Do Your Research Ahead Of Time So You Can Proceed Wisely!
- No matter how good a massage school claims to be, they are not as good as they say they are, if they don’t have solid employment statistics to back their words up. Does the school provide a list of places their students are working on their website? Ask schools for their employment statistics. Go to the school that has both the highest employment rate and that also packs in the most hands on techniques, assessment skills, and theory directly related to massage that you can get.
- Is the massage therapy school specialized in massage or is it a technical school or community college that offers mainly general education courses? Going to a generalized school to study massage is akin to wanting to study plumbing, but going to a school that specializes in dentistry. You will end up with only a fraction of the skills, that you could have had by going to a specialized school that is owned and run by massage therapists, who know, understand, and love what they do!
- Some potential students believe they can wait to take subjects as continuing education to meet continuing education requirements needed later for relicensing. These students who choose a school that does not include these extra subjects in their main program are much more likely to find themselves employed in less satisfying jobs upon graduation. The more types of bodywork you can do, the more employable you are, and the more lucrative your massage business will be. It would take an average of 6-7 years to catch up to have the skill level that most of Health Options Institute students have on graduation. Can you really wait 6-7 years to optimize your career? What about the clients you can't help in the meantime due to less training? Go to a program that is long enough for you to acquire thorough skills and knowledge.
- Check how many continuing education classes a school has. A school that does not put out successful students will not have a lot of these, because there is not a demand for these. Do the school’s continuing education classes that you want to go to have testimonials so you can gauge their quality?
- Have you inquired from local employers and massage therapists as to what school they would recommend? Do these employers prefer students from the school you want to go to or know of anyone who has graduated from that school who has excellent massage skills? Some massage therapist employers will not hire students from certain schools because they know that school’s students will just have basic skills and they will need to provide lots of additional training.
- See if the cost of the massage therapy program is realistic in terms of the number of types of massage you will be able to perform upon graduation. The more types of bodywork you learn, the more expensive the program should be, because you will be more employable and be able to make more money and generate more repeat clientele. Some massage therapy programs are watered down with many hours in which they are repeatedly practicing the same routines, but little new techniques or new content directly applicable to massage. Beware!
- Does the school provide information on its instructors’ credentials for each course in its website and literature? The more instructors that you have, the wider base of perspective and knowledge that you will learn. Some technical schools and colleges advertise classes for which they have yet to find instructors for courses that they are promising to teach you! Ask to see course descriptions so you can verify the sales person is representing things accurately. Courses that have been thrown together at the last minute are not likely courses you will be satisfied with.
- Ask the school if it has a policy of dismissing students if they take too long to complete their massage therapy program coursework. All massage therapy schools with federal financial aid have this policy, because the government requires it. If you enroll in such a massage therapy program, this means you could study very long and hard, but end up with nothing to show for it except wasted time and money if you exceed the allowable duration of time.
SAVVY POINTERS FOR CHOOSING A MASSAGE SCHOOL