How to Choose a School of Massage Therapy
Depending on the area where you live, there may be many choices in where you can go to school to learn massage therapy or you may be limited to only one or two. Since your choice in schools is an important factor in determining how well prepared and qualified you will be for your new career, it is extremely important that you know how to choose a school of massage therapy that will meet all of your needs.
Narrowing down your choices when you have a lot to choose from is simply a matter of setting your priorities and then doing your research. Finding schools in your area is as easy as looking in the yellow pages or doing an online search. Most will have their own online site that will provide you with much of the information you need but you will also want to go to the school in person and, if possible, visit one or two of the classrooms.
For many people, especially those who live near state lines or in rural areas, there may not be any options for taking massage therapy without going away from home. Although a school may be located in the neighboring state that is only a short drive from where you live, the requirements for massage therapy licensure vary state by state. You will need to find out the requirements of your state and be sure that the school's program meets those requirements even though it is in close proximity.
Finding a school that is near your home isn't always easy and those that are located in other areas and offer a two year degree or certification program are not as likely to have dorms as four year colleges. You will want to keep your living or driving arrangements in mind when you consider a school. If a long drive is required, the school may offer courses on the weekends or in the evenings that make it possible to work around your regular schedule.
These are some important tips on how to choose a school of massage therapy:
- The school should teach you the things you need to know in order to take your license exam when you have completed the program. Since these requirements vary according to state, you should choose a school that meets the requirements of the state you will be practicing in.
- Compare the cost with the qualifications. Don't assume that a school that costs more than the others has more qualified instruction. Find out about the teachers and the amount of time they have worked as massage therapists as well as how long they have been teaching.
- A school needs to be recognized by the state or it may not offer any financial aid. Unless you are financially secure enough to pay your way without it being a burden, financial aid will be an important aspect of your choice. Talk to the person who is over the financial aid in the school about what they have to offer and what the requirements are to qualify for assistance.
- Getting your degree or diploma from an accredited massage school will give you a more impressive resume. Because a school must allow the agency with whom it is accredited to fully and openly observe their program, this assures that the student has received a quality education. Find out about the school's accreditation.
- Finally, look for a school that has a good reputation. No matter what its credentials are, the students who have previously graduated there know more about the quality of education they received and how well prepared they were for employment after they graduated.
After graduating from your massage therapy school, you will have to get a license from your state to practice. Even though you may graduate from an accredited program, there may be additional requirements by your state in order to qualify you to become licensed. Knowing your state laws is one of the most important factors to help you find the right school for your massage therapy education.