Can You Get A Masters’ Degree In Massage Therapy? Learn How

One of the distinct advantages of choosing massage therapy as your career is that the education for it is quite fun and exciting, and has less to do with books than other professions you can opt for.

Many students prefer attending a vocational massage school where they take short courses to learn some basic fundamentals about massage therapy and then spend some time getting professional hands-on training. By the time they are done with the training, they are ready to take on clients and start their career in massage therapy.

This a big one reason why many students don’t go for a complete four-year degree in massage therapy. Sure, there are many colleges where you can complete a long 4 year course and get a degree. However, the time and effort required often proves to be a detriment for many students who want to work in massage.

Instead, many students opt for a two-year shorter course where they learn about the ins and outs of massage therapy, and then enroll in a vocational course where they learn how to actually perform it. This way, they don’t have to read as much or learn about all the things that do not specifically pertain to their career paths ahead. There are no major written exams, which students are bombarded with when they pursue a four-year full-fledged college degree.

Because many opt for the shorter, less comprehensive route, many people assume that there is no masters’ degree in massage therapy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, people who are actually interested in the field and want to learn more about it choose to go on to do an advanced course at some point.

The Masters’ course teaches advanced massage techniques, which could help you in the long run if you plan on progressing within the industry. With a Masters degree you may be able to provide specialty services which are not common, but are effective, which in turn helps attract numerous clients. A Masters degree is also helpful if you want to expand your general skill set and diversify within and/or outside the massage industry.

You Need to Complete Your Bachelor’s Degree First

Before you can enroll in a Masters’ degree program in massage therapy, you have to complete your Bachelors degree first. Without a Bachelors degree in massage therapy, you will not be allowed to admit into a Masters program.

If a Masters degree is in your plans from the get go, make sure you find an accredited organization where you can earn your four-year Bachelors degree in massage therapy. This is a prerequisite which you simply cannot get around.

In all likelihood, you will have to enroll in a medical school to study for your Bachelors degree. There are very few educational institutions in the USA where you can get a Bachelors degree in massage therapy.

Find a School that Offers a Masters Degree in Massage

After finishing your Bachelors degree, you have to find a school that offers you the chance to get a Masters degree in massage therapy. It is quite likely that the school you got your Bachelors degree from allows you to get a Masters degree there as well. This would be the ideal scenario.

If not, you may have to move as there are not many institutions that offer this. If you have to move, make sure to weigh the cost-benefit of your decision since you will likely rack up more expenses and/or student loans.

In either case, you have to locate a school and then look up the requirements for enrolling in their Masters course. All of this information can be gathered online. Once you know which school you want to attend, quickly learn about their requirements and start preparing accordingly.

Be Prepared to Encounter Professional Adversity

Not being recognized as a medical expert with a Bachelors degree is one thing; encountering the same attitude from many people even after you have completed your Masters degree is another. This is why you have to be absolutely convinced about your choice of education.

In this regard, you have to stand up for the reputation of your chosen profession. This is something most people aren’t prepared for. Only go for a Masters degree if you believe that it is the right decision for your career plans.

Here are some things to consider when pursuing a Masters degree in massage therapy. This leads you to the million-dollar question: should you or shouldn’t you get a Masters degree in massage therapy? Let’s look at this in more detail so you can make an informed decision:

  • The biggest benefit of getting a Masters degree in massage therapy is that you will be recognized as an expert in the field. This is something you might not gain even if you have been working as a massage therapist for a several years. There is a connotation attached to a higher level education that is credentialed with a Masters degree. Being recognized as an expert ensures you get more clients and even allow you to justify a higher rate. However, this comes at the cost of spending thousands of dollars on the degree itself. Needless to say, Masters degrees in massage therapy don’t come cheap. You might even have to get hefty student loans to complete the degree.
  • There are great opportunities for massage therapists who have a Masters degree. Not only can you continue working as a massage therapist, you can also become a teacher or an instructor. Moreover, you can even decide to set up your own business and be your own boss. Like any other field, the more educated you are, the more employment opportunities and career options open up to you. However, this means that you have to spend a few more years in school than you would have to if you had opted for the shorter vocational course. That being said, the options you create and the money you make later may justify the time you spend now.
  • You will be taught about different modalities, including Western and Eastern massage. With this knowledge you will have a better understanding of the different types of massage and can satisfy your clients in a better way. This again helps you get more clients and also helps build up a loyal and satisfied clientele over time. With all that said, the recognition of a Masters degree in massage therapy certainly isn’t the same as other career fields. You may not get the respect and attention you feel you should. This could be discouraging and has even caused some to quit the massage industry all together.

To summarize, yes you can get a Masters degree in massage. But just because you can, should you? What are the true costs versus benefits? Is it worth it and how does it fit into your overall career plan? These are some important questions you need to ask yourself.

Keep these and the above points in mind as you contemplate whether or not you should pursue a Masters degree in massage therapy.

Of course you can always contact the top massage schools near you and learn about their curriculum what they have to offer. Requesting information is 100% free when you use our database.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

Posted in Continuing Education (CE), Massage Therapy Schools
4 comments on “Can You Get A Masters’ Degree In Massage Therapy? Learn How
  1. Fran Pitre says:

    I live in Jacksonville, Fl and I hold an Associates Degree in Applied Science, a Bachelors Degree in Education, and I’m a recently-Licensed Massage Therapist. I’m interested in pursuing a Masters Degree in order to eventually teach while I practice. I don’t want a Masters in Education, but would prefer a Masters Degree (if one exists) in Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy or any modality of manual therapy where I would not be required already hold a BS. Is this possible?
    Thank you,
    Fran

  2. Sam says:

    Hi,I’m an MT in California located in Los Angeles, I’m currently interested in advancing my career to become a PT now,I have researched online that I must have a BA in massage, how do I pursue that? And do I need to be licensed to go for my BA in Massage? I would really appreciate your help and advice thank you so much for your time and patience.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Sam, a BA and a LMT are mutually exclusive. you can get the one without the other, and neither is required for the other. you can use our search feature to find schools near you that offer both. good luck and let us know if we can help!

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