Choosing Massage Therapy School over the traditional 2 or 4-year college education might seem like a daunting task, however, if this is a career that you're sure you want, it may be the best choice.

Massage therapy schools are located in almost every major city in the world. Many are well-known for providing excellent massage therapy education and hands-on experience.

But, how do you know if massage therapy school is right for you?

Consider these facts:

1. You will work in a quiet, slow pace with very little light in the room. If your personality is one that enjoys conversation with people, a bright, energetic atmosphere, or a fast paced work environment, massage therapy is probably not for you.

2. You are very often an independent contractor. If you need a job that provides a regular salary, benefits such as health insurance, retirement plan, vacation and sick days, or advancement opportunities, massage therapy may not be the right choice. It is rare to find a massage therapy job that provides these benefits.

3. Salary depends on experience in many businesses that hire massage therapists. Starting salaries for massage therapy will often be much lower than you anticipate. Realize that you must gain a few years experience and additional advanced massage training in order to make a good income.

4. You must be prepared to work some nights and weekends. Most clients work regular Monday- Friday , 9-5, jobs. In order to accommodate them, and to make a decent income, you must work evenings and Saturday and/or Sunday.

5. You must enjoy learning. The more continuing education classes you take, the more advanced therapies you know, the better salary you can expect.

When choosing a school, consider these massage school tips:

1.What do they teach?

If the school does not teach the types of massage therapy techniques that you want to practice, maybe it’s not a good fit for you. For instance, if you want to work in a day spa, but the school does not teach about hot stone massage or body scrubs and/or wraps (pretty unlikely, but…), perhaps looking at another school that teaches this might be best.

2. Make sure the sure is accredited by the state and/or a national accrediting agency. This is important because it confirms that they have the ability to teach you what you need to know in order to take a national or state licensing exam.

3. Ask how long the school has been in operation. If they have been there for years, they are a stable, safe business. If they are new to the area, be careful. You don’t want to give your entire tuition to a company who may not yet be financially solid.

4. Ask about their graduation rate. Find out how many students go through their program that do not pass and get a license.

5. Find out how well their students do on the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) test. Every school is provided this information, so they will know.

6. Ask if you can sit in on some massage therapy classes. This will give you a better idea of the teaching style of the instructors and if the school has a good learning environment.

Many states provide great business opportunities to those who seek to study massage therapy and eventually practice and live there. Resort areas, beach vacation spots, and business hubs are excellent places to start.

Whether you want to work in private practice, a day spa, a resort town, a medical center or beach oasis, massage business opportunities are great. Just make sure the massage school that you choose can provide the education for your future employment goals.

Author's Bio: 

Tina S. Holt, BA, LMT has a Private Massage Therapy Practice and is the Webmaster of Massage Education Guide, a "how-to" guide for massage therapy students, educators and massage practitioners. She has been a massage therapist for 11 years, specializing in Deep Tissue, Fibromyalgia, Pregnancy, and Relaxation Massage.