15 Best Massage Therapy Schools in Atlanta in 2023 | How to Apply

Are you in search of the best massage therapy schools in Atlanta? Search no more; we’ve got you covered.

This article fully reviews the best massage therapy schools in Atlanta, including the requirements, cost & how to apply to these schools.

Massage therapists will be in high demand over the next decade as one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States.

To meet the increased demand, Atlanta, Georgia, has several massage schools that train people like you daily.

Massage therapy may be an excellent career choice if you want to help people attain health and wellness.

You can study how to relieve pain and promote relaxation for a wide range of people at Atlanta massage schools.

Georgia, known as the Empire State of the South, is a southern hotspot, with Atlanta’s culture and variety at its heart.

However, as an Atlanta massage therapist, you may be able to work your hours and be your boss.

You can feel good knowing that you’re directly improving people’s ability to feel better and live healthier lives.

Atlanta massage therapists provide therapeutic massage to their clients’ joints and soft tissues. They assist in assessing clients’ range of motion and muscular strength and developing client therapy regimens.

Therapeutic massage effectively treats many chronic illnesses, such as low back pain and arthritis, and is included in many physical rehabilitation programs.

Massage by a professional massage therapist in Atlanta can also help relieve the stresses and worries of everyday life.

Keep reading!

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Are there Massage Therapy Schools in Atlanta?

There are very few massage therapy schools in Atlanta. These massage therapy schools include:

  • International School of Skin Nailcare & Massage Therapy
  • Atlanta School of Massage
  • Elaine Sterling Institute
  • Gwinnett College

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How Does One Become A Massage Therapist in Atlanta?

To become a massage therapist in Atlanta, a student must complete a school program that includes 500 or more hours of curriculum and training.

According to the state board, institutions must be accredited by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork and the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.

A minimum of 440 hours of instruction and 50-60 hours of supervised clinical experience must be included in the program.

The board requires 125 hours of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology coursework, 200 hours of theory, technique, and practice coursework; 40 hours of pathology coursework; and six hours of ethics coursework.

The remaining 125 hours or so are divided into various themes. Students must learn effleurage or gliding, tapotement or percussion, petrissage or kneading, stretching, superficial warming, contraindications, modesty and draping, client data collection, and therapeutic interactions.

Following graduation, the next step is registering online with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork for the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).

After being accepted, an applicant contacts Pearson VUE to schedule the exam at a testing facility in Atlanta.

The board reviews license applicants’ MBLEx results to determine whether they are qualified to practice in the city.

Massage therapists must renew their license every two years and complete 24 hours of continuing education from board-approved providers.

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What are the Best Massage Therapy Schools in Atlanta?

Below are the best massage therapy schools in Atlanta:

1. International School of Skin Nailcare & Massage Therapy

This private institution in Atlanta has been in operation for over 35 years. Graduates receive certificates after completing 675 hours of instruction and training. 

The program is 27 weeks long and includes both day and evening classes.

Among the courses available are History of Massage, Cells and Tissues, Massage Equipment and Products, Swedish Massage, Athletic/Sports Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Shiatsu, and Reflexology.

In addition, students gain practical experience treating the general public at an on-campus clinic. With approximately 50 students enrolled each year, the institution has a 100% admission rate.

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2. Atlanta School of Massage

This is the state’s oldest institution, with over 3,000 graduates since 1980.

The curriculum “provides a comprehensive range of foundational certifications.” including Swedish and deep-tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, reflexology, and sitting massage.

There is a teaching clinic on-site, and students complete internships in public facilities. The MBLEx licensure exam is passed by approximately 90% of graduates.

ASM’s research team works with Emory University on clinical trials to investigate the biological effects of massage in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and how Swedish massage may help cancer patients with fatigue.

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3. Elaine Sterling Institute

The 640-hour certificate program at this Atlanta school allows students to obtain their certifications in seven to nine months.

Among the many massage techniques taught in the courses are Swedish, therapeutic, deep-tissue, trigger-point, sports, Thai, chair, clinical, pregnant, and other special populations, and alternative medicine.

The curriculum includes aromatherapy, body treatments, hydrotherapy, reflexology, Shiatsu, and neuromuscular therapies.

At the school, post-graduates can pursue an International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) certification course in holistic massage and other advanced modalities.

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4. Gwinnett College

This school’s Associate of Science Degree in Massage and Spa Operations is intended to provide massage therapy students with the additional knowledge and practical skills needed to transition into positions of leadership within the spa environment or to function more effectively as the proprietor of their own massage business. 

The program includes core curriculum courses specific to massage practice as well as courses for practice administration. 

Students will learn about organizational and management concepts, marketing, hospitality management, and finance, as well as how to use office applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel.

Also, students who complete the Associate of Science Degree in Massage and Spa Operations can pursue entry-level positions as leaders in the spa industry or open their massage practice. 

Graduates can work as massage therapists, spa managers, clinic managers, spa trainers, or shift leaders in the spa industry.

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How Long are Massage Therapy Schools in Atlanta?

Anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and massage therapy treatment modalities are all taught in massage therapy schools in Atlanta.

Students also get hands-on experience with traditional Swedish massage, which is a foundation for various other bodywork techniques.

The Georgia Board of Massage Therapy regulates massage therapist licenses in the city. In Atlanta, a massage therapist license requires 500 hours of practical massage training.

In addition, students must pass the National Certification Exam for Massage Therapy and Bodywork NCETMB/NCETM or the MBLEx to obtain their license.

How Much do Massage Therapy Schools Cost in Atlanta?

Massage therapy is a lucrative and in-demand profession. Even though the discipline is classified as allied health, there are a variety of specialties from which to choose as a career focus.

Maternity massages, deep tissue massage, sports massage, and aromatherapy are all popular areas of expertise.

All therapists, regardless of experience, use their skills and knowledge to reduce stress and discomfort by applying pressure to various body parts.

In hospitals and clinics, massage therapists are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment will increase by 21% between 2019 and 2029.

New entrants will find work in clinics, spas, hospitals, patients’ homes, sports medicine, and various other settings.

The program will cost around $13,500. The registration fee covers tuition, books, supplies, a technology fee, a content fee, and a license fee.

Students who meet the eligibility requirements can apply for Pell grants and student loans from the federal government.

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How Much Do Massage Therapists Make in Atlanta?

Atlanta practitioners earn around $38,000 per year (or more than $18.25 per hour), which is less than the national median of nearly $42,000 per year (or more than $20 per hour).

The state’s top 10% earn more than $61,500 (or about $30), compared to more than $78,000 (or nearly $38) nationally.

In Atlanta, Georgia, the poorest 10% earn more than $17,000 (or more than $8) and more than $21,400 (or more than $10.25) nationally.

The state had 3,490 massage therapists in 2016. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number will rise to 4,470 by 2026.

That would imply a job-growth rate of 28%, faster than the national average of 26% and higher than most other professions.


Massage therapy provides natural healing treatments to patients’ bodies by utilizing the power of a touch, oils, and your hands.

Enroll in one of Atlanta’s massage schools to become a licensed massage therapist.

The beautiful city of Atlanta attracts a sizable tourist trade, which means enormous opportunities for spas and resorts.

I hope you find this article helpful.


Is going to massage therapy school in Atlanta, Georgia, worth it?

Overall, massage therapists report being happy with their jobs. In 2021, the United States Massage therapy was named one of the best job paths in the News 100 Best Jobs study. Pursuing a degree can provide you with a high level of job satisfaction.

Can you make a good living as a massage therapist in Georgia?

Yes. Massage therapists have the potential to earn a decent living.

Is becoming a massage therapist hard?

Massage therapy programs are rigorous but exciting, challenging but not arduous, and engaging but not difficult for students interested in wellness.


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