How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Massage Therapy

Work can be really stressful as is, so it’s really important to find something you love to do, to make the time count. If you are looking to find something more relaxing and enjoyable, getting an associate’s degree in massage therapy may be right up your alley. Not only is it a more relaxing field, you’d be working hard to help people feel rejuvenated and calm as well.

Massage therapy is important because it helps to not only alleviate everyday stress, but also promotes health. There are over 80 different types of massage, and you will get to learn about them in a massage therapy program. Working as a massage therapist surely has its perks. It’s a rewarding career choice that enables you to work from anywhere in the world, and you don’t have to be stuck in a cubicle working a typical desk job. Instead, you’ll be working directly with people and helping them feel better.

An associate’s degree in massage therapy generally takes around two years to complete. It can be obtained at most accredited community colleges, but if you have other important responsibilities in life and require a flexible schedule for school, a distance learning program from an accredited college is a promising option to consider.

Online learning is a great alternative to traditional classroom learning because it can allow students to complete classes quicker, while taking advantage of many of the same resources as traditional classes, like tutoring or faculty assistance when needed. It does, however, requires potential students to be dedicated independent learners needing little to no hand-holding; after all, the material will be taught entirely online. With that said, you would be expected to keep track of class schedule and complete assignments on your own time. An advantage to studying online is that you can work comfortably in your pajamas, at whatever time and place is most convenient for you. Online learners must have reliable internet access, but from there, there’s plenty of freedom and flexibility. Earning an online degree can be a productive way to balance school with other obligations, such as employment.

Common Associate’s in Massage Therapy Curriculum

After you’ve enrolled in an associate’s degree program in massage therapy, you might be wondering what kind of classes you can expect to take, and what things you’ll be learning. As you might guess, massage therapy focuses heavily on the body, which means that you’ll be learning a lot of cool things related to the human body.

Some courses that you might see in your program include but are not limited to:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Business massage
  • CPR/First aid
  • Pathology for massage therapists
  • Swedish massage
  • pregnancy/special massage
  • Kinesiology
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Sports massage
  • Health care law and ethics

If you’re looking for a field that is interesting and out of the box, you won’t be bored learning these fascinating topics related to massage therapy.

In addition to massage therapy-related courses, students will also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes are usually not directly massage therapy related. They are designed to give students the opportunity to explore other fields while getting a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in helping them understand real-life situations and succeed in whatever career they choose to be in. For example, students may have an introductory course in math, science, history, language, and fine arts, to name a few.

Most states also require massage therapists to have a license or certification before they can practice. The associate’s degree program will prepare students for the exam that they will have to take to get this certification for work. The exam that a majority of states require is the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Before committing to a program, it would be wise to do a bit of research to see if your school includes certification prep, and whether your state requires licensing before practice.

Associate’s in Massage Therapy Careers

Not everyone who graduates from the associate’s degree program in massage therapy becomes a licensed massage therapist. Many professionals also work in wider roles like becoming a spa manager, entrepreneur, or spa director.

A good majority of massage therapists are self-employed, and the good news is that the field is expected to grow substantially over the years. While it’s true that massage therapists can virtually work from wherever they want, it’s highly recommended that they frequent higher traffic areas like hotels, resorts, spas, cruise lines, fitness centers, and more. Most of these locales are in metropolitan areas. In addition to these popular locales, massage therapists are also found working in chiropractor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and sport centers.

The salary for massage therapists vary greatly. You could be making as little as $10 an hour, or $30+ an hour depending on what you do and where your experience lies. Massage therapists usually make most of their incomes through gratuities, so customer service and an overall good experience is a must. Once you build a loyal client base, your business can easily take off, and you can charge higher rates.