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

Massage schools in Philadelphia can help you start your path to becoming a massage therapist. 

Training to become a massage therapist provides an excellent opportunity to work in various situations. 

However, hospitals, sports facilities, and physical therapy clinics are just a few places where Pennsylvania massage school graduates might find work.

After receiving training from one of the Philadelphia programs, you will be prepared to assist your clients with relaxing and rejuvenating in their own lives.

Sit tight and keep reading to learn more about Philadelphia’s best massage therapy schools.

See Also: 15 Best Massage Therapy Schools in Oregon|Ranking

Are there Massage Therapy Schools in Philadelphia?

There are a few massage therapy schools in Philadelphia. These massage therapy schools are:

  • PMTI Continuing Education Center for Massage Therapists and SPA Experts
  • Philadelphia School of Massage & Bodywork
  • Community College of Philadelphia
  • Academy of Massage Therapy and Bodyworks
  • Montgomery County Community College
  • Cortiva Institute – Massage Therapy and Skincare School
  • European Medical School of Massage

How Does One Become A Massage Therapist in Philadelphia?

At least 600 hours of instruction are required for massage therapy programs at Philadelphia postsecondary schools. 

A minimum of 175 hours in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and pathology is required. Massage therapy examinations, theory, and practice take up to another 250 hours. This includes things like safety, cleanliness, and hygiene.

Furthermore, students must also take 25 hours of massage-related ethics, business, and legal classes and understand HIV and related hazards. 

CPR training is provided by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or another board-approved group. 

Also, online training is not an option. Work and other hands-on experiences do not count toward program credits.

Since they are mandated reporters, massage therapists in Philadelphia must take three hours of state-approved training in recognizing and reporting child abuse from the state Department of Human Services.

Authorized curricula cover:

  • Massage and bodywork evaluation and application
  • Precautions and contraindications
  • Power disparities and other therapeutic boundary concerns in client interaction
  • Human behavior fundamentals and client respect
  • Massage treatment for soft-tissue symptoms
  • Topical treatments, thermal and cryogenic modalities, hydrotherapy, and motions that extend and shorten soft tissues can all be used safely.
  • Identifying and palpating muscle attachments, muscle bellies, and other anatomical landmarks
  • Draping and covering approaches that address function and safety, among other things

What are the Best Massage Therapy Schools in Philadelphia?

Below are the best massage therapy schools in Philadelphia and some information about them:

1. PMTI Continuing Education Center for Massage Therapists and SPA Experts

PMTI offers seminars and entrepreneurial workshops for practicing massage therapists at the Ace Training School in Willow Grove, 30 miles north of Philadelphia.

Manual lymphatic drainage, spa treatments, pharmacology, posture assessment and dysfunction, clinical massage, hot/cold stone facial massage, ethics, CPR certification, prenatal massage, active and isolated stretching, neuromuscular therapy, aromatherapy, body reading systems, essential oils, myofascial release, contourite and wood treatment, and trigger point therapy are among the topics covered in continuing education courses.

Also, live online courses, spa certification, company start-up classes, networking events, and a Facebook community are also available.

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2. Philadelphia School of Massage & Bodywork

This university promotes its Central City campus as “in the heart of Philadelphia.” The MT certificate program has 700 contact hours and is available in full-time day and part-time evening academic schedules.

All required courses include Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology; Anatomy of Musculoskeletal Kinesiology & Palpation; Advanced Massage Techniques; Complementary Modalities, Shiatsu, and Business. The treatments taught include foot reflexology, aromatherapy, Thai massage, chakras, and hydrotherapy.

Also, enrollees work 80 hours in a student clinic, offering massages to members of the public, and gain additional practical experience through “community outreach.”

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Read More: 15 Best Massage Therapy Schools in Indiana|

3. Community College of Philadelphia

The Massage Therapist program at Community College of Philadelphia meets the Commonwealth’s criteria for massage therapy training and state licensing. 

Students will learn the knowledge and skills needed to pass the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). 

The MBLEx is overseen by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) and is intended to provide a standard test for massage students seeking an entry-level professional scope of practice to achieve licensure.

Furthermore, CCP’s Massage Therapy program offers 604 hours of in-class (didactic and clinical) training that satisfies the following Pennsylvania State Laws and Requirements:

Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology, and Pathology, as well as training in the human immunodeficiency virus and its associated dangers

Also, an assessment of massage therapy and bodywork theory and practice, including cleanliness, safety, and hygiene.

Professional ethics, business, and legislation in the massage therapy industry

Contact hours in related courses relevant to a massage therapy program, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, are required.

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4. Academy of Massage Therapy and Bodyworks

The Academy of Massage Therapy and Bodyworks prepares students to become professional massage therapists by providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills. 

Anatomy and physiology, massage theory and history, Swedish massage, therapeutic massage, sports massage, reflexology, medical massage, pregnant massage, and professionalism in practice will all be taught to students. 

They will also study business ideas and procedures, drugs, client/practitioner relationships, CPR and first aid, and other topics. 

However, students who complete the criteria satisfactorily will be awarded a diploma and prepared to take the national certification exam to become Licensed Massage Therapists in Philadelphia. 

Monday through Thursday, full-time students will attend classes. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. 

Additionally, evening classes are available from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. During the course, a weekend seminar will be held on one weekend. 

Applicants who have completed 300 hours of Anatomy and Physiology may take the test to bypass this curriculum section. Transcripts will be required to obtain a waiver.

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5. Montgomery County Community College

Montgomery County Community College’s comprehensive massage therapy curriculum prepares adults with education, skills, and hands-on experience to pursue a profession as a certified massage therapist. 

One program goal is to assist students in getting the confidence they need to pass the State Board of Massage Therapy licensure exam. 

Massage protocols, business basics, anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, massage history, massage methods, body mechanics, and rehabilitative elements will all be covered. 

In addition, full-time and part-time schedules are available—Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

Part-time classes are held from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternate Thursdays. Clinical rotations will take place outside class time for full-time and part-time students.

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Read More: 15 Best Massage Therapy Schools in North Carolina|Ranking

6. Cortiva Institute – Massage Therapy and Skincare School

Cortiva Institute provides massage therapy students with a broad understanding of therapeutic and clinical approaches to becoming professional massage therapists. 

Experienced educators will teach various therapeutic massage modalities based on Swedish theory. 

Following that, sports massage, reflexology, stretching, hydrotherapy, and deep tissue massage are among the bodywork modalities mentioned. 

Anatomy and physiology, as well as kinesiology, can assist trainees in designing tailored treatment strategies for their clients. 

Professional ethics, business, marketing, and communication courses will prepare students to provide clients and employers with high-quality service. 

Also, graduates will be ready to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) or another state-recognized licensing exam. There are both full-time and part-time schedules available.

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7. European Medical School of Massage

The European Medical School of Massage’s state-approved medical massage therapy program exceeds the training criteria for massage therapists. 

Students are prepared for the MBLEX exam through theory and practice. Anatomy and physiology theory and lab, medical massage, medical terminology, massage therapy, postural integration, kinesiology, British sports massage, pathology, specialty massage modalities, special populations, Swedish massage, CPR, medical billing, ethics theory, clinical massage lab, business mastery, and clinic lab and theory are among the topics covered in the course. 

Also, graduates will be able to work as massage therapists.

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Also Read-15 Best Massage Therapy Schools in Tennessee|Ranking

How Long are Massage Therapy Schools in Philadelphia?

Before taking the state licensure exam, massage therapists in Pennsylvania must complete an approved training program. 

The majority of programs fulfill the state-mandated 600 contact hours. A few massage therapy programs in Philadelphia go above and beyond by providing 700+ hours of training, including practice hours in the school’s clinic. 

However, graduates can sit for the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). 

The American Medical Massage Association offers therapeutic massage therapist certification (AMMA).

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How Much are Massage Therapy Schools in Philadelphia?

Massage therapy school fees can be more affordable than a four-year college degree, although expenses vary widely depending on the curriculum.

Most schools require 500 to 1,000 hours of massage therapy training to graduate, and programs with more training hours and a more extensive curriculum are more expensive.

As you examine your educational alternatives, prepare yourself with excellent guidance on how to finance your education.

Tuition for massage therapy schools varies substantially. Some community college programs cost as little as $5,000 to $7,000 per year. Others will charge you up to $20,000 for a one-year curriculum.

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How Much Do Massage Therapists Make in Philadelphia?

The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area serves parts of four states. The median income for MTs in the country is around $41,400 per year and $19.90 per hour, slightly lower than the national averages of approximately $41,420 and $19.95.

The top-paid one-tenth of practitioners in the Philadelphia region earn almost $63,400 per year or $30.50 per hour, less than the $78,280 or $37.65 earned by their contemporaries statewide. 

In addition, the lowest-paid 10% make close to $27,000 or $13 in the metro area, which is more than the national average of around $21,350 or $10.30.


The recreational benefits of massage are well-known. However, therapeutic massage and bodywork are gaining popularity and respect. 

However, they can repair sports injuries and reduce stress-related pain. A therapeutic massage therapist will manipulate soft tissues and muscles using touch to promote health and wellness. 

Massage therapists must complete a course of study that encompasses anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, pathology, business practices, communication, and massage therapy concepts. 

While a recreational massage therapist may work at a spa or resort, a therapeutic masseuse may work in a clinic or hospital with a physician to relieve pain.

I hope this article answers your questions about Philadelphia’s best massage therapy schools.


Can you give massages without a license in Philadelphia, PA?

Before the law’s implementation, Pennsylvania was just a few states that did not have massage rules. Except for Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, Minnesota, Vermont, Idaho, and Alaska, all states now require therapists to be licensed or certified.

How long is massage therapy school in Philadelphia, PA?

High school diploma or equivalent: Applicants must complete a massage therapy program with at least 600 hours of in-class postsecondary education coursework recognized by the Board.

Is massage therapy hard to learn in Philadelphia?

Massage therapy programs are intense yet exciting for students with a passion for well-being, challenging but not brutal, and interesting but not complex.


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