classes at a board approved school before applying for a license.
Maryland Board of Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Examiners
Maryland massage therapists can become licensed by completing 600 hours of course time and 60 college credits from a board approved school. Maryland also awards a Registered Massage Therapist classification to those who have completed 600 hours but not college credits.
Massachusetts Board of Registration of Massage Therapy
In Massachusetts a licensed massage therapist must complete 650 hours of classes from a board approved school.
Michigan Board of Massage Therapy
Michigan requires a massage therapist to complete 500 hours of classes from a board approved school before qualifying for a state license.
Minnesota Board of Massage Therapy
The state of Minnesota currently has no regulations or licensing requirements for massage therapists. However, the Department of Health investigates complaints and take enforcement actions against unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners for violations of prohibited conduct.
Mississippi State Board of Massage Therapy
In Mississippi one must complete 700 hours of class time at a board approved school in order to qualify for the state license.
Missouri State Board of Therapeutic Massage
Missouri requires 500 hours of classes from a board approved school before you can apply for a state license.
Montana Board of Massage Therapy
Montana requires massage therapists to complete 500 hours of classes from a board approved school before applying for a state license.
Nebraska Massage Therapy Board
In Nebraska a massage therapist must have completed 1,000 hours of classes from a board approved school in order to apply for a state license.
Nevada Board of Massage Therapy
Nevada massage therapists must complete 500 hours of classes at a board certified school before they qualify to apply for a license.
New Hampshire Office of Program Support, Licensing & Certification Services
If you want to practice as a massage therapist in New Hampshire you’ll need to complete at least 750 hours of class time at a board approved school before you qualify to become licensed.
New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy
New Jersey requires a massage therapist to complete 500 hours of class time from a board approved school in order to apply for a state license.
New Mexico Massage Therapy Board
New Mexico requires 650 hours of class time from a board approved school before applying for a state license.
New York State Board of Massage Therapy
In New York state you’ll need to complete 1000 hours of class time at a board approved school before you qualify for the state license.
North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy
In North Carolina you may choose from two types of licenses, but you will still need 500 hours from a board approved school and passing the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) exam or MBLEx exam.
North Dakota State Board of Massage
In North Dakota a massage therapist must have completed 750 hours of classes at a board approved school before applying for a state license.
Ohio State Medical Board Massage Licensing Division
Ohio requires a massage therapist to complete 750 hours of classes at a board approved school before applying for a state license.
Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
There are three options to become licensed in Oklahoma: Five years of practice in the state; passage of the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) or the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETEMB); or 500 hours or coursework from an approved massage school.
Oregon Board of Massage
In Oregon a massage therapist must finish 625 hours of classes before applying for a state license.
Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy
Pennsylvania requires massage therapists to complete 600 hours of class time at a board approved school in order to become licensed.
Rhode Island Department of Health
In Rhode Island a massage therapist must complete 500 hours of classes at a board approved school in order to apply for licensure.
South Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy
South Carolina requires massage therapists pass 500 hours of course work at a board approved school before applying for a state license.
South Dakota Board of Massage Therapy
South Dakota requires 500 hours of classes from a board approved school before you can apply for a state license.
Tennessee Board of Massage Licensure
Tennessee requires a massage therapist complete 500 hours of class time before they qualify for a state license.
Texas Department of Health Services
In Texas you must complete 500 hours of classes at a board approved school before applying for a state license.
Utah Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing
A massage therapist in Utah is required to complete 600 hours of classes from a board approved school before they qualify for a state license.
Vermont State Board of Massage Therapy
There is currently no licensing regulation in Vermont but the state does require 500 hours from an approved massage school to practice.
Virginia Board of Nursing
In Virginia you’ll need to complete 500 hours of courses from a board approved school in order to qualify for a state license.
Washington State Department of Health Board of Massage
Washington state requires a massage therapist to have completed 500 hours of courses from a board approved school before they qualify for a state license.
State of West Virginia Massage Therapy
In West Virginia you’ll need to have completed 500 hours of class time before qualifying for a state license.
Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing
Wisconsin requires massage therapists complete 500 hours of course work before they can apply for a state license.
State of Wyoming Massage Therapy
Wyoming requires 500 hours from an approved school and passage of the national exam to gain licensure to practice.