Massage Therapy Certification
Do you have a reputable, professional association backing you up?
Massage therapists are currently regulated by many countries. However, massage therapy certification standards vary from country to country, state to state and province to province.
Your first step toward certification should begin before you take your first class. Find out if the school you are planning to attend is accredited by reputable, professional associations. Find out also if it's recognized by your state or provincial government. One significant sign is whether or not students of the school are eligible for public funding in the form of grants or loans. If not, that may indicate that the massage school curriculum doesn't meet the government's idea of best practices when it comes to massage therapy. You may come to a different conclusion, of course, but it's good to have this information when deciding where to train.
Also, try to develop an idea of where you would like to work when you graduate. If you would like to work in sports rehabilitation, ask a massage therapist working in that field what certifications and qualifications she or he thinks are valuable. The last thing you would want to do is complete your training and get certified, only to discover that your training and certification, while reputable, don't qualify you for the specific type of massage therapy you'd like to practice.
Typically, you will have to take a government-certified examination with both a practical and written component to become certified or licensed. You may want to find out in advance what the requirements are in the location in which you want to practice.
It is also becoming increasingly common for graduating students to take national and international certification exams shortly after completing school. Find out how widely recognized your certification will be. One program may lead to certification in one state, while another school may lead to national certification. The latter may provide more flexibility.
For more information about certification, contact your local massage therapy association. It can be very helpful to your career to belong to a professional association, since most offer benefits, programs and services that can help your practice succeed.
Looking for a massage school? Check out our full list of massage schools for a curriculum near you!