How to Become a Massage Therapist in 5 Steps

massagingPlenty of people throughout the world enjoy a nice day at the spa. You can get a manicure or pedicure, a facial, or even a full body massage.

But what if you want to be the person performing the massage instead of the person receiving one? How do you become a massage therapist?

It takes a great deal of time and effort to become a massage therapist. Education and certification are necessary.

Here are five steps that you can take in order to become a massage therapist.

What Exactly Is a Massage Therapist?

Before anyone can become a massage therapist, they need to know exactly what massage therapists are.

Those who take on this profession are, in many ways, health care workers. They manipulate the body’s soft tissues, ensuring that people feel more relaxed and can heal better and faster.

Many massage therapists are able to perform multiple different massage techniques during sessions that can last anywhere from five minutes to two hours.

Step 1. Take Time to Consider the Career

A massage therapist is just like any other career you would pursue. There are no shortcuts or easy ways to achieve this status. It takes work and dedication.

Consider all the qualities you will need to have in order to have in order to be one.

Are you good with your hands? Are you patient and empathetic? Are you okay with the intimate environment that is a massage session?

Make sure your heart is in the work you will be doing.

Step 2. Earn Your Certificate or Diploma

The next step to becoming a massage therapist is to enroll in an education program so that you can get the certificate you need to practice.

The program that you choose should be recognized by your state’s licensing board. During the program, you will be required to complete anywhere from 500 to 1,000 hours of massage training.

This training features both academic and clinical work that focuses on anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, and ethics.

Step 3. Take Your Exam

The training and studying that you will be doing during your massage therapy program are all about preparing you for the exam you’ll have to take.

In most cases, this will be the MBLEx (Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam). However, individuals can also take the BCETMB (Board Certification Exam in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork).

Once you complete your program, apply to take the MBLEx or the BCETMB.

Step 4. Get Licensed in Your State

Once you graduate from your program and pass your exam, you can apply for a license in your state.

Licensing can be different depending on the area you live. Certain states have a specific set of regulations that you must follow in order to get licensed.

The school you attend should be able to help you learn all of your area’s particular requirements so that you can become licensed as efficiently as possible.

Step 5. Choose Where You Want to Practice

The last step for any massage therapist is figuring out where they want to practice massage.

Examine your options. You can work at a spa, a rehab clinic, a health and wellness center, a hotel, a resort, or even on a cruise ship.

You can even be your own boss and open a private practice. While you will have to do all the work, you will also enjoy all the rewards.

Becoming a massage therapist can potentially be a long, challenging journey. But following these five steps should help you through the process and put you in the best possible position to obtain the career that you want.