Online Massage Therapy Schools
Online education options have made quality education available to a wider number of students at a lower cost. They offer flexibility but require self-discipline and the same commitment as a traditional school program. While there are many advantages to these options, there are disadvantages to consider too—especially when you’ve chosen a hands on type of career field such as massage therapy. But if you are ready to kick-start a career in the field, and are wondering about getting your education online, read on to learn the pros and cons about online massage therapy schools.
Pros of Online Massage Therapy Schools
A number of online massage therapy schools have appeared in recent years. They offer a complete curriculum, training from experienced massage therapists and much of what you would expect to find in a real classroom. Here are some of the benefits of this option:
- Cost – Online massage therapy schools tend to be less expensive than other options, but only a detailed price comparison will reveal how realistic the savings are.
- Flexibility – Students have a lot of flexibility to attend online massage therapy schools at their own pace and from any location in the country. That makes it much easier to balance the demands of work, family and education.
- Approach – Online massage therapy schools offer innovative approaches to education and a welcome alternative to dry and formal traditional classrooms.
Cons of an Online Massage Therapy School
Before enrolling in an online massage therapy program it’s important to consider what you are truly committing to. Your goal is to prepare for a fulfilling career in massage therapy, and online-only programs may not provide the foundation you’re looking for. Here are some potential red flags that cannot be discounted:
- Licensing – You must have a license to work as a massage therapist. Most states require you to have a minimum number of hands-on training hours before being licensed. Online massage therapy schools do not provide any of this training, and you may need to supplement your education to meet the licensing requirements for your state before you start working.
- Skills – Massage therapy is perhaps the most hands-on profession there is. You can learn a lot through online classrooms, but the physical skills and techniques needed to perform effective bodywork cannot be taught on a computer.
- Dedication – The flexibility of online massage therapy schools can also work against you. Without strict expectations and demands, some students struggle to make progress at a steady pace.
- Quality – The quality of online massage therapy schools can vary widely. Some make a real effort to train students, and others just offer a series of slideshows in exchange for high tuition.
Solve the Problem Through a Hybrid Massage Therapy Program
The benefits of online massage therapy schools are too big to dismiss. But the cautions are real as well, and committing to the wrong education option can lead to supplemental education and costs, and a delay in beginning your career. One way to solve the problem is to look for hybrid online massage therapy programs.
This option combines an online classroom with face-to-face training from real massage therapists. That way you can tailor your education to your own needs and preferences while still ensuring you understand the sensitive and physical art of massage therapy. If this option seems like the most sensible way to start your career, look for these features in any hybrid online massage therapy school you choose to attend:
- Accreditation – Schools with accreditation have been carefully evaluated and verified to provide a level of education in line with professional standards. The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) is the leading authority.
- Configuration – Some hybrid online massage therapy schools have a larger online component and others have a larger in-person component. Find one that accommodates your personal needs and preferred learning style.
- Licensing – Look up the requirements for a massage therapist license in your state, and be sure to seek out a program that helps you satisfy all or most of those requirements while you are enrolled.
- Cost – The cost of online massage therapy schools can vary widely, and higher cost does not necessarily translate to higher quality. Before making any firm commitments, research the cost of comparable programs in the same part of the country so that you can determine what is fair.
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