Accredited Massage Therapy Schools

A career in massage therapy presents an exciting opportunity to pursue a line of work that is both personally and professionally rewarding. But in order to get your career off on the right foot, it is important to seek out the right kind of education from the start. If you are ready to get hands-on training in massage therapy, consider enrolling in one of the many accredited massage therapy schools located throughout the country.

What are Accredited Massage Therapy Schools?

Accreditation is a process designed to confirm that a massage therapy school or program provides a level of education that is in line with the highest professional standards in the industry. Accreditation is awarded after successfully completing a peer review process that rates the following criteria:

  • Examination of the curriculum
  • The quality of teaching
  • The resources of the school or program
  • Track record, including success and graduation rates, of graduates

Picking accredited massage therapy schools over other options is a reliable way for students to ensure they are attending a reputable and reliable institution.

Who Provides Accreditation?

It is not necessary for an institution to be accredited to provide training in massage therapy. However, institutions can appeal to several different bodies to receive accreditation and the endorsement that comes with it. These bodies include the following agencies:

  • Commission on Massage Therapy Education (COMTA)
  • National Accrediting Council of Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

What is the Most Important Accreditation?

Ideally, the massage therapy school you choose to attend will be accredited by as many organizations as possible. However, accreditation from COMTA is widely considered to be the most important since it focuses specifically on the quality of massage therapy education. The Commission has also been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency, confirming that it is committed to providing an honest and accurate evaluation of programs rather than just a made up credential.

Where can You Find Accredited Massage Therapy Schools?

Since massage therapy is such an in-demand career path, there are accredited massage therapy schools located in most major metropolitan areas and even some rural areas. The COMTA provides a member directory on its website that allows students to search for an accredited program near their location. If there is any doubt about whether or not a program has been accredited, by the COMTA or others, do not hesitate to inquire directly. Accredited massage therapy schools are proud of the fact that they have been carefully evaluated and determined to be of the highest quality. Recruitment officials will not hesitate to answer all your questions about accreditation.

Are Accredited Massage Therapy Schools the Only Option?

Accredited massage therapy schools are not the only education option out there. Some smaller schools and independent programs may have not pursued accreditation or may be unable to meet the standards for accreditation. However, this does not necessarily mean they are disreputable or low-quality. If you are unsure whether or not to seek out accredited massage therapy schools, check the requirements for receiving a massage therapy license in the state you plan to work in. Most states require massage therapists to be licensed, and the requirements for licensure may require you to receive training from accredited massage therapy schools. In general, it is always better to do some planning and research related to your desired career path before making any formal commitments or personal investments.

What to Expect from Accredited Massage Therapy Schools

To give you a better sense of what to expect when you enroll in accredited massage therapy schools, it helps to understand the criteria the COMTA uses to award or deny accreditation. The Commission only awards accreditation to schools and programs that have demonstrated an ability to teach and asses the following competencies:  

  • The ability to plan and organize an effective session of bodywork and massage.
  • The ability to perform massage and bodywork on clients for therapeutic purposes.
  • The ability to plan and implement a self-care strategy tailored to the client’s needs.
  • The ability to develop and maintain successful and ethical relationships with clients.
  • The ability to develop a personal strategy for the success of a massage therapy business, practice or employment opportunity.
  • The ability to pursue professional development.


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