Massage therapists help others heal in natural ways using their hands. Also called a Massage and Bodywork Therapist in New Jersey, massage therapists can have a flexible career, depending on the environment you choose to work at in the future. If you’re interested in becoming a massage therapist, here are the steps you can take:
1. Enroll in an Accredited School
The first step to becoming a massage therapist is to find and enroll in an accredited and approved massage therapy school in New Jersey. At American Institute, we offer massage therapy programs at all of our New Jersey schools, including Somerset.
We are authorized for both residential and distance education by the State of New Jersey Department of Education, but other approving bodies in New Jersey include:
New Jersey Department Labor and Workforce Development
New Jersey Commission on Higher Education
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Looking for a school that is approved by the state and accredited by an accrediting body provides opportunities for financial aid. At American Institute, we are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and financial aid is available to those who qualify. This allows us to provide scholarships, loans, and grants to make paying for school possible.
What Do You Need To Enroll in a Massage Therapy Program?
Massage therapy programs don’t often require a previous post-secondary education. In fact, you often only need a high school diploma or GED and the appropriate application fee to enroll. You can also expect an interview with the admissions staff to talk about why you want to enter the field of massage therapy and what work will be required of you to succeed in the program.
The best way to learn the steps to apply to the school you are interested in is to speak with an Admissions Advisor and schedule a tour of the school. During the tour, you will get an idea of how your education will be delivered. It’s also a great opportunity to get answers to any of the questions you may have about the program before enrolling.
2. Meet State Requirements
Once you’ve found the right school for you, it is important to make sure it meets New Jersey’s requirements, which is at least 500 hours of education. This education includes:
Ethics and law
Theory and practice
The state of New Jersey also requires at least 100 hours of those 500 hours to be practiced on clients in the student massage clinic under the supervision of licensed professionals. This type of curriculum is designed to help prepare you for your career after licensure.
What Else Can You Learn as a Massage Therapist?
Massage therapy offers a wide range of skills and techniques to alleviate pain and stress from a variety of causes. This also means you can expand your skill set by finding a school that offers plenty of massage modalities to choose from. Depending on the school, you could learn modalities such as:
Deep tissue massage
Trigger point therapy
How Long Does It Take To Become a Massage Therapist?
It is possible to complete a massage therapy program in New Jersey in as little as 32 weeks or 48 weeks, depending on the schedule you choose.
3. Take the Licensing Exam
There are two accepted licensing exams, either Board Certification offered by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. Both are accepted by the state of New Jersey to obtain licensure.
These exams are designed to test not only your comprehension of massage therapy theory, but also of anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, business practices, and ethics and laws.
4. Find Your Career
The massage therapy field is continuing to grow as more opportunities become available for massage therapists. In fact, the job outlook is expected to grow 22% from 2018 to 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Massage therapists are not only in spas. They can also work in clinics, hotels, fitness centers, or as the owner of their own massage therapy practice.
Want To Take the First Steps?
You can take the first steps to enrolling in an accredited program by getting in touch with an Admissions Advisor to schedule a tour. We offer massage therapy programs at all four of our New Jersey locations, so you can choose the one closest to your home.
If you want to learn more about why studying massage therapy might be a good choice for you, check out: