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To become a certified massage therapist, “Masseuse” (female massager) and “Masseur” (male massager), you need proper education level, training, licensure & certification and key skills. Massage Therapist (a common term used both for male and female massage therapists) work hard and exhaust their bodies to help other relax and soothe their bodies by manipulating the soft tissues. They work under different environments, such as a massage spa, salon, fitness centers, health clinic and some even have their personal place where you go and get a massage. Massage therapists have to spend most of their time standing and performing repetitive tasks that can also put pressure on their hands and wrists. You as a massage therapist can work as a full-time employee, however; most of them work only part-time as a vast majority of people usually visit spas and salons in the evening.
Become a Massage Therapist
Below are four mandatory steps you must go through to become a professional and certified Massage Therapist.
1: Getting a Diploma in Massage Therapy
The first step towards becoming a professional massage therapist is to earn a diploma or a certification. Make sure that you choose a program that is officially recognized by your state’s licensing board. What’s hectic here is 500 hours of academic and clinical work that is a necessary part of the certification. The course includes anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and professional ethics. If you want to continue your career as a self-employed therapist, you should opt for training that includes coursework I business finance, management, and marketing.
2: Taking Examination in Massage Therapy
So, you have done the studies and gone through every perspective of massage therapy in detail. The next important thing to do is to get an approved national examination in massage therapy to get an approved certification. These exams usually include the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) and Board Certification Exam in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCETMB). The body that offers both the examinations is the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). You are eligible to apply for these exams once you have completed an approved massage therapy program.
3: Applying for State Licensure
You can apply for State Licensure once you have completed the education and exams from an accredited massage therapy programs. Also, you must have an impressive passing score on the national examination. Once graduated you can now apply for State Licensure. However, you should check with your state for any additional regulations that may be required. The most common regulation is to display the license at the therapist’s workplace. As a general practice, you must have your certificate displayed and a copy of it at your workplace to show to your clients or the officials whenever demanded.
4: Further Education Requirements
The only thing left is to keep your certification and licensure valid. As a professional therapist, you have to meet the continuing education requirements. If you have taken the BCETMB certification exam, you have to complete the recertification as well which shows evidence of 24 continuing education credits for 100 hours of work experience. Depending on in which state you live, you might be asked to submit evidence of continuing education for maintaining your licensure. Different states have their own policies, and they might be different from the other ones.
As per the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and State Massage Therapy Boards, the average per annum salary of all massage therapists in the year 2014 was $37,180. However, running your own business can make you handsome figures.