To enter a massage therapy school program, a high school diploma or GED is required. Each stateâ€™s requirements for high school diplomas vary. In general, there is a certain set of courses in high school that would make a training program much easier to progress through. Fundamental high school science courses, such as biology and chemistry, lay a foundation for understanding the human body. Massage therapists often run their own business so courses in psychology, computers, or accounting would also be helpful. There are good reasons why these particular courses are recommended. Psychology helps a person deal with a clientâ€™s emotions and reactions to the therapy. Computer knowledge allows a person to be effective about paperwork. Accounting provides a means and method for tracking income and expenses. Do not forget about physical education opportunities. Massage therapy is physically demanding work, so building up strength particularly in the upper body will prepare you for the career. There is always competition to get in any program, but by targeting specific high school courses, a person increases their likelihood of acceptance into a program.
Most massage therapy programs last about a year and provide five hundred hours of training. If you chose a community college program, there will be some additional requirements. Most states require the passing of an exam such as MBLEx, NCETM, or NCETMB.
A small sampling of state requirements demonstrates the variations. California has voluntary certification for massage therapists. Training is five hundred hours and passing the MBLEx, NCETM, or NCETMB exam is required. Texas requires five hundred hours of training, taking one of the three recommended exams, and twelve hours of continuing education credit taken biennially to continue licensing. Florida requires five hundred hours of training from a board-approved school, the NCETMB or MBLEx exam, and twenty-four hours of continuing education hours biennially. New York requires one thousand hours of training and the New York state exam.
Check each training program you are interested in thoroughly, but also check what the state requirements are in the state you plan to practice. Good massage therapy schools will supplement their programs by arranging testing and licensing.