Massage Therapy Certification Requirements

The holistic healing practice of massage therapy can be used for medical and relaxation purposes. Students can learn how to treat overwork, stressed, and injured muscles by completing the appropriate educational training. Accredited colleges provide students with several educational opportunities.

Education trains students how to use several of the common techniques, or professionally referred to as modalities, to promote healthy and properly functioning muscles. Some popular techniques include:


  • Shiatsu Massage
  • Swedish Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Aromatherapy Massage


Students are able to explore how to correctly administer these massage therapy techniques in a matter of six months to two years. The most common training opportunities are certificate programs. Learning covers how to successfully trigger pressure points and perform therapeutic massage. Students also have the opportunity to complete an associate’s degree program. Education gives students business administration and massage therapy skills needed to establish self-employment if desired.

Certificate programs breakdown the different components of the profession. Students study both Eastern and Western style modalities while learning the structure of the human body. The holistic approach of RMT Richmond is studied to learn how to specifically target and treat pain. Physiology, anatomy, sports massage, trigger point therapy and more make up some main courses taken inside a program. Students are able transfer their knowledge into careers where they can work in spas, rehabilitation clinics, and health clubs.

Students that are interested in a specific massage therapy area can enter an advanced certificate program. Colleges offer certificate specializations to students that have already completed a basic program. Programs last three to six months and students can learn to work with pregnant women by studying pre-natal massage therapy. Another possible option is working with injured athletes by studying orthopedic massage therapy. Students study various holistic concepts such as energy healing inside programs at this level of training. Body mechanics, spa elements, massage therapeutics, and business ethics are some major areas of study.

Associates degree programs prepare students by teaching them how to apply a vast range of massage therapy techniques. Education lasts two years allowing more time for students to explore various techniques. Along with massage therapeutics and business principles students will complete general education courses to round out their learning experience. The curriculum may change depending on the college providing the program but students can expect to complete the same basic courses. Pathology of disease, medical terminology, and sports medicine are some core courses included into a program. Students step into the industry having a strong understanding of how the human body operates and extensive knowledge in several massage therapy techniques.

Education prepares students for certification exams that enable them to be licensed massage therapists. Forty-two states require licensure in order to be eligible to practice so students should check their states requirements for professionals.