Massage therapists typically complete a postsecondary education program that can require 500 hours or more of study and experience, although standards and requirements vary greatly by jurisdiction. A high school diploma or equivalent degree is usually required for admission. Most places regulate massage therapy and require massage therapists to have a license or certificate. Passing an exam is usually required for licensure.
Massage therapy programs generally cover subjects such as anatomy; physiology, which is the study of organs and tissues; kinesiology, which is the study of motion and body mechanics; business management; ethics; and the hands-on practice of massage techniques.
Training programs may concentrate on certain modalities, or specialties, of massage. Several programs also offer job placement and continuing education. Both full-time and part-time programs are available.
In states with massage therapy regulations, workers must get either a license or certification after graduating from an accredited training program and before practicing massage.
Those wishing to practice massage therapy should look into legal requirements for the place in which they intend to practice. A fee and periodic license renewal also may be required.