What to Expect in a Massage Therapy Program?

A Massage Therapist gives a massage to their patient.

A massage therapy program is a training program designed to teach individuals the knowledge and skills necessary to become a licensed massage therapist. These programs typically include classroom instruction in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, massage techniques, ethics, and business practices, as well as hands-on training in massage therapy. The length of a massage therapy program can vary, but most programs take between six months and two years to complete.

Upon completion of a massage therapy program, individuals must obtain a license to practice massage therapy. Career opportunities for massage therapists include working in spas, wellness centers, hospitals, and sports teams, or starting their own businesses.

If you’re interested in becoming a massage therapist, you’ll need to complete a massage therapy program. These programs can vary in length and content, but they all share certain commonalities.

Program Length

The length of a massage therapy program can vary depending on the institution offering it. However, most programs take between six months and two years to complete. In general, shorter programs will provide you with the basic knowledge and skills needed to practice massage therapy, while longer programs will give you a more in-depth education.


Massage therapy programs typically include a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training. Some of the topics you can expect to study include:

Anatomy and physiology

You’ll learn about the structure and function of the human body, including the muscles, bones, and organs.


This is the study of movement, and it’s important for massage therapists to understand how different muscles work together to create movement.


You’ll learn about different diseases and conditions that can affect the body, and how massage therapy can be used to alleviate symptoms.

Massage techniques

This is where you’ll learn the hands-on skills needed to perform massage therapy. You’ll learn different types of massage, such as Swedish, deep tissue, and sports massage.

Ethics and business practices

You’ll learn about the ethical considerations involved in providing massage therapy, as well as how to start and run a massage therapy business.

Hands-On Training

In addition to classroom instruction, you’ll also receive hands-on training in massage therapy. This is typically done through a combination of supervised practice sessions and clinical experience. During these sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to practice your skills on real clients under the guidance of a licensed massage therapist.

Licensing Requirements

Once you’ve completed a massage therapy program, you’ll need to obtain a license to practice. Licensing requirements vary by state, but in general, you’ll need to pass a written exam and demonstrate your practical skills. You may also need to complete continuing education courses to maintain your license.

Career Opportunities

Massage therapists can work in a variety of settings, including spas, wellness centers, hospitals, and sports teams. Some massage therapists choose to start their own businesses and work for themselves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for massage therapists was $43,620 in May 2020, and employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.


A massage therapy program can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to start a career as a massage therapist. Whether you’re interested in working in a spa or starting your own business, completing a massage therapy program is the first step on your path to success.
By understanding what to expect from a massage therapy program, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right choice for you. Check out more details on National Institute’s Massage therapy program here!