Massage Therapist School Cost

Do you have a strong interest in becoming a massage therapist but worry about what a school program will cost? We’re here to help you break down the various expenses associated with attending a massage therapy school.

Massage Therapy School Options

Before we can talk about massage therapy school cost, we’ll need to discuss the two types of schools that offer massage therapy programs: private schools and colleges.

Private School

A private school, in terms of massage therapy, is a school that offers a certification in a career-training program. While there are private schools that are specifically dedicated to massage therapy, many have a range of program offerings, from healthcare to accounting.

These institutions can be easy to spot because they refer to themselves as career-training organizations. They will have words like ‘institute’, ‘academy’, ‘school of…’, or ‘college of…’ in their title.


There are many massage therapy programs are offered at the college level, most commonly community colleges. The classes that are offered typically incorporate business classes into your massage therapy education.

At the college level you will have a choice between earning a certificate and earning a degree. A degree in massage therapy will require the completion of general courses such as English and Math, while a certification focuses only on massage therapy related classes.

Is One Type of School Better than the Other?

Although there are some differences between colleges and private schools for massage therapy, one is not better than the other.

There are many options out there for massage therapy programs, so instead of focusing on which one is the best, try to find out which on is the best for you.

Massage Therapy School Cost

In this section we’ll cover the length of the program, the cost of books or supplies, fees and the total cost for programs at the private and college level. All of the following information will be an average of expected costs for massage therapy schools. For detailed cost information, contact the schools that you are interested in.

Massage Therapy School Cost at the Private Level

Programs for massage therapy at the private level take about one year to complete.

It’s easy to think that all you need to do is pay your tuition cost, and you’ll be on your way to earning a degree or certificate in massage therapy. But that is unfortunately not the case. There are many fees that you will need to pay for a massage therapy program, including an application fee, administrative fee and facilities fee.

To be considered for a program you must apply to it. Most application fees cost around $100. The administrative fee pays for the people who complete your paperwork and organize your classes and can cost up to $500. Facility fees are used to pay the rent on the buildings that you take your classes in and can cost around $300.

Aside from fees, there are often a variety of supplies you will need, such as books or a massage table. Together, these can cost up to $1,000.

Depending on the program you join, you can expect your education cost to be about $10,000 to $20,000.

Massage Therapy School Cost at the College Level

The cost and time you spend on your college level massage therapy education will depend on whether you earn a certificate or a degree. Certificates can take about one year to earn, while degrees can take around two years for an associate’s degree.

The cost of a massage therapy school at the college level, no matter what program you join, will also require a payment of fees. The two most common are application fees, which can cost around $50, and administrative fees—usually around $200.

You may have already guessed that there will be supplies to pay for as well. Books at the college level can cost around $600.

The biggest difference between a certificate and a degree is the overall cost of the massage therapy program. Earning a certificate can cost between $4,000 to $8,000. Degrees, on the other hand, tend to cost $20,000 to $40,000.


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