One of the most important things you’ll do in your massage therapy career is choose what massage therapy school to attend. Choosing your program is the essential first step to building a foundation of knowledge, skills, and abilities you’ll need for a long and successful career. 

There’s a common misconception that all massage therapy programs deliver the same training, but there are many diverse options for massage therapy schools. Let’s dive into the most important questions you may have when deciding what program best fits you. 

Finding the Right School for You

With over 1,000 massage therapy programs in the United States, narrowing it down can be difficult. How do you compare them? How do you evaluate their programs? 

When comparing massage therapy schools, look for: 

  • The school’s curriculum and the types of bodywork taught
  • The instructors’ professional backgrounds and client reviews
  • The facilities and location of the school
  • Up-to-date state licensure
  • Open house dates to see the school and meet the instructor

Be sure to go see the schools you’re interested in. Scheduling a tour to see the facilities and meet the instructors can help make your decision easier. 

Essential Questions to Ask When Choosing a Massage School

What are the school’s mission and approach to massage therapy?

A mission statement will tell you what’s important to each individual massage therapy program. Reviewing each school’s mission statement will help you choose which school aligns with your own core values. 

Our mission statement at NEPA School of Massage is “fostering an atmosphere that promotes a safe, orderly, caring, and supportive environment for our students.” Our main goal is to provide all individuals with a thorough and extensive massage therapy education to become licensed massage therapists. 

Is the school devoted solely to massage therapy training, or does the school offer other vocational training programs? 

Some independently-owned schools, like NEPA School of Massage, solely offer massage therapy training, whereas other schools might offer various vocational programs. It’s important to note that independently owned schools that specialize in massage therapy and bodywork training tend to have a high commitment to maintaining the integrity of massage therapy. 

How is the curriculum designed and delivered?

A reputable school will have its curriculum available for you to view online. Comparing each massage therapy school’s curriculum will give you a good idea of what you’ll learn and the type of massage you can perform after graduating. 

Some schools specialize in one massage therapy modality, while others offer foundational courses. If you’re starting your journey to becoming a massage therapist, you’ll want to find a foundational program to teach different types of massage, ethical business practices, and much more. 

Another critical part of massage therapy school is hands-on training. A good massage therapy program will have built-in hands-on training with fellow students and the community. 

Check out NEPA School of Massage’s curriculum. 

Is the school accredited by a national accrediting agency or approved regionally? 

Look for schools that are either accredited or licensed by their state. Licensed schools must meet or exceed strict standards monitored by an external organization or state. Attending a licensed school ensures you’ll receive a high level of education and training to jumpstart your massage therapy career. 

NEPA School of Massage is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools – the process was rigorous and gave us the opportunity to shape our curriculum to ensure that every student who graduates our massage therapy program is well-rounded. 

Who directs the massage therapy program? How long have they been doing that job? What are their qualifications?

A massage therapy program is only as good as its instructors. If they’re not passionate about the profession, that will be the first thing you notice. Booking a school tour will give you the chance to meet the instructors and get a feel for the culture and training offered. 

Be sure to look at the instructors’ reputation as massage therapists. Do they run their own business? How long have they been working? Are they successful? Do they have glowing client reviews? Do you get a good impression when you meet or speak with them?

Meet the owner and instructor of NEPA School of Massage. 

What is the student-teacher ratio for hands-on classes? 

Look for a low student-to-teacher ratio when comparing massage therapy schools. Smaller classes will ensure maximum instructional effectiveness and individual attention that all students deserve. 

At NEPA School of Massage, we have a 10:1 or 10:2 student-to-instructor ratio, depending on the class type.

Can classes fit my existing schedule? 

Many massage therapy programs offer both full-time and part-time programs. We’re happy to announce that NEPA School of Massage offers both types of programs. 

Will the school help me with job placement? 

Many schools work hard to find job placements for their students as they graduate and become licensed. At NEPA School of Massage, it’s our privilege to help our students find employment at local spas, rehab clinics, doctor offices, massage studios, and private practices. 

Do they offer continuing education in advanced bodywork? 

In Pennsylvania, massage therapists need 24 continuing education units every two years. If you plan to stay in the area after graduation, look for a school that offers continuing education classes. These courses will keep you up-to-date on the latest ethics and massage techniques. 

NEPA School of Massage hosts various classes throughout the year.

Final Questions to Consider

We highly recommend that you schedule a school tour with all schools that you’re considering. A tour will help you narrow down your choices, but be sure to ask questions while you’re touring the facilities and meeting faculty: 

  • Does the school screen applicants?
  • What does the school look for in students?
  • How do they determine who will be accepted? 
  • Do they help prepare you for the National Board Exam? 
  • What makes them special? 

And finally, this is a personal question for you: What is your gut reaction to the staff and facility? 

What Massage Therapy Program is Right For You? 

Only you can answer that. The process of deciding which massage therapy school to attend will differ for everyone based on their personality, the program’s curriculum, and the instructors. 

If you remember only two things from this blog, let them be: 

  1. Is the school licensed by the state? 
  2. Did you feel good when you toured the school? 

And if you’d like to schedule a tour of NEPA School of Massage, we’d be happy to have you.