Massage therapists typically complete a postsecondary education program that can require up to 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. 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.

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.

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.

What are Massage Therapists like?


Based on our pool of users, massage therapists tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Massage Therapists by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 1706 Sokanu users

Are Massage Therapists happy?


Massage therapists rank highly among careers. Overall they rank in the 65th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Massage Therapist Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Massage Therapists

The most common degree held by massage therapists is Psychology. 2% of massage therapists had a degree in psychology before becoming massage therapists. That is over 0 times the average across all careers. Liberal Arts graduates are the second most common among massage therapists, representing 1% of massage therapists in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.7 times the average.

Massage Therapist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Massage Therapist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of massage therapists % of population Multiple
Psychology 1.6% 6.8% 0.2×
Liberal Arts 1.3% 1.9% 0.7×
Business Management And Administration 1.1% 6.5% 0.2×
Cosmetology 1.1% 1.1% 1.0×

Massage Therapist Education Levels

73% of massage therapists have an associate's degree. 20% of massage therapists have a high school diploma.

No education 3%
High school diploma 20%
Associate's degree 73%
Bachelor's degree 3%
Master's degree 0%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Massage Therapist

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

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