Most states require masseuse training and certification so chances are you will need to finish a course in a masseuse school. In line with this I’ve constructed a smart guide to help you in your quest to become a masseuse:
1. In most states you have to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent (some states may not require it). However, if you live and are planning to work in a state where a license is not necessary, you can take the liberty to license yourself to be a masseuse even if you don’t have a diploma or GED. A training program is still a must, though, if you want to be successful.
2. Check if the state you are in requires a massage therapist license. Here’s the difference: if you are in a “License-Requiring” state, becoming a masseuse will be a little more difficult because the rules for getting a license are stringent. If you are in a state where a massage therapist license is not required you can start giving massage services with the most basic training. In fact, you can have a massage practice with no training at all, but of course you also want to give quality service to your clients so you better enroll yourself in a short 100-hour training program. Take note, however, that even if some states do not require a license, the city you are living in might, so check that as well. At the moment there are 42 states that require a massage therapist license.
3. Before you go any further, examine yourself and your readiness to become a masseuse. About half of those who attempt to make a career in this field don’t continue with it. Why? Because they realize the job is not for them, for a variety of reasons. I would advise you to get a piece of paper and make two columns. On the left, list down the reasons why you think you will keep on practicing your expertise as a masseuse and on the left, list down all the reasons why you think you will not. You might put in there, for example, the financial benefits, how you like being with people or how you don’t, your past experiences of starting something and then quitting, how pleased you are in making other people satisfied, how much you are interested in massage as a hobby or science, how you can use the knowledge of massage therapy for part-time work or helping/pleasing the people you love. If you have listed at least 2 more entries on the left and you think you can somehow cope with those on the right, I would say you are ready to become a masseuse.
4. Research massage spas, health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, hospitals, cruise ships, doctor’s offices, private offices, and employment opportunities first, preferably in your area, before you even consider taking massage therapy classes. You want to make sure that opportunities for masseuse employment abound in your area; otherwise, you would only regret having spent time, effort and money for a skill you can’t use without moving places or sacrificing something. If you are planning to put up a massage business you might as well draw out a rough business plan first before moving on.
5. Research accredited masseuse schools in your area and check out their training programs and the cost of schooling. Most programs will cost you several thousands of dollars for at least 500 hours of massage training, which is a standard requirement for licensing. There are financial aids available in many accredited schools, however. You should be aware of the licensing requirements of your state and make sure the school you choose satisfies the minimum requirements for licensing. Lastly, consider those training programs that give a certification after graduation and are accredited by a national agency such as the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. An examination after completing the training is conducted by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork for a national certification in license-requiring states. Taking this exam is becoming a common trend and gives massage therapists the added advantage of using the initials “NCTMB” or “Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.” Another licensing exam is the Massage and Bodywork Licensing examination. Inquire about these exams at your school of choice before making a decision.
6. Enjoy your career as a masseuse and look for ways to increase your masseuse salary.