If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a massage therapist, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how much it will cost to attend massage therapy school. This is an important consideration for anyone who wants to pursue this career path, as there are many aspects to consider when financing your education.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the factors that can affect the cost of attending massage therapy school and help you determine what you can expect to pay to get started on your journey toward becoming a licensed massage therapist.
From tuition fees and textbook costs to living expenses and transportation, there are many different expenses associated with attending massage therapy school. We’ll break down these costs and give you an idea of what you can expect to spend depending on which school you choose to attend and where you live.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. -Malcolm X
By getting a better understanding of the typical costs of attending a massage therapy program, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about your education and develop a plan for financing your studies without breaking the bank.
So if you’re ready to dive into the world of massage therapy education and see what lies ahead, keep reading to learn more!
Find out the Average Cost of Massage Therapy School
What is the Average Cost of Massage Therapy School?
Massage therapy school prepares students for a career in massage therapy. The cost of attending varies depending on several factors, including location, class size and program length. On average, it costs around $10,000 to attend a massage therapy program.
This can vary significantly depending on where you live and what type of program you choose. In more expensive areas like New York City or Los Angeles, you may pay upwards of $20,000 for a massage therapy degree. Conversely, some programs in more affordable areas like Utah or Ohio may only cost $6,000 or less.
How Much Does Massage Therapy School Cost on Average?
The average cost of attending a massage therapy program ranges from $5,000 to $15,000, with most students spending around $10,000. This includes tuition, fees, textbooks, and other required materials.
Some schools offer financial aid options such as grants, scholarships, and loans to help cover expenses. However, not all schools have these options available or they may only be offered to certain students based on financial need or academic performance.
Average Expenses for Massage Therapy School
In addition to tuition and fees, there are other expenses associated with attending massage therapy school. Some of these expenses include:
- Textbooks and study materials – around $500
- Supplies like linens, oils, lotions, and table warmer – around $200-$250
- Licensing exams – around $300-$400
- Background checks and fingerprinting – around $50-$100
- Certification fees – around $200-$300
It’s important to budget for these additional expenses when calculating the cost of attending massage therapy school.
What is the Cost of Tuition for Massage Therapy School?
The cost of tuition for a massage therapy program varies depending on several factors, including location and length of the program. On average, students can expect to pay between $6,000 and $15,000 in tuition costs alone.
For example, the tuition at Cortiva Institute’s 750 hour-long massage therapy program ranges from $12,300 to $14,300 depending on your campus location. The Parker University College of Health Sciences, located in Dallas, TX, offers an Associate degree in Applied Science (AAS) in Massage Therapy that takes two years to complete. It has an estimated total tuition cost of $26,196.
“Massage therapy is one of the fastest-growing fields today. People are looking for effective ways to address health issues such as chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and recovery from physical injuries or surgeries. With proper training, you can develop the necessary skills to become a successful massage therapist.” -Sara Kooperman, founder and CEO of SCW Fitness Education
While there are some variations, the cost of attending massage therapy school anywhere in the US is not cheap. However, it can be less expensive than other healthcare careers and still offer excellent job prospects.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Massage Therapy School?
If you’re considering a career in massage therapy, one of your major concerns is likely the cost of education. The price of tuition for massage therapy school varies widely depending on several factors.
Location of the Massage Therapy School
The location of the massage therapy school you attend is one of the most significant determinants of the cost. Different states and regions have varying costs of living, which affects the overall expenses associated with attending massage school.
- In California, for example, the average tuition fee for an accredited massage program ranges from $6,000 to $10,000 per year.
- In Ohio, the cost can be as low as $4,500-$7,200 annually, while in Kentucky, it might range anywhere between $9,000 and $15,000.
- New York has some of the highest fees, ranging from $11,000-$16,000 per annum.
The difference in tuition prices based on location means that students from different areas may need to budget accordingly. For instance, if you are moving to another state to attend massage school, you must factor in the additional expenses such as housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous costs.
Type of Massage Therapy Program
The type of program you choose to pursue also impacts the cost of your education. Community colleges usually offer cheaper options compared to private schools or programs. Certificate courses typically require less time than diploma courses and associate’s degrees, but may not provide the same level of training and experience.
An example would be Cortiva Institute’s 750-hour Professional Massage Therapy Program, which averages around $14,000 – $16,800. On the other hand, a 1000-hour diploma program from Pacific College of Health and Science could cost you around $14,000 – $20,000.
The length of the program will also determine how much money one needs to pay for tuition. Certificate programs (less than 500 hours) are usually less expensive compared to associate’s degrees that take two years or more. You can expect to spend about $3,000-$10,000 on certificates and diplomas, while an associate degree at Community Colleges may cost between $5,000-$15,000.
“Most schools offer shorter certificate courses in specific massage modalities such as deep tissue or sports massage for under $2,000.” – Emily Scholl, Director of Marketing and Communications, Massage Therapy Foundation
Choosing to become a massage therapist is an investment in yourself and your future career. Although attending massage therapy school may seem like a daunting task, there are various financing options available to those who need it. Loans, grants, and scholarships are available; students should speak with their potential institution’s financial assistance department to learn what they qualify for.
The amount you end up paying for your education ultimately depends on the location, type of program, duration, and additional expenses associated with living costs. Always remember to consider all factors before making any commitments.
Is Financial Aid Available for Massage Therapy School?
If you’re interested in becoming a massage therapist, one of your first questions is likely “How much does massage therapy school cost?” Unfortunately, the answer to that question depends on several factors like the length and location of the program. However, there’s another question you should be asking: “Is financial aid available for massage therapy school?” Thankfully, the answer to that question is more straightforward; yes, financial aid is available to students pursuing an education in massage therapy.
Types of Financial Aid for Massage Therapy School
The primary types of financial aid available for massage therapy school are:
- Federal Student Aid Programs – These programs offer grants, loans, or work-study jobs from the federal government to help cover education expenses. To apply for federal student aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Institutional Scholarships – Schools may offer their own scholarships to students who meet specific qualifications or demonstrate financial need. Schools typically award these funds based on merit, academic achievement, or other factors rather than just financial need.
- Private Scholarships – Community organizations, corporations, private foundations, and other entities often offer private scholarships to students entering certain fields or attending specific schools. Private scholarships can be highly competitive, so it’s essential to start researching and applying early if this is something you would like to pursue.
How to Apply for Financial Aid for Massage Therapy School
To apply for financial aid, you will usually start by completing the FAFSA. This form will ask for information about your income, assets, and household size to determine your eligibility for federal student aid programs. Once you submit your FAFSA, the information is shared with schools that you’ve designated in the application.
After you complete the FAFSA, check with the schools you’re considering to see if they require any additional financial aid applications. Some schools may have their own forms or requirements for institutional scholarships, so it’s essential to stay organized and on top of deadlines throughout the process.
Availability of Scholarships for Massage Therapy School
Many organizations offer private scholarships specifically for massage therapy students. While some may have specific eligibility requirements, others are open to anyone pursuing a career in this field. Here are a few examples:
- American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) – The AMTA awards several annual scholarships up to $5,000 to members who demonstrate academic excellence, community service, and leadership potential.
- The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) – The NCBTMB offers various scholarships to students pursuing an education in massage therapy and approved instructor training programs.
- Soothe Massage On-Demand – This company offers an annual scholarship of $1,000 to massage therapy students based on creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and academic achievement.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
Acquiring a degree or certification in massage therapy can be costly, but don’t let the initial sticker shock dissuade you from pursuing a fulfilling career in this industry. By applying for financial aid or scholarships, you may find that your dream of becoming a licensed massage therapist is more achievable than you initially thought.
Take some time to research your options and make a plan for applying for financial aid. Remember, each program or scholarship may have its own unique application requirements and deadlines, so stay organized throughout the process. Good luck on your journey towards becoming a massage therapist!
Compare the Cost of Online and In-Person Massage Therapy Programs
One of the considerations that aspiring massage therapists face is the cost of massage therapy school. While online programs may seem cheaper, other factors need to be taken into consideration when making a decision. Let’s explore the cost differences, benefits, as well as the curriculum and requirements in both formats.
Cost Comparison of Online and In-Person Massage Therapy Programs
The tuition and fees for an online or in-person certification program vary depending on various factors such as location, duration, curriculum scope, and level of accreditation. Online programs are touted as more cost-effective than their traditional counterparts because they require fewer campus resources, no physical presence, and have overall less overhead expense, but education experts warn against solely relying on pricing alone.
In-person certification schools charge up front for textbooks, student clinic responsibilities, liability insurance, equipment packs, and uniform costs which mount up quickly, while at-home instruction offers flexibility on time management and quicker entry into the workforce. Yet it requires students to have access to proper technology and software alongside a supportive infrastructure living situation, lest distractions affect academic progress.
“While low price can be tempting, potential enrollees should do careful research to make sure the schools they choose will give them quality training and meet industry standards.” -Bureau of Labor Statistics
Benefits of Online and In-Person Massage Therapy Programs
There are notable benefits associated with in-person and online massage therapy programs, including skill development, qualification identification, networking opportunities, hands-on techniques with clients, experiential learning, and introduction to genuine business models.
In-person massage therapy courses typically feature smaller classes with practical tasks where students receive hands-on attention from instructors and classmates who offer professional critiques necessary during real-life scenarios. Students also get to experience a variety of necessary equipment and tools first-hand.
On the other hand, online courses provide flexibility on when and where students can attend classes. They are ideal for individuals who have full-time jobs or family obligations that make it difficult to attend traditional classroom lessons. Furthermore, most programs from reputable institutions allow significant interaction with peers and professors through virtual learning environments.
“I believe that blended education is the future—it offers students more freedom in regards to scheduling, which increases accessibility.” -Massage Magazine
Differences in Curriculum and Requirements for Online and In-Person Massage Therapy Programs
The overall curriculum requirements for massage therapy certification depend on state laws, but many combine theory-based coursework with hands-on practical application instruction. However, there are several differences between online and in-person programs.
In-person massage therapy schools generally feature more intense training with help from live educators which allows learners to receive personal feedback, encouragement, and support. They offer structured syllabuses, assessments, and assigned study measurements encouraging retention rates, allowing aspiring massage therapists every opportunity to succeed. On the contrary, online schools frequently use multimedia approaches such as lectures and video recording resources to engage with students.
“Several states require a certain duration of in-class hours to meet their licensure requirements… find out what your state requires so that you won’t have any surprises waiting if you take an online program.” -American Massage Therapy Association
Both formats have advantages and disadvantages relative to affordability, convenience, and practical consideration issues faced by each student uniquely. While in-depth research is key in deciding which option is best suited for each individual’s learning style and lifestyle commitments, opting for cost-saving may not always be the most appropriate means to attending top-quality massage therapy school.
Is Massage Therapy School Worth the Investment?
If you are considering massage therapy as a career, one of the most important questions to ask is whether or not investing in massage therapy school is worth it. After all, becoming a licensed massage therapist requires both time and money, so it’s important to know what kind of return on investment (ROI) you can expect.
Career Opportunities and Salaries for Massage Therapists
The good news is that the job outlook for massage therapists continues to be strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade. This means that there will likely always be a demand for qualified massage therapists, which increases your chances of landing a job after graduation.
In terms of earning potential, the salary range for massage therapists varies widely depending on factors such as location, experience, and type of employer. On the low end, the median annual wage for massage therapists was $42,820 in May 2020. However, top earners in the field made more than $80,630 annually. Additionally, many massage therapists have the ability to work part-time or as independent contractors, which can offer flexibility and potentially higher earning power.
Job Satisfaction in the Field of Massage Therapy
Beyond financial considerations, job satisfaction is an important factor to consider when deciding if massage therapy school is worth the investment. Luckily, many massage therapists report high levels of job satisfaction due to working closely with clients, providing relief from pain and tension, and helping people relax.
A survey by the American Massage Therapy Association found that 89% of respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with their work as massage therapists. This is much higher than national averages for job satisfaction across industries, which typically hovers around 50%.
Long-Term Benefits of Investing in a Massage Therapy Education
While the immediate benefits of becoming a licensed massage therapist may include job security and higher earning potential, there are also long-term benefits to consider. For example, pursuing a career in massage therapy can provide you with opportunities for ongoing professional development and specialization.
Whether you choose to specialize in sports massage, prenatal massage, or another area, continuing education courses can help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and expand your skills. Additionally, many massage therapists report feeling fulfilled by helping others and providing a valuable service.
“I’ve always felt that the people who come through my doors to receive a massage from me really appreciate what I do. When they leave my office feeling better than when they entered, it’s incredibly gratifying.” -Lorna Watson, Licensed Massage Therapist
While the cost of massage therapy school can be significant, investing in a massage therapy education offers both short- and long-term benefits. With strong job growth projections, competitive salaries, and high levels of job satisfaction, massage therapy is a field worth considering if you’re interested in helping others and finding flexibility in your work.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average cost of attending massage therapy school?
The average cost of attending massage therapy school ranges from $6,000 to $10,000 per year. This includes tuition, fees, textbooks, and supplies. However, the cost may vary depending on the location and type of school you choose. Private schools tend to have higher tuition rates than community colleges or vocational schools.
Do the tuition and fees for massage therapy school vary by state?
Yes, the tuition and fees for massage therapy school vary by state. Some states may have higher or lower tuition rates than others. Additionally, the cost may vary depending on whether you attend a public or private school. It’s important to research the costs of various schools in your state to find the best option for your budget.
Are there any scholarships or financial aid options available for massage therapy school?
Yes, there are scholarships and financial aid options available for massage therapy school. You may be eligible for federal financial aid programs like the Pell Grant or federal student loans. Additionally, some schools offer scholarships or tuition reimbursement programs for students who meet certain criteria. It’s important to research and apply for these options early to ensure you receive the maximum amount of funding.
What additional costs should I expect to pay for attending massage therapy school?
In addition to tuition and fees, you may need to pay for textbooks, supplies, and equipment. Textbooks can cost up to $1,000 per year, while supplies and equipment can cost several hundred dollars. You may also need to pay for licensing fees and liability insurance once you graduate and start practicing. It’s important to budget for these additional costs when deciding on a massage therapy school.
How can I find the most affordable massage therapy school options?
You can find the most affordable massage therapy school options by researching schools in your area and comparing their tuition rates and fees. Consider attending a community college or vocational school, which tend to have lower tuition rates than private schools. Additionally, look for scholarships and financial aid options to help offset the cost of attending school. Finally, consider online programs or part-time schedules to make attending school more affordable.