A massage therapist works in a variety of environments, from spas to fitness centers and hospitals. Many also pursue specialized professional certifications to enhance their career options, such as sports massage and palliative care.Massage

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Generally, massage therapy schools are accredited trade schools that offer certificates or diplomas to students who complete the program. Typically, the programs last from six months to a year, depending on how much advanced training is involved and whether or not students attend full time.

The programs usually include a combination of in-class studying and hands-on training. The programs may require students to take a certain number of classes in subjects such as anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, massage techniques and ethics. In addition, the schools also often require students to complete a certain number of hours at a student clinic.

Most states regulate the practice of massage therapists, which requires that they have some kind of training or certification. For example, New York state requires a minimum of 500 hours of training and passing a licensing exam called the MBLEx administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

Students can get the required training at career schools, community colleges, private trade school and nonprofit programs. However, it is important to choose a school that has been accredited by a recognized accreditation organization such as the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) or the National Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

In addition, the school should be licensed by your state’s regulatory agency. In the case of New York, it is the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

If you have an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree or higher in a health-related field can open doors for you as a massage therapist. The degree requirements can vary significantly among institutions, but a bachelor’s degree in a subject like biology, human development or physical therapy can help you understand the underlying principles of massage techniques and the anatomy and physiology behind them.

Massage therapists can be found working in a variety of settings, from spas and private practices to hospitals and nursing homes. Many massage therapists work as part of an integrated healthcare team with acupuncturists, medical doctors and physical therapists. For example, the Mayo Clinic and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center employ a number of massage therapists in their inpatient and outpatient departments.

Licensing Requirements

Most states require massage therapists to have a license before working professionally. The process varies by state, but most require candidates to complete a massage program from an accredited school and pass a licensing exam, such as the MBLEx or National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Some states also require a background check, a fingerprint scan and a course in CPR before granting a license. Applicants must usually have a minimum of 500 to 1,000 initial in-class education hours.

After finishing an accredited massage therapy program, many students take the MBLEx, offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). This exam is designed to test a student’s ability to perform professional-level massages. It covers topics including anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, pathology, effects of massage, client assessment and professional practice and ethics. Some schools provide MBLEx study guides and practice exams for their students to prepare for the test.

Once a student has completed the required training and passed the MBLEx, he or she can apply for a license through the state’s Department of Education, or NYSED. Applicants will usually have to pay a fee and submit a background check, an application, transcripts and test scores.

In addition to a state license, many massage therapists choose to pursue voluntary board certification through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). This shows employers, clients and colleagues that the massage therapist has taken extra steps to become an expert in the field. It may also help him or her to land a job more quickly.

Those who wish to specialize in certain areas of massage therapy can often find additional coursework through their schools and the NCBTMB, which offers specialty certificates for students interested in learning more about the subjects. For example, specializations can include prenatal massage, hot stone therapy or Thai bodywork.

Other common requirements for massage therapists in the United States include passing a background check and taking a course on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR. Most states have regulations regarding age and training, as well. For example, in New York, a massage therapist must be at least 18 years old to get a license.

Work Environment

Newly Licensed Massage Therapists are faced with many choices in where they want to practice. Most of these decisions are based on client preference and location, but other considerations may include the type of work environment that suits their personal circumstances. Some therapists prefer the convenience of working from an office outside of their home, while others enjoy the independence and flexibility of setting their own schedule and being their own boss.

As with all professions that require lone work within close proximity to the public, massage therapists are susceptible to a variety of workplace hazards. These can be broadly categorized as ergonomic, biological, chemical and psychological. Mitigating these risks and ensuring a safe working environment is critical to the wellbeing of Massage Therapists.

For instance, in a clinical or hospital setting, massage therapists are working at the bedside with medical staff and must be aware of the patient’s conditions and medications. In addition, they must also be able to adapt their techniques and accommodate patients who are bedridden or have limited mobility.

The use of gloves and the regular disinfection of surfaces, massage tables, equipment, and handwashing protocols are essential for preventing the spread of infection. Massage therapists should also prioritize personal hygiene habits and follow self-care practices that support a healthy work-life balance.

Choosing a career is one of the most important life decisions an individual can make. It’s essential to explore all available options before committing to any training program, and to research the potential benefits and challenges of each.

Once a Licensed Massage Therapist has completed their professional training, they are ready to start building a rewarding career in this fulfilling and exciting field! Contact IntelliTec College to learn more about the exciting work opportunities available, and how you can train to be a Licensed Massage Therapist in less than a year. We can help you discover the right career path to fit your unique skills and preferences! Call today.

Job Satisfaction

If you’re someone who enjoys 1 on 1 interactions with clients and working in serene environments, a career as a massage therapist could be right for you. You can work in a variety of settings including spas, hotels, fitness centers and medical practices. You can also choose to start your own practice, which gives you more control over your schedule and client base.

As a massage therapist, you’ll likely enjoy a high level of job satisfaction. In fact, 88% of massage therapists are very satisfied or satisfied with their jobs, which is much higher than the average American worker who reported being very satisfied or satisfied with their job in a 2018 survey by The Conference Board.

One of the reasons for the high levels of satisfaction among massage therapists is that many people find this to be an incredibly fulfilling career. Many massage therapists have found that they can make a real difference in their clients’ lives, helping them move more easily, alleviate pain and anxiety, and improve their overall health.

Another reason why people are so happy with their careers as massage therapists is that they don’t feel a lot of pressure or stress at work. This is a great relief, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that workplace stress can contribute to a number of negative health effects, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, low immune function and cardiovascular disease.

Lastly, massage therapy can be a fun and rewarding career for those who have an entrepreneurial spirit. Many massage therapists choose to open their own clinics, which can be an excellent way to build a successful business and have the flexibility to choose their own hours.

Massage therapists are also constantly learning, as the field is rapidly changing and there are new techniques being developed all the time. If you’re interested in being at the forefront of natural, non-invasive healthcare and want to help shape the future of our industry, a massage therapist career is a fantastic option for you. Talk to an admissions representative today about becoming a massage therapist at NHI!