How Long Does It Take to Become a Massage Therapist in PA?

Aspiring to become a massage therapist is the beginning of a deeply rewarding journey. If you enjoy helping others and prefer to work in a low-stress environment, then a career in massage therapy is right for you.

One perk of starting this journey into a therapeutic field is that the training to become a massage therapist is much shorter than many other trade schools. For example, the hours required to become a massage therapist in Pennsylvania are half of what is required to become a practicing hairstylist.

This article will answer how long it takes to become a massage therapist in Pennsylvania and the requirements needed to become licensed and practice in the state.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Massage Therapist in Pennsylvania?

According to the PA Department of State, students are required to complete 600 hours of accredited schooling before becoming licensed massage therapists. Courses require at least 250 hours of massage therapy practice, 175 hours of anatomy training, 25 hours of ethics discussion, and 150 hours of additional course-related work.

Each accredited school will provide its own curriculum that conforms with the state’s mandated guidelines but may incorporate other important subjects, such as pharmacology, self-care, and aromatherapy. For this reason, school semesters may vary in length, with some going as little as 600 hours or as high as 700.

Therefore, finding the right school to acquire your massage therapy degree will be imperative for your future success. With schools that differ in size, curriculum, and location, you’ll need to perform your due diligence.

How Long Does It Take to Complete the NEPA School of Massage?

Our program at NEPA School of Massage is designed not just to educate but to transform you into a well-rounded, skilled massage therapist. The total duration of our Massage Therapy Program is 625 clock hours, providing an additional emphasis on subjects like ethics, as well as preparing you for the MBLEx.

This time is carefully allocated across various courses that cover every aspect of massage therapy, from the basics of touch to the complexities of professional ethics.

Here’s a closer look at some of the courses that will shape your journey:

  • MTP101 Student Ethics and Professional Conduct (4 hours): Start your journey by understanding the ethical implications in massage therapy, essential for building trust and professionalism.
  • MTP106 Principles of Touch and Communications (40 hours): Explore the fundamental principles of massage therapy, setting the groundwork for all your future interactions and techniques.
  • MTP110 Swedish Massage Therapy (122 hours): Delve into one of the most versatile massage techniques, gaining both theoretical and hands-on experience.
  • MTP111 Advanced Massage Therapies (132 hours): Broaden your expertise with advanced modalities, preparing you for a variety of client needs and preferences.

At NEPA School of Massage, we believe in a holistic approach to education. This means that your learning extends beyond the conventional classroom setting. Workshops, guest lectures, and real-world case studies are integral parts of our curriculum, offering you a comprehensive view of what it means to be a massage therapist in today’s world.

A unique aspect of our program is the hands-on experience you gain through our clinic, led by two licensed professionals who have used their experience in massage therapy to teach others.

In our clinic, you’ll apply your learning in real-life scenarios, interacting with real clients, experimenting with various massage techniques, and applying your training to special populations with contraindications. You’ll also gain a better understanding of the practical aspects of running a massage therapy practice, which will be invaluable to your future career.

Passing the MBLEx

After completing our comprehensive program, you’re set to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx). This exam is a crucial step in your journey, testing your readiness to enter the professional world of massage therapy. Once you pass, you will be eligible to apply for your license and begin your new career in massage therapy. Our special coursework will ensure you’re well-prepared for this milestone.

With as little as one semester of schooling, you can begin your journey to a new career in massage therapy. And, thanks to your time at the NPA School of Massage, you’ll be equipped with the skills you need to thrive in your new career.

Discover more about our program and how we can help you achieve your dreams of becoming a massage therapist at NEPA School of Massage. Begin your transformative journey by applying to our massage therapy program today.

FAQs: How Long Does It Take to Become a Massage Therapist?

What is the earning potential for massage therapists?

According to Zip Recruiter, the average salary of massage therapists varies between $22.64 and $44.33 per hour, though salaries will largely depend on your employer, field, and experience.

Are there opportunities for advancement in massage therapy careers?

Yes, there are plenty of areas of advancement, whether it’s becoming a manager, owning your open business, or venturing into more specialized fields of massage therapy that pay more.

What is the role of continuing education in this profession?

Many states, such as Pennsylvania, require ongoing education to renew your license every few years. Under PA law, you will be required to undergo 24 hours of board-certified education in order to renew your license.

Massage therapy offers a low-stress alternative to the traditional medicine career

7 Reasons Why Massage Therapy Is the Best Career for Mental Health

In an era where mental health is receiving the attention it deserves, many are seeking careers that not only provide personal fulfillment but also contribute positively to the well-being of others.

One such career that frequently outranks several others in job satisfaction is massage therapy. Massage therapy offers a low-stress alternative to the traditional medicine career while giving practitioners the ability to help others.

Tack on the low cost of massage therapy school with the employment opportunities available after graduation, and you’ll see why massage therapy was recently ranked in the top 100 of the US News Best US Jobs Survey.

Here are seven reasons why massage therapy is a good career, not only for your financials but also for your mental health.

1. A Low-Stress Environment

Is there anything more relaxing than a massage? As a massage therapist, you also get to enjoy the relaxing environment built for personal massages, which you can construct all on your own.

Unlike sterile office environments subject to ringing telephones and fluorescent lighting, massage therapy settings are filled with candles, essential oils, and aromas designed to soothe and place patients at ease.

This doesn’t mean therapists aren’t subject to the same burnout that other professionals are vulnerable to. However, between its low-stress environment and ideal work-life balance, a career in massage therapy affords therapists the latitude they need to take on as much client work as they need to, especially if you own your own business.

2. A Great Work-Life Balance

We’ve mentioned work-life balance a lot because massage therapy is one of those rare fields where you can truly make up your own hours. As a business owner or private practitioner, you can schedule massages as you want and offer hours that accommodate your schedule.

While employees of spas or medical facilities will be subject to more stringent hours, your career in massage therapy is still not your typical 9/5. With hours that range all across the day and even onto the weekends, you can often pick and choose a set of hours that works best for your schedule.

Plus, as a therapist, you won’t be tasked with taking your work home with you as most therapists are able to seamlessly separate their work life from their personal life once their hours are through for the week.

3. Emotional Fulfillment Through Helping Others

Massage therapists often report high levels of job satisfaction due to the visible impact they have on their client’s mental and physical well-being. Studies show that careers involved in helping others tend to report the highest levels of satisfaction.

Again, massage therapy delivers instant satisfaction to clients with very little liability or stress compared to traditional medicine fields. The sense of purpose and fulfillment therapists get out of helping others is a crucial component of their own mental health, as many of our students and colleagues report.

4. Continuous Growth and Development

A big driver in job satisfaction is the ability to advance in one’s career. Fortunately, massage therapists have plenty of options for developing their knowledge base, such as studying alternative massage techniques or working in different fields, such as in a hospital, private practice, or a resort.

Even the ability to form a small private practice that a trade school provides is invaluable for keeping young professionals in trade fields motivated for their careers.

5. A Community of Like-Minded People

As a massage therapist, you become part of a community that values empathy, wellness, and holistic health. At NEPA School of Massage, our clinic and classroom experiences foster a supportive environment where you can connect with like-minded individuals, enhancing your own mental health and creating lasting relationships.

6. Improved Physical Fitness

Massage therapy may not be a blue-collar job like hauling freight, but you will certainly build some strength over the course of your career. Fortunately, physical health is a massive driver of mental health, so staying physically active will reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, which are common to most office jobs.

7. The Healing Power of Touch

Massage therapy not only increases serotonin and dopamine in patients but also in practitioners. It may sound strange, but as a massage therapist, you will derive some of the physiological benefits of a massage, even if you are the one giving the massage. While it may be minimal, the power of touch has been proven to boost mental health in people, which is why massage therapy is such an important practice to begin with.

A Career That Cares for You and Others

If you’re looking for a career where you can help others and enjoy a steady work-life balance, then a career in massage therapy is right for you.

Learn more about how to become a massage therapist and start your journey in this fulfilling field at the NEPA School of Massage. Begin a career that harmonizes mind and body wellness by signing up for our next available semester at the NEPA School of Massage.

FAQs: Massage Therapy and Mental Health

How often should one get a massage for mental health benefits?

The frequency of massages for mental health benefits can vary. For general well-being, a monthly massage may be sufficient. However, individuals experiencing high stress or mental health challenges might benefit from more frequent sessions, such as bi-weekly or weekly.

Are there specific massage techniques better suited for certain mental health conditions?

Yes, different massage techniques can be more beneficial for specific mental health conditions. For example, Swedish massage is often relaxing and stress-reducing, while deep tissue massage may help with chronic tension. Consult with a qualified massage therapist to determine the most suitable approach for your specific needs.

Can massage therapy replace traditional mental health treatments?

While massage therapy can be a valuable complementary approach, it’s not a substitute for traditional mental health treatments. It can work synergistically with counseling, medication, and other interventions. Always consult with mental health professionals to create a comprehensive treatment plan.

massage therapy helps promote better circulation

Uncovering Health: What are the Benefits of Massage?

Like most professions, the average layman does not understand the hundreds of hours of practice and schooling that go into massage therapy. 

Underneath those practiced movements lies a science. Massage therapy taps into our body’s physiological and psychological processes to boost overall health and well-being. But how exactly does it work?

We’ll explore the science and benefits behind massage therapy so you can understand how it works and how it can help you. 

The Benefits of Massage: General Benefits

Ever wonder why your body feels so good after a massage? It’s more than just rubbing muscles and soothing some phantom tension in your body. 

To start, massage therapy helps promote better circulation. Applying pressure to muscles and tissues boosts blood circulation, resulting in more oxygen and nutrients being delivered to muscle cells for improved performance. 

As for that euphoric feeling that comes from massage, this is generated by the stimulus of certain endorphins, which are produced when pressure is applied to your skin’s nerve cells. 

Part of this may be attributed to the decline in stress hormones caused by massage therapy, as studies have shown

Further, research conducted at Emory University School of Medicine has shown that while massage therapy decreases cortisol levels (the stress hormone), it also increases serotonin and dopamine (the happy hormones) (PubMed Central)

Coincidentally, studies have shown that massages can be beneficial to massage therapists themselves, making massage therapy a good career

Promoting Muscle Recovery & Pain Relief

A more specific benefit of massage therapy is that it can be used to treat injuries from work or play. 

Injury recovery massage has been proven to reduce inflammation and increase cell regeneration. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found a significant reduction in pain among participants who received regular massages compared with those who didn’t–not just minor relief but substantial enough for patients to note improved sleep patterns.

Another benefit to athletes is that massage therapy can enhance your suppleness by increasing your range of motion for tight muscles and tendons.  

No wonder athletes frequently use massage therapy as part of their training and rehabilitation programs. The next time you’re feeling stiff after workout sessions or need help recovering faster from injuries, be sure to experiment with a nice massage.

Easing Stress and Anxiety

It’s no secret that massage can make you feel great physically, but did you know it also has a profound impact on your mental health? The Mayo Clinic has stated that massage therapy can help treat generalized anxiety, depression, and insomnia. 

Besides acting as an effective tool against common mental health issues like stress and anxiety, massage therapy promotes better sleep patterns, too. This is due to its ability to trigger serotonin release–a precursor for melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycle. Better sleep equals better mental health!

So, next time you’re feeling down or stressed out, consider booking yourself a massage for some genuine relief. 

Massage Therapy for Specific Health Conditions

The art of massage is more than just a way to relax. Regular massages can be a beneficial way to reduce symptoms associated with different health conditions.

Research shows regular massages can offer relief from chronic diseases like arthritis and fibromyalgia. Massage helps reduce inflammation, improve flexibility, and lessen pain, making it easier for people living with these conditions to lead an active lifestyle.

There are also several different types of massages that promote different benefits to the body. 

Myths and Misconceptions about Massage Therapy

Many people may think of massage therapy as just pampering, but that is far from the truth. As a medical profession, massage therapy offers many therapeutic benefits, which is why we need to clear up some common myths. 

Myth 1: “Massage is only for pain relief.” This isn’t entirely true. While massage can indeed help with pain management, it also offers other health benefits, like improved circulation and stress reduction.

Myth 2: “All massages are the same.” Wrong again. There are many types of massages tailored to different needs—from Swedish massage for relaxation to deep tissue massage that targets chronic muscle tension.

Myth 3: “Massages don’t have long-term effects.” In fact, regular sessions can promote better sleep quality, boost immunity, and even help manage anxiety and depression over time.

To fully enjoy what this holistic approach has to offer, be sure to book a session at a local clinic near you. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in massage therapy, start your journey by signing up for the NEPA School of Massage! [Learn More: 3 Steps to Become a Massage Therapist in Pennsylvania]

FAQs: What Are the Benefits of Massage

What are the 5 benefits of massage?

Massage offers pain relief, boosts flexibility, aids mental health by reducing stress and enhancing mood, helps manage certain chronic diseases, and supports injury recovery.

How often should you get a massage?

Folks typically benefit from a massage every one to two weeks. But it really depends on your wellness goals and schedule.

What happens to your body after a massage?

Your body goes into repair mode post-massage—improving circulation and decreasing lactic acid buildup in muscles while triggering endorphin release for relaxation.

What should you not do after a massage?

Avoid intense workouts right after. Hydrate well because massages help detoxify the body. Give yourself time to chill before jumping back into daily grind.

Massage therapy is gaining ground as a popular career choice

Is Massage Therapy a Good Career? Your Complete Guide

Have you ever found yourself lost in the soothing rhythm of a masseuse’s skilled hands? That blissful dance, working out life’s knots and tensions–it’s almost magical. Have you ever wondered if this is the right career for you?

You’re not alone. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the massage therapy field is expected to grow 18% over the next decade. 

However, no job is without its challenges. The question becomes whether or not massage therapy is a good career for you. 

Let’s explore some of the benefits and challenges of pursuing a career in massage therapy. 

The Rise of Massage Therapy as a Career

Massage therapy is becoming a popular career choice, growing much faster than most occupations. This spike indicates an increasing demand, as many people look for alternatives outside of the traditional college system that drowns people in debt.

Unlike many degrees you can acquire at a four-year college, massage therapy takes less than one year to complete, costs less, and puts you to work immediately. 

Massage therapists can choose from several different career fields, including:

  • Medical massage therapy
  • Sports medicine
  • Onsite/personal massage therapy
  • Spa and resort massage therapy

With increasing job growth in upcoming years, expect to see more young people opt for a massage therapy career. 

The Benefits of a Massage Therapy Career

Looking beyond job opportunities, most people want a career they actually enjoy working in. Fortunately, massage therapy is often considered a rewarding job in and of itself.  

A Fulfilling Career

Massage therapy is fundamentally a medical profession, helping people soothe their aches and pains with the magic touch of your hands. Just being able to see and hear the results of your efforts in person makes massage therapy a rewarding career in and of itself. If you want a career where you can help people feel better, massage therapy is right for you.

Work-Life Balance

Many therapists have control over their schedules, letting them balance work with their personal lives seamlessly. Whether you work for yourself or a company, massage therapy jobs tend to have more latitude than many other traditional 9-5 jobs when it comes to choosing your schedule. 

Plus, you get to leave all your stress at the door–if there is any! Massage therapists get to clock out without working from home or over their weekends since their job is mostly confined to the work they do with their hands. 

Mental Health Benefits

Helping others physically can also benefit you mentally. One study reveals that giving massages reduces anxiety levels in therapists as much as it does in patients. That’s not all. It showed an impressive reduction in stress hormones as well, making this career more than meets the eye.

Mental wellness goes beyond reducing anxiety or stress, though. It’s also about fulfillment and happiness. As a massage therapist at NEPA School of Massage, you get opportunities every day to make a positive impact on someone’s life, which makes the journey well worth it.

Summary: Pros of a Massage Therapy Career

  • Increasing employment opportunities
  • Rewarding career where you help others
  • Licensing takes less than one year of schooling
  • Minimal debt
  • Job opportunities immediately out of school
  • Several different fields of work to choose from
  • Work-life balance
  • A low-stress job that is easy on mental health

Challenges and Considerations in Massage Therapy Career

A career in massage therapy, while rewarding, does come with its share of challenges. But just like any other profession, knowing these obstacles ahead can help you navigate them more effectively.

Physical dexterity

One key challenge is the physical demand. Massage therapy will require strength and endurance to provide quality service to clients on a daily basis. While not as challenging as loading trucks or moving furniture, it can be an unexpected challenger or perk, depending on how you look at it. 

Mental Fatigue

Beyond the physical aspects, mental fatigue is another consideration. While it’s true that helping others relax can contribute positively to your own well-being, overworking yourself could lead to burnout if not managed properly. Therefore, balancing your work-life schedule is critical to your success as a massage therapist. 

The Importance of Continuing Education

To stay licensed as a therapist, most states do require continuing education. On the one hand, this does keep your mind honed and updated on the latest practices. However, it can also be an annoyance, and it will cost you a small chunk of change out of pocket if your company does not pay for your classes. 

Economic Factors

Last but not least are economic factors. As much as we’d love for passion alone to pay our bills, therapists must consider their potential income versus cost of living expenses, particularly when starting out on this path. Luckily, there are many opportunities as a massage therapist to increase your salary by moving to different fields, gaining promotions, or starting your own practice. 

Summary: Challenges of a Massage Therapy Career

  • Requires physical strength and dexterity to be successful
  • Burnout is a real possibility if your work-life balance is off-kilter
  • Continuing education is required to maintain licensing
  • Salaries do vary by industry, and it may take time before you start earning better money

How to Start Your Journey as a Massage Therapist in Pennsylvania

Becoming a massage therapist can be one of the most rewarding career paths. It not only lets you help others feel better but also offers substantial mental health benefits. But where do you start? In the Keystone State, it’s simpler than you’d imagine to get going.

The first step is getting a massage therapy degree or certification through an accredited program like NEPA School of Massage. This institution gives high-quality education that aligns with the latest industry standards and techniques.

Next, consider gaining hands-on experience. You could volunteer at local wellness events or work part-time at spas or clinics. Real-world practice is crucial because it helps hone your skills and increase your confidence.

You’ll also need to pass the MBLEx (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination), which is required for licensure in many states, including Pennsylvania.

Finally, apply for state licensing through the Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy. [Learn More: 3 Steps to Become a Massage Therapist in Pennsylvania]

  • TIP: Join professional organizations such as AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) to connect with fellow therapists and stay updated on industry trends.

Is Massage Therapy a Good Career?

So, is massage therapy a good career? Absolutely! This journey can offer both personal and professional rewards.

It’s not just about economic opportunity either; from mental well-being to work flexibility, massage therapy is considered one of the highest-rated jobs in terms of job satisfaction. 

Begin your journey today! Start with a certified massage therapy school and gain your license in under one year. Many say it’s the best decision they ever made!

FAQs: Is Massage Therapy a Good Career?

What are the physical demands of the job?

Massage therapy can be physically demanding, as therapists use their hands and body to manipulate muscles. Maintaining physical fitness and practicing good body mechanics are essential to prevent strain and injury.

Are there opportunities for specialization in this field?

Yes, there are numerous specializations within massage therapy, such as sports massage, prenatal massage, medical massage, and more. Specializing can open up unique career opportunities.

​​How do I choose the right massage therapy school?

Research schools that are accredited and meet your location and budget preferences. Visit the schools, talk to instructors, and check their curriculum to find the best fit for your career goals.

Becoming a massage therapist involves mastering both theoretical knowledge and practical skills

Decoding the Degree: What’s Required to Be a Massage Therapist in PA

Ever wonder what it takes to become a massage therapist in Northeastern Pennsylvania? 

Luckily, a massage therapy degree does not require four to eight years of schooling like most medical degrees. 

With only a couple hundred hours of education and training in a trade school, you can launch your massage therapy career in less than one year’s time. 

This guide will provide you with everything you need to become a licensed massage therapist, including degree requirements and post-education requirements. 

Do You Need a Degree to Become a Massage Therapist

Unlike other medical fields, you don’t need a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree to become a professional massage therapist. 

To become a practicing massage therapist in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to complete at least 600 hours of instruction from a PA State Board-approved school and pass the MBLEx. This training includes hands-on practice as well as practical subjects such as hygiene, ethics, and professional development. 

To become officially licensed, practitioners don’t need to acquire a degree, but they need to pass their PA board-certified MBLEx. This exam is managed by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and used by over 40 states in the US to provide proper accreditation.

You can expect to pay upwards of $12,000 or more for any individual massage therapy program. Each program is run by a licensed and experienced therapist who will provide the best training for the MBLEx and your continuing career afterward. 

Prerequisites for Massage Therapy Training

A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary to apply for any massage therapy program. However, now is a good time to assess whether or not you have the right skills and disposition for a career in massage therapy. 

Generally, a massage therapist will possess the following skills to be successful in a career in massage therapy:

  • Communication: Therapists must talk to clients throughout sessions to create a relaxing environment and uncover each client’s needs. 
  • Problem-Solving: Therapists must exercise keen judgment to devise unique treatment plans that deliver clients the highest satisfaction. 
  • Ethics: Therapists need to exercise proper judgment when treating medical pain in patients. 
  • Physical Endurance: Therapists are tasked with using their hands and strength to help treat ailments for sessions that can last well over an hour at a time. 
  • Hygiene: Creating a hygienic environment is important for the safety of the therapist and the client. 

With these skills, you’ll be able to work as a massage therapist in multiple fields; the possibilities are endless. 

What’s Involved in a Massage Therapy Education?

Becoming a massage therapist involves mastering both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Most programs, like those at NEPA School of Massage, include coursework in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, ethics, business management, and hands-on practice.

Courses often start with foundational subjects such as the structure and function of the human body. But soon enough, you’ll delve into more specialized areas like Swedish massage. The aim is to let students get comfortable with different techniques so they can adapt to diverse client needs.

The length of these programs varies, but PA requires over 600 hours for completion. Most schools, like the NEPA School of Massage, only last for a little under six months, helping you acquire your massage therapy license in well under one year. 

Continuing Education and Professional Development

States like Pennsylvania have some continuing requirements for students to renew their licenses and maintain their practice. 

When renewing your license, you will be required to complete 24 hours of board-approved coursework. 

Additionally, all massage therapists are required to complete CPR training. 

For the most part, we recommend joining a massage therapy organization to help you complete these requirements, but they are entirely optional. 

The NEPA School of Massage Advantage

Choosing the right school for your massage therapy training and license is a big decision. The NEPA School of Massage offers unique benefits that set it apart from others.

We provide top-notch, comprehensive courses taught by seasoned professionals with years of practical experience under their belts. Our instructors don’t just teach—they inspire, making sure you’re not only ready to pass exams but also excel in real-world scenarios.

We’ve designed our curriculum with flexibility and convenience in mind because we understand life’s unpredictability. Our commitment to hands-on learning sets us apart from the rest, as we prioritize real-life practice when it comes to mastering massage techniques. We believe nothing beats real-life practice when mastering massage techniques—so expect plenty of it.

FAQs: What Degree Do You Need to Be a Massage Therapist?

What is the highest degree for a massage therapist?

A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science would be the highest degree for massage therapists seeking advanced knowledge in the medical field.

Is it hard to be a massage therapist?

Becoming a proficient massage therapist requires physical stamina, dexterity, and thorough education. However, with passion and dedication, many find it rewarding.

Do massage therapists like their job?

Most do. Job satisfaction rates are high among massage therapists due to flexible schedules, meaningful client interactions, and opportunities for continuous learning.

The Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), administered by Pearson VUE

What is the MBLEx Exam? A Guide for Massage Therapy Students

While considered a medical practice, there are many places for massage therapists to work, especially here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, nearly every state in the US requires licensing in order to be a practicing massage therapist. 

Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia rely on the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), a hundred-part multiple choice exam that covers every area of massage therapy from practice to ethics. 

This guide will prepare you to pass your MBLEx exam so that you can get proper licensing to become a massage therapist and start your new career. 

What Is the MBLEx Exam?

The Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), administered by Pearson VUE, is a regulatory tool within the massage therapy profession that is required to obtain state licensing as a practicing massage therapist. 

The MBLEx helps maintain high standards and assures clients that their therapists have undergone rigorous testing on critical knowledge areas related to massage and bodywork.

In essence, passing this licensing exam indicates you’re well-equipped to understand client assessment, treatment planning, physiological effects of soft tissue manipulation for different populations, ethical practices, and more.

Most massage therapy schools will prepare you for this exam through a mix of coursework and in-field training. 

MBLEx Summary

  • 100 multiple choice questions
  • 110 minutes to complete 

Preparing for the MBLEx with the Right School

While massage therapy school is a prerequisite for obtaining a state license, finding the right massage therapy school is also very important to your overall success on the MBLEx. 

Leveraging educational resources can be a game changer when preparing for an examination like MBLEx. The NEPA School of Massage provides a rich source of materials and techniques that are instrumental in mastering massage therapy topics. For instance, if we look at “client assessment,” one key aspect covered by our program is understanding how soft tissue changes under different conditions.

We also delve into treatment planning and working with special populations; these skills not only help you pass your exam, but they’ll give you the knowledge you can wield in the field.

Some of the best tools that a massage therapy school will offer to prepare you for your MBLEx include:

  • Educational Tools: Utilize study guides and practice tests regularly. These tools provide a comprehensive overview of content areas tested in the MBLEx exam, such as anatomy & physiology, kinesiology, pathology, benefits & contraindications, among others.
  • Tutoring Sessions: Regular sessions allow students to ask questions about confusing topics or discuss challenging subject areas further.
  • Mentorship Program: Connect with experienced massage therapists to gain insights about the exam and practical tips for success.
  • In-the-Field Training: Practice literally with your hands on different patients to master techniques used within the field. 

All these resources aim not only to help students pass their MBLEx but also to ensure they’re well-equipped for a rewarding career in massage therapy. Take advantage of these resources to the fullest extent.

Subjects Tested on the MBLEx

The MBLEx covers a wide range of subject areas within a relatively short quiz, which can be difficult to study for. 

One tip we recommend to all students is to study each field thoroughly. It’s common for students to rely too heavily on the scientific components of massage therapy and ignore the ethics portion.

Some of the most common subjects tested on the MBLEx include

  • Physiology & Anatomy discuss the physiological effects brought about through the manipulation of soft tissues using various therapeutic techniques studied under approved programs like ours at NEPA school.
  • Kinesiology focuses on the study of human movement, including the mechanics of joints, muscles, and the body’s range of motion.
  • Pathology tests your understanding of various health conditions, their causes, symptoms, and how they might be impacted via massage therapy.
  • Professional Practice helps candidates understand the scope of practice, maintaining boundaries and professionalism when dealing with the public.
  • Contraindications and Special Populations covers when massage therapy is contraindicated (inadvisable) and how to adapt massage techniques for special populations, such as pregnant clients, the elderly, or individuals with specific health concerns.
  • Ethics, Boundaries, Laws, and Regulations assess your knowledge of ethical and legal considerations, as well as professional boundaries when working with clients.
  • Hygiene, Sanitation, and Safety ensure you maintain a clean and safe environment for clients.

Take lots of test exams, and be sure to go over each answer to see what fields you are lacking in. 

Registering for the Exam

The registration process is quite straightforward. You’ll need to submit an application and pay a fee to Pearson VUE, who administers this standardized test across all 50 states in high-security testing centers. Remember, early birds get their preferred testing center locations.

Tips For Exam Day

The big day arrives quicker than expected; nerves might start playing up as well (totally normal.). Take deep breaths–remember all those stress-relieving techniques from our classes?

  • Arrive at least 30 minutes early to check in without rushing.
  • Pack light because only minimal items are allowed inside.
  • Review questions beforehand to refresh your memory

Students can always re-register for exams if they fail, though they will have to pay a fee to do so. 

With the right education and preparedness, passing the LBLEx exam can be a breeze. That’s why it’s important to leverage the tools we’ve provided in this guide. 

FAQs: What is the Mblex Exam?

Is the MBLEx test hard?

The difficulty of the MBLEx exam depends on your preparation. With consistent study and understanding, you can conquer it.

What score do you need to pass MBLEx?

You’ll need a scaled score of 630 out of 900 to pass the MBLEx, according to FSMTB.

What kind of questions are on the MBLEx?

The MBLEx contains multiple-choice questions covering topics like anatomy, physiology, ethics, massage modalities, and more.

How many questions is the MBLEx test?

The total number for this test? It’s 100 multiple-choice queries that assess your massage therapy know-how.

A career in massage therapy is not only rewarding but also offers remarkable flexibility.

New Opportunities: Where Can a Massage Therapist Work?

One of the most rewarding benefits of a career in massage therapy is that there are so many career opportunities that extend beyond the traditional spa or health and wellness center. 

From sports medicine to cruises and resorts, there are close to a dozen different verticals you can take those hands to make money and establish a steady career. And many of them are here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, from Wilkes-Barre to Scranton to the Poconos.

Factor in personal practices and onsite massages, and you will start to realize that there is no ceiling as to how much you can make or do with a massage therapy career. 

This guide will detail all of the different occupations where a licensed massage therapist can work and provide tips to help you choose the right career path. 

Medical Massage Therapy

A medical massage therapist’s role is to alleviate pain and promote healing in patients. Using their hands, they can promote healing for general pain or specific pain issues related to the back, joints, nerves, and much more. 

In turn, there are several different verticals and areas where a medical massage therapist can work, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation Clinics
  • Physical Therapy Clinics
  • Chiropractic Practices
  • Nursing Homes
  • Hospice Care

These roles tend to pay very well, depending on what field you find yourself working in as a medical massage therapist.

However, they can be more rigorous and demand longer hours with more intense work than traditional massage therapy roles. 

Spa and Wellness Centers

If you’re looking for a traditional massage therapy setting with essential oils and candles, then a spa or wellness center will be right for you. According to the AMTA, 42% of all massages occur in a spa, and spas are the number one place where consumers receive massages.

As a result, spas and wellness centers tend to provide the largest employment opportunity for young massage therapists looking to establish a career. 

In this setting, your role may range from providing stress relief massages to creating personalized treatment plans aimed at alleviating pain. If you’re looking for a low-stress work environment that promotes self-care, then dimly lit rooms with calming music will add charm to your workspace.

Spas are also a great setting to use different therapeutic massage methods learned during your massage therapy program. The wider your range of skills, the higher your employability and the amount of salary you will receive. 

Fitness and Sports Facilities

Massage therapists come in high demand at fitness centers with the potential to make a really high salary, depending on your employer. 

Working alongside physical therapists on the health care team, these professionals use deep tissue techniques to alleviate pain and promote stress relief. A fitness-based massage therapist has a wide range of employment opportunities, from your local high school to professional sports programs that offer tons of money. 

Depending on the level of athletics you work for, travel may be required.

Massage Chain

Massage chains are a popular employer among many new and aspiring massage therapists. These chains offer specialized massages to clients in a professional setting, similar to a spa or wellness center. While the pay may not be as high in other fields within massage therapy, you are almost always guaranteed a job in some capacity. 

Onsite Massages

Personal massages for businesses and individual clients are a burgeoning space within the massage therapy industry. Massage therapists can act both as specialized massage therapists, offering pain management and relief or as general practitioners promoting positive healing through their hands. 

Cruise Ships and Resorts

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that cruises and resorts are among the top three employers of massage professionals. It’s no surprise, as vacationers often seek stress relief through relaxing massages to enhance their holiday experience.

Besides offering therapeutic services amidst breathtaking views, working on cruise ships lets you explore new places while earning. However, it’s not all fun and games; maintaining high standards in such upscale environments demands dedication and professionalism from therapists.

In resorts, too, masseuses contribute significantly to guests’ wellness programs by providing deep tissue massages or specialized treatments like hot stone therapy. 

Depending on the employer, wages will vary, though cruises and resorts tend to pay among the middle of the pack when it comes to massage therapy employers. 

The Role of Specialized Massage Therapy

Acquiring certificates in different specializations, such as Swedish massages, Shiatsu massages, and more, will increase your likelihood of being employed. 

While you’ll learn about much of this when you become a massage therapist and get licensed, it still pays off to invest in yourself and acquire more certifications for your resume. 

Starting Your Own Business

Use your massage therapy skills and client list to start a private business for yourself. There are plenty of opportunities to scale a business in traditional massage therapy, physical therapy, pain relief, and more. 

You can even start your own wellness center, spa, and private massage business using the skills acquired through years of massage therapy school and experience. 

Work Schedule and Flexibility

A career in massage therapy is not only rewarding but also offers remarkable flexibility. Whether you choose to work part-time or full-time, the choice largely depends on your personal preference and life situation.

You might prefer a consistent schedule at a spa or medical facility, where appointments are typically set up for you. However, if flexibility appeals more to you, consider working independently. This lets you set your own hours and control how many clients you see each day.

Many therapists trained at NEPA School of Massage have found success in both traditional employment settings as well as entrepreneurial ventures such as owning their own practices.

The beauty of this profession lies within its adaptability; it can accommodate different lifestyle needs while providing an opportunity for fulfilling work that contributes positively to people’s health and well-being.

FAQs: Where Can a Massage Therapist Work

Where do massage therapists make the most money?

Massage therapists earn top dollar in the medical and sports fields. However, massage therapists can earn even more through independent practice. 

What is the highest level of massage therapy?

The pinnacle for a massage therapist is becoming board-certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). It demonstrates advanced education and professional standing.

Who works with massage?

A variety of professionals collaborate with massage therapists: doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, and fitness trainers. They often form part of an integrated healthcare team to maximize patient wellness.

Pennsylvania requires formal massage therapy training at an accredited school

Your Pathway: 3 Steps to Become a Massage Therapist in Pennsylvania

Massage therapy is a holistic practice that requires hundreds of hours of schooling and hard work to master. 

Once you become a massage therapist, your career will be open to endless financial opportunities, whether you choose to work with an existing business or start your own. 

With so many different specializations to choose from, there are always job opportunities in any region for new massage therapists. 

This guide will walk you through the process of becoming a massage therapist, from licensing to post-grad requirements, so that you can kickstart your new career. 

The Benefits of a Massage Therapy Career

Choosing a career in modern times can be difficult as many jobs feel bereft of meaning or purpose. One reason that many people choose medicine and massage therapy as a career is that you get to help people and see the results of your efforts firsthand. 

Overall, some of the best aspects of a massage therapy career include:

  • Using functional medicine to heal people (Massage therapy has been used for over 5,000 years
  • Immediate employment opportunities outside of school.
  • Great salary (Beginning salaries start at $49,860: US BLS)
  • Opportunities to start your own business. 
  • Lots of different specializations to choose from (ex., Traditional therapy, sports, medicine, etc.)

Massage therapy school is cheaper than a traditional college education and requires fewer hours than most common occupations to become licensed. To put this into perspective, Pennsylvania only requires 600 hours of coursework to become licensed in massage therapy, as opposed to 1,250 hours to become licensed in cosmetology [See: 5 Benefits of A Massage Therapy Career]. 

3 Steps to Becoming a Massage Therapist in Pennsylvania 

1. Choose an Accredited Massage Therapy School

  • Requires 600 Hours of Study Altogether
  • 250 Hours of Massage Theory, Practice, and hygiene
  • 175 Hours of Scientific Theory (e.g., Anatomy, Kinesiology, etc.)
  • 25 Hours of Ethics and Business Development
  • 150 Hours of Related Coursework

Pennsylvania requires formal massage therapy training at an accredited school. The curriculum and courses offered at these schools play a critical role in shaping your skills and knowledge about various massage techniques.

An effective program balances theoretical learning with hands-on practice, giving students both breadth and depth of understanding. In the classroom, you’ll delve into subjects like anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, ethics, and business practices, which form essential foundational knowledge for any budding therapist. 

You’ll also learn essential skills of massage therapy, including varying techniques and best hygiene practices. 

Therefore, choosing the right massage therapy school is essential to your success. 

2. Passing the MBLEx

Next, you’ll be required to complete the MBLEx exam, the official licensing exam of Pennsylvania. This exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions that touch on subjects you’ll learn during your study. 

Once you pass, you’ll be forced to register with the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). To apply for a license, you must pay a $100 initial fee in Pennsylvania and a $175 renewal fee. 

3. Continuing Your Education

Before you officially acquire your new license, you will be required to complete at least 3 hours of  Board-approved coursework for continuing education. This requirement will increase to 24 hours when renewing your license after the date it expires. 

  • 16 hours must be in-person
  • 8 hours can be remote
  • 2 hours must be completed of child abuse recognition

Therapists are required to renew their licenses every two years. 

Additional Requirements for Becoming a Massage Therapist

So, you’ve decided to pursue a rewarding career in massage therapy. That’s fantastic. Before you begin your career in massage therapy, certain steps must be taken to guarantee success.

Background Checks 

To ensure that only qualified professionals enter the field, prospective therapists must pass a background check. This process varies from state to state but often includes fingerprinting and checking criminal history records. Don’t worry, though–it’s just one more way to ensure everyone gets the high-quality care they deserve.

Liability Insurance

Besides clearing background checks, all licensed massage therapists should carry liability insurance. It protects both practitioners and clients by covering potential claims related to professional services provided. Here is some useful information on how this works.

CPR Certification

In addition to passing your licensing examination, every therapist needs certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Joining a Massage Therapy Association

Beyond the licensing and practical requirements, consider joining a massage therapy association. These organizations offer numerous benefits for new massage therapists, including continuing education opportunities to keep your skills sharp, advocate for industry professionals at the legislative level, and create networking spaces where you can meet other practitioners.

Launching Your Career in Massage Therapy

Once you obtain your license, it’s time to start putting your hands to practice. 

1. Work for an Existing Practice

Get some experience in the field and establish a steady salary by working for an existing massage therapy practice. Some places you will be able to work for may include:

  • Spas
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Chiropractors
  • Health Clubs
  • Gyms
  • Sports Teams

You can also work with various places, such as hotels, gyms, and airports, to offer onsite massages. 

2. Building a Client Base

One advantage of starting your career with an existing business is that it helps you build up client lists very quickly. 

Networking within the community is important, as past clients and word-of-mouth referrals can significantly boost clientele numbers.

In the digital age, establishing an online presence can be highly beneficial, too. Social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook let potential clients get to know you better before booking their first appointment. AMTA provides great advice on how to utilize social media as part of a successful promotional plan.

3. Nurturing Professional Relationships

Beyond growing clientele numbers, networking within the local wellness community can offer incredible opportunities, too. Collaborating with healthcare facilities such as chiropractic clinics or yoga studios could lead to lucrative partnerships that increase exposure and widen employment opportunities.

A significant portion of the massage community are self-employed therapists, so those wishing to become their own boss should consider this avenue. So, if you’ve always dreamt of being your own boss, this is certainly an avenue worth exploring.

However, running a successful business involves much more than just excellent therapeutic skills. It’s about maintaining professional standards and ensuring that all legal requirements are met, too.

FAQs: How to Become a Massage Therapist

Is it hard to be a massage therapist?

Being a massage therapist is challenging but rewarding. It demands physical stamina, in-depth knowledge of human anatomy, and excellent interpersonal skills.

Does Pennsylvania require a license for a massage therapist?

Yes, Pennsylvania mandates licensing for all practicing massage therapists. You must pass an approved exam and meet other state-specific requirements.

How long does it take to get a massage license in Pennsylvania?

It takes 600 hours minimum to complete coursework to become a massage therapist, as well as additional time required for continuing education and exams. 

Trade Schools: What You Should Know

It’s no secret that NEPA School of Massage is a specialized trade school—a fact that we’re very proud to tell others. 

We believe that it’s time to change the narrative on trade schools for a variety of reasons. Trade schools can help you learn a skill that will land you a job faster, cost you less, and give you longevity and job security that sometimes isn’t seen in other industries and careers. 

Consider how difficult it is to find a good electrician, contractor, hair stylist, or massage therapist. People who graduate from trade schools have skills that are in considerably higher demand than those who graduate from a typical four-year college. 

What Is a Trade School?

A trade school is an educational institution that offers postsecondary level programs–sometimes known as technical school, vocational school, or vocational college. A trade school’s primary focus is to teach its students to hone manual, mechanical, or technical skills for specific careers. 

Trade school programs have streamlined curricula, courses, and learning methodologies that give students hands-on experience in their trade of choice. This allows students to become equipped to enter the workforce quicker than their college-going counterparts. 

After completing a trade school program, students will be awarded either diplomas, certificates, or, sometimes, associate degrees. Some careers require students to pass a licensing exam or become an apprentice.

According to the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), there are sixteen career clusters that can be divided into seventy-nine career pathways for trade school graduates.

Common Trade School Programs:

  • Electrical Programs
  • Cosmetology
  • Massage Therapy
  • Information Technology
  • Automotive Technician Training
  • Nursing
  • Culinary Arts

Are Trade Schools Better Than College? 

The decision between a trade school vs. a traditional four-year college depends on your goals and career aspirations. It can also depend on your finances too. Trade school can be a great option for those who cannot afford a four-year education, need to work while going to school, or want to learn technical hands-on skills. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself while you’re deciding:

  • What are you passionate about? 
  • What time do you want to commit to your education? 
  • Do you have a restricted budget? 
  • Can you apply for scholarships and grants? 
  • Does the potential program align with your future goals? 

You may benefit more from a trade school if your dream is to work in a field that requires hands-on skills. A trade school will also be able to jumpstart your career much earlier than your peers. 

The Benefits of Trade School

The most significant benefit of attending a trade school is that students leave their program of choice with an educational foundation and hands-on experience to be immediately competitive in the job market. 

But let’s get into some other benefits below. 

Trade School Tuition Costs

The average tuition for trade schools in 2022 ranged from $5,000 to $15,000 for a 3- to 18-month program. These tuition costs are significantly lower than attending a four-year college. The average in-state college tuition is $9,377 a year, while private college tuition averages $54,501 a year. 

Duration of Trade School 

The average duration of a trade school program is between 12 months and 24 months vs. the four years or longer it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree. Condensed programs allow students to enter the workforce sooner, which means they’ll be able to start earning money and gaining experience faster too. 

Job Salary

After graduation with a specialized skill, tradespeople can improve their earnings with experience, and there really is no earning ceiling, especially if they decide to become self-employed. 

Depending on location and the demand for any specific skill will influence wages and salary. Here are some examples of trade salary averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): 

  • Electricians: $60,370 to $79,000.
  • Dental Hygienist: $76,000 to $115,000.
  • Construction Manager: $92,260
  • Massage Therapist: $49,260 to $77,600

Trade Schools Offer Job Security

Trade schools are more stable regarding job security because most vocational careers can’t be outsourced or automated (e.g., massage therapy, nursing, plumbing, paralegals, etc..) And because of the decades-long push for high school graduates to attend a four-year college, there’s a shortage of tradespeople in the United States. 

Trade School FAQs

Q: What is a trade school?

A: Trade schools offer dedicated training in a specific vocational skill where courses are streamlined, and hands-on training is a requirement. 

Q: What is the average cost of attending a trade school?

A: While programs vary, the average tuition for an entire program ranges between $5,000 to $15,000.

Q: Are there any massage therapy schools in Wilkes-Barre, PA? 

A: Check out the NEPA School of Massage program here. 

Couples Massage Class

What couples massage can do for you?

There’s something just a bit special about couples massage. Giving your partner a body massage is a treat and a wonderful way of helping them de-stress after a hard day and showing them you care. There are obvious benefits to the lucky person on the receiving end of the massage, but what about the person giving it?

It’s relationship-building

Spending time doing something solely for your partner really does show them that you care. Yes, you could give them a gift card for a massage at the spa, but think about how romantic it can be to dim the lights and take care of the massage yourself.

A spa or salon massage is necessarily clinical – it’s relaxing and enjoyable, but it’s in a massage bed with someone who has to keep you at emotional and physical arm’s length to do a professional job. Couples massage is completely different; you’re massaging in your own familiar surroundings, there’s no pressure, and you don’t have to leave after 60 minutes. The relaxing benefits of massage therapy from someone that you know well are easy to understand. There’s no awkwardness, so he or she can get straight into the feel-good tension-busting mood.

It helps to build trust

Trust is vital to any relationship, and a massage is a beautiful way to establish that bond.  If you know your partner really well – and we assume you do – you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact moment that they just let themselves go deeply into the massage and relax under your touch completely. At that point, they are entirely surrendering and trusting you totally. It’s a powerful emotional connection for both partners.

Building trust leads to stronger feelings of intimacy, which helps to reduce stress. Reducing stress has a cumulative effect; it helps protect against conditions that develop when stress builds up in the body, like cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, and even IBS.

It improves intimacy

A couple’s massage is a completely different thing than a professional treatment, even if the strokes do the same thing. Of course, that’s how it should be; nobody wants to get too attached to their massage therapist! When you’re having a couples’ massage, though, it’s a different scenario – you’re doing this for your partner because you care for them and want to be physically close to them. Intimacy isn’t just a physical thing – it’s also about emotional closeness, which isn’t something that all relationships have automatically. 

Building an intimate connection with someone is good for your overall health; it releases the hormone oxytocin, which promotes bonding and also helps to boost your overall well-being. You can nurture an intimate connection with your lover just by spending time alone with them, just concentrating on each other. Although massage isn’t the only way to do this, of course, it’s a really good way!  Try it – watch as your emotional connection deepens.

Giving a massage makes YOU feel good

You’re so wrapped up in giving that massage and making your partner feel good that you don’t have the time to think about day-to-day worries. Those minor irritations that seemed so important get put to one side as you massage away, and the tension seems to melt away from both of you. You can become entirely absorbed in the act! There’s no denying that giving a massage can feel as good as getting one as you bond with your significant other.

NEPA School of Massage’s next Couple Massage Class will be February 24th, 6 pm-8 pm at 311 Market St, Kingston, PA 18704.

Click Here To Purchase Tickets