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Massage therapy is a hot career! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job outlook for massage therapists will grow by a whopping 32% through 2030, which is more than four times the average growth rate for all occupations.
If you’re considering becoming a massage therapist, then you already know that the first step in this career path is to graduate from massage therapy school. While it’s true you need to go to massage school, not all massage schools are the same. In fact, some may not even meet the education requirements set by the state. Let me explain.
In order to become a massage therapist in Georgia, you will need a massage therapy license issued by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy. Applying for this license has many prerequisites, including passing a national board exam, known as the MBLEx (Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam).
But to even qualify to sit and take the MBLEx, you will first need to complete a massage therapy program. This education program must be approved by the same Georgia Board of Massage Therapy that grants licensure. If it is not, you will not be able to apply for a massage license. This is an important detail to know, because not every massage school in Georgia is board approved, and going to such a place unknowingly will only be a waste of time and tuition.
As such, in this article, we will explore the massage program education requirements set by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy. We will also see how the massage program at the Atlanta School of Massage in Atlanta, Georgia not only meets these requirements, but surpasses them, and why that’s an important detail for the future of your career!
The Georgia Board of Massage Therapy sets a minimum requirement of “500 hours total clock hours of supervised classroom and supervised hands-on instruction.”
Of these 500 hours, a minimum of 440 hours of in-class supervised teaching are required. This includes a minimum of 125 hours devoted to instruction in human anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology; and another 125 hours of in-class instruction that covers “contraindications, benefits, universal precautions, body mechanics, massage history, client data collection, documentation, and legalities of massage, and professional standards.”
The massage therapy board also requires a minimum of 200 hours in massage therapy theory, technique, and practice, which must include instruction in “effleurage/gliding; petrissage/kneading; compression; friction, tapotement/percussion; vibration; direct pressure; superficial warming techniques; pumping; stretching; jostling; shaking, and rocking.” Other curriculum requirements include a minimum of 40 hours in pathology, 10 hours in business and ethics (with a minimum of 6 hours in ethics required), and a minimum of 50 hours in “supervised student clinical practice,” which is simply referred to as the student clinic.
All and all, the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy sets relatively thorough requirements for massage therapy programs. However, it is important to keep in mind that these 500 hours are only the minimum requirement.
But since when has doing the minimum ever led to great results? Never!
That’s why the Atlanta School of Massage offers a 750-clock-hour massage school program, which is approved by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy. Of the 750 hours, 618 are devoted to supervised instruction, while 132 are devoted to clinical practice. This means that students at ASM get 168 more classroom instruction hours and 82 more hours of clinical practice than students at Georgia massage schools that only offer the minimum 500-hour program curriculum. That’s over double the experience of hands-on practice alone!
The 750-hour massage therapy program at the Atlanta School of Massage not only meets the minimum education requirements set by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy but far exceeds them! Additionally, the massage curriculum also exceeds the education standard set by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), which is the organization that administers the MBLEx and sets students up for getting certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).
NCBTMB Board Certification is the highest credential in the massage therapy industry, and having it provides a significant career advantage. Becoming NCBTMB Board Certified requires 750 hours of classroom training, along with 250 hours of work experience, meaning graduates from the Atlanta School of Massage in Atlanta, Georgia can attempt to become NCBTMB certified shortly after starting their first massage therapy job.
While many massage therapy schools in Georgia only offer the minimum 500 clock-hour certification required by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy, the Atlanta School of Massage offers a 750 clock-hour certification program that meets and exceeds the education standards of the industry, including the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB).
However, what does this massage therapy curriculum actually look like, and are those extra 250 just hands-on fluff, or are they integral to ASM’s formation of massage therapists?
In the next article, we’ll cover the specifics of the massage therapy curriculum offered at the Atlanta School of Massage.
If you’re interested in learning more about the educational curriculum at our massage school, download our massage school course catalog below! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You visit the Atlanta School of Massage in person at 2 Dunwoody Park South, Suite 101 Atlanta, GA 30338, or give us a call at 770-454-7167.