The booming industry of massage therapy means that there are lot of new schools and institutions looking for students. This is a great time to begin a career in massage therapy, but there have never been more schools to choose from, and not all of them will deliver the same level of training and preparation to enter the industry successfully.
A school’s reputation is the number one indicator of where they stand in relation to other massage therapy schools, and whether you should seriously consider going there. There are a number of different ways to get a sense of a school’s reputation, from looking at review scores to asking around on forums where established massage therapists exchange information.
- Student testimonials
Another important asset for finding the best school is reading student testimonials. This will give you a direct window into the student experience. Are the instructors helpful, positive, and effective at transferring knowledge? Are the facilities modern and clean? There are many important questions that can be answered by carefully reading the first-hand accounts of past students.
- Course requirements
Every state has their own rules when it comes to the number of hours that are necessary in order to receive certification as a massage therapist. It helps to be aware of your state’s minimum requirements – and to compare those requirements to the number of hours offered by a given program. Generally, it’s good to find schools that go above and beyond the minimum. It’s not just about receiving a certification – it’s about succeeding in the real world of massage therapy.
- Hands-on training
The best massage therapy training is not must about books and lectures. It’s absolutely necessary to get going as soon as possible with hands-on training. Some schools put more emphasis on this than others. When you’re in the process of looking for a school, pay attention to the number of hours of hands-on training that are involved in the course. Institutions that give their students a greater number of hours for hands-on training almost always produce better results.
It may not be the single most important factor in your decision, but the location of the school will have an impact on your daily and weekly routine as you go through the coursework. If the clinic is too far away from home, the commute could make it impossible to get there in time after work. You might not have any other options, and driving a long way to a massage therapy school might be the only way to get that certification – but it’s all the better if you can find a school that is conveniently located.
What’s the right choice for me?
Making a personal visit to a massage therapy school, and having a face-to-face conversation with the instructors there, is another great way to get a sense of that institution, and whether or not it could be the right one for you. The good news is, there are many schools out there that check all the right boxes. It might take a little digging to find the right one, but the result will be worth it.