Learning about Hands-On Healing with California Massage Schools

Massage therapy is an increasingly popular service. Americans suffer from many injuries and ailments that cause chronic, sometimes debilitating pain, and massage is one drug-free technique that can be applied to help manage this pain. Whether used alone or in conjunction with traditional medical and therapeutic approaches, massage therapy can make a big difference in the lives of patients and clients.

Because of this built-in need and resulting popularity, many prospective college students consider careers in massage therapy. Particularly in the state of California, massage is a favored course of study since the state’s health science schools have a nationwide reputation of being some of the best. The process of applying to these schools and choosing one to attend can be intimidating. However, with some key information, students can make informed decisions that will positively influence the rest of their lives.

Prerequisites to Consider First

Before sending in an application, a prospective student of a massage school in California should be certain they meet all state and national requirements for admittance. These include:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to finance classes, materials and text. These costs can run anywhere from five to ten thousand dollars, depending on location, type of school and other factors.
  • Capability to attend classes and complete course work, particularly the ability to work with the hands and physically interact with other people.

Once these simple requirements are met, it’s time for a student to look at what will be expected of them during the application, schooling and licensing processes.

Getting Hands-On

There are two overall career options for the prospective massage student. The first is the CMP (Certified Massage Practitioner) which demands a lower salary but also requires less education and more lax licensing standards. It requires a minimum of 250 hours of education.

The second and more desirable choice for most students is the CMT (Certified Massage Therapist.) These professionals will draw a larger annual salary than the CMP, but will be required to obtain double the amount of school needed to earn it. The CMT calls for a minimum of 500 cumulative hours of education as well as the successful passing of either the MBLEx or NCETMB exam. Both are California state-issued licensing exams that have become the standard for assessing educational benefit and career readiness for massage therapy professionals.

Once classes and exams are taken and passed, graduates can begin work right away and often get straight to it in facilities they’ve studied and done practicum placement sessions in. Because the work is quite literally hands-on in nature, students with a more experienced touch are always an asset to employers, so graduates of massage schools in California are among the most sought-after in the industry. By following their dreams and letting their hearts lead their hands, California massage therapists will undoubtedly continue to set the standard in both excellent service and quality care.