When you find yourself inspired to embark on a brand new career, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. If you have a clear idea on what career path you want to take, that feeling of excitement and anticipation is even stronger. A lot of people decide they want to try a career as a massage therapist, and they immediately start searching for courses and programs in their area. After all, it’s not that difficult to achieve certification in this field, right? Virtually anybody can pick a program, complete it, and have a brand new career on their hands.

This isn’t exactly the case. In fact, massage therapy is one field where you want to be extra careful in terms of choosing a reputable school or certification program. If you’re careless in your choice, you might not come out of the program with the skills you need to succeed in the real world.

If you’re considering a career in massage therapy, don’t make this mistake. It pays to be meticulous in your research, and decide carefully about what school is worth your efforts. Here are 3 questions you should definitely ask before you join a massage therapy program.

1. What types of treatment will I learn?

Knowing the extent of your training, and what specific techniques will be covered, is an important aspect of your decision. You might find programs out there that are rather one-dimensional and don’t say much about how comprehensive your training will actually be. On the other hand, you might find programs that offer integral training in many vital areas, such as Swedish massage, deep tissue, Myofascial release, medical massage, trigger point therapy, anatomy, physiology, and other areas of knowledge. These are the programs that are going to prepare for the realities of being a trained, professional massage therapist.

2. What about hands-on experience?

Classroom learning is good and necessary – but does the program offer hands-on field experience as a part of your certification? If not, you probably want to focus your efforts elsewhere. A program that doesn’t subject to abundant hours of hands-on training will not really prepare you to succeed in your new career.

3. How experienced are the teachers?

Knowing who is teaching you, and what level of experience and training they have, is supremely important when choosing a massage therapy school. You’re embarking on a new chapter and a new career – and you need to know that you’re in good hands. Look for qualified, experienced professionals with a solid track record as both practitioners and teachers. That’s how you’ll know you’re being held to a truly professional standard as you train.

How to find the best school in your area

There might be several massage therapy schools operating in your area, and some of them might be new. Of course, you shouldn’t discount a school just because it opened recently. The people behind the school – who will actually be teaching you the real world skills you need – are more important. But you definitely should pay attention to the number of years a school has been operating, and get first-hand information from past graduates of the school. These efforts will help ensure that you make the best choice, and start your new career in the best possible way.

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