Massage therapy is a rapidly expanding field that seeks to help people relax and de-stress after a long day. Washington, the Evergreen State, is an excellent location to attend one of these massage schools.
With its rich natural beauty of rain forests, mountain ranges, and rocky coastline, as well as strong liberal and holistic movements in cities such as Seattle and Washington, massage colleges are poised and ready to prepare their students for future careers as wellness practitioners.
With massage therapy in Washington, you can earn a living by assisting others in feeling their best.
Read on to learn more about the best massage therapy schools in Washington State.
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Table of contents
- Are There Massage Therapy Schools In Washington State?
- How Does One Become A Massage Therapist In Washington State?
- What Are The Best Massage Therapy Schools In Washington State?
- How Long Are Massage Therapy Schools In Washington State?
- How Much Are Massage Therapy Schools In Washington State?
- How Much Do Massage Therapists Make In Washington State?
Are There Massage Therapy Schools In Washington State?
There are several massage therapy schools in Washington State. Some of these massage therapy schools include:
- Renton Technical College
- Clover Park Technical College
- Whatcom Community College
- Carrington College-Spokane
- Cortiva Institute-Seattle
- Victoria’s Academy of Cosmetology
- Inland Massage Institute
- Elite Cosmetology, Barber & Spa Academy
- Body mechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage
- Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics
- Arlington School of Massage
- Discovery Point School of Massage
- Port Townsend School of Massage
- Therapeutic Connections School of Massage
- Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts
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How Does One Become A Massage Therapist In Washington State?
The first step toward becoming a massage therapist in Washington is to graduate from high school with acceptable grades or obtain a GED.
A student must enroll in a state-approved MT program at an accredited postsecondary institution.
The Department of Health requires curricula to have 500 clock hours or more. Approved programs that last at least six months include at least:
- Massage theory and practice totaling 265 hours
- 130 hours of anatomy and physiology instruction
- Pathology takes 50 hours.
- Kinesiology for 40 hours
- 4 hours of HIV/AIDS education
- Another 55 hours must be spent teaching clinical and business practices like medical terminology, hygiene, recordkeeping, client interactions, and state and local laws.
The remainder of the coursework is up to the school’s discretion. Massage techniques and other therapeutic methods taught by programs differ. The majority offer classes in both Eastern and Western modalities.
Furthermore, graduates apply for licensure with the Department of Health. The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination is required as part of the process (MBLEx).
The exam includes 100 questions about assessing clients, developing treatment plans, massage benefits, pathology, contraindications, unique population treatments, laws, and ethics.
To take the exam, applicants must apply online to the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.
Every year, license renewals are required. They receive 24 hours of continuing education every two years, which includes eight hours of “direct massage skills training” and four hours of ethics, laws, and regulations.
Those who plan only to practice reflexology can obtain state credentials by completing approved 200-hour educational programs and passing the MBLEx.
What Are The Best Massage Therapy Schools In Washington State?
Below are the best massage therapy schools in Washington State:
Renton Technical College
In a Seattle suburb, this award-winning community college offers two programs.
Massage practitioner certificates are awarded to students who complete 50 credits in three quarters.
Students perform Swedish, deep tissue, pregnancy, hot stone, sports massages, acupressure, and myofascial release treatments at an on-campus clinic.
An associate of applied science degree in Montana comprises 90 credits spread out over five quarters.
Also, math, communications, composition, psychology, and nutrition are general education requirements.
Holistic Self-Care for Massage Therapists, Massage Business Start-Up, Asian Body Modalities, and Integrative Massage are some of the electives available.
Clover Park Technical College
Students at this public community college, founded in 1942, attend classes on the South Hill campus, located about a mile outside Lakewood.
There are three types of massage therapy available. All state-required courses are covered in the 41-credit clinical massage practitioner and 44-credit Swedish massage practitioner certificate programs.
Additionally, clinical, pregnancy, sports, and chair massage are taught, as well as myofascial release, lymphatic drainage, hydrotherapy, and mini-spa applications, composition, psychology, communications, social science, quantitative reasoning, and social sciences are all part of the 103-credit associate of applied technology program.
Professional ethics, goal setting, insurance billing, marketing, resume writing, and interviewing are all topics covered in business courses.
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Whatcom Community College
This Bellingham public school offers a 60-credit certificate program that lasts three quarters.
Business Math, English Composition, Introduction to Communications, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, and Introduction to Organizational Communication make up 15 credits.
Eight hybrid courses combine online lectures with on-site labs. Students spend an average of 20 hours per week doing homework outside class. They gain hands-on experience at an on-campus clinic.
Every year, 18 students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. More than 90% of graduates pass the licensure exam, outperforming the national average by approximately 20 points.
This College has 19 campuses spread across six Western states. Six locations, including one just north of Spokane, offer a massage therapy certificate program.
The program comprises 765 hours and 35 credits and takes approximately nine months to complete.
Also, Swedish, sports, deep tissue, and chair massage techniques are taught to students, as well as Shiatsu and dry-room spa techniques.
Classes cover communication skills, practice management, and success skills in addition to the state-required courses.
Online general education requirements, as well as a career development seminar, are available. The program can be used to fulfill the criteria for a Carrington associate of science (AS) degree in health studies.
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This school’s parent company operates campuses in several states, including one on Pontius Avenue North.
MT certificates can be obtained in as little as seven and a half months.
The 815.5-hour, 53-credit program is available in two formats: day classes for 32 weeks or evening classes for 52 weeks. Students may take their time, but they must attend at least half-time.
Hydrotherapy & Spa Preparation, Acupressure & Eastern Theories, Craniosacral Massage, Reflexology, Russian Sports Massage, Trigger Point Therapy & Techniques, and Shiatsu are among the required courses.
Also, students participate in a variety of internships.
Victoria’s Academy of Cosmetology
This private school in Kennewick offers six certificate programs, including a 750-hour massage therapy curriculum that can be completed in as little as eight months.
Therapeutic, deep tissue, trigger point, Thai and Oriental, stone, elderly, pregnancy, infant, chair, and sports massage techniques are taught to students.
Classes cover hydrotherapy, reflexology, aromatherapy, acupressure, Shiatsu, yoga, polarity, lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, EFT emotional release, nutrition, human behavior, and client interaction, in addition to the required coursework.
The school accepts graduates of high schools as young as 16 years old. There are 15 beds in individual cubicles in the massage program classroom and a student clinic.
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Inland Massage Institute
This is the inland Northwest’s oldest massage therapy school, founded in Spokane in 1986.
Hydrotherapy, Reflexology, Acupressure, Trigger Point Therapy, Spa Treatments, Neuromuscular Therapy, Aromatherapy, Cranial Sacral Therapy, and Myofascial Techniques are included in the 12-month, 750-hour MT program, in addition to the state-required courses.
However, Swedish, infant/prenatal, on-site, lymphatic, sports, orthopedic, and cancer care massage are also taught to students.
Students can view bodies in various stages of dissection in the school’s cadaver lab. Participants in the program perform 50-minute massages in a student clinic and practice their techniques at community facilities.
Elite Cosmetology, Barber & Spa Academy
This Yakima school provides two certificate programs far exceeding the 500 clock hours required by state officials.
A 750-hour program meets the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork recognition criteria.
It requires ten months of full-time study (30 hours per week). Part-time (20 hours per week) for about a year is the 650-hour alternative.
The required courses are included in both programs and Palpation, Joint Function, Swedish Massage, Variation, Remedial, Body Mechanics, Hydrotherapy, and Terminology. Students complete 50 clinical work hours and visit Central Washington University’s cadaver lab.
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Body mechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage
Shari Aldrich, LMT, is the sole owner of the Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy and Massage.
Body mechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage has two goals:
- To advance and promote the field of therapeutic massage by producing a diverse, competent, and well-respected pool of professional massage practitioners.
- To increase public awareness of the value of massage therapy as a highly effective healthcare modality through interaction with staff and students in the Student Clinic and fieldwork.
They are constantly working to develop professionals ready to implement advanced therapeutic techniques and improve the quality of care massage therapists provide.
Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics
Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics is a massage therapy school accredited by the Washington State Board of Massage and licensed by the WTECB.
The 677-hour Massage Program includes classes like Swedish Massage I and Anatomy & Kinesiology.
Their massage program is a cohort program, which means there are no semesters or quarters, you will graduate school with the same group of people you started with, and you will attend school full-time with standard holiday breaks.
Each course is made up of daily classes. Classes are held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the same instructor teaches the same class again in the evening from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
While you may prefer to attend the day or evening sessions, you are welcome to participate in either if a scheduling conflict prevents you from hearing at your usual time.
Weekend classes are planned well in advance and can range from one four-hour session on Saturday to eight-hour sessions on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the course requirements.
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Arlington School of Massage
ASOM provides a diverse range of modalities. They offer classes ranging from Eastern philosophies to spa-based techniques and clinical massage.
The program is long enough to lay the groundwork for a solid theoretical foundation and an enhanced application of technical massage skills.
The classes are small so that the teachers can focus on the individual needs of each student. Classes are limited to no more than eight students per class and no more than sixteen students per term. This ensures that each student is heard and that no one falls behind.
The staff comprises experienced massage teachers who either have their practice or have had one for several years.
They stay current in the ever-changing field of massage while continuing their education in adult learning.
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Discovery Point School of Massage
Graduates of this school are prepared to take the Washington State Licensing Exam and the National Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork to begin working as professional massage therapists.
The experienced and dedicated faculty members help develop and refine students’ clinical skills in communication, assessment, treatment, client education, and documentation.
In all hands-on classes, a student/teacher ratio of 14 to 1 ensures that students receive quality feedback regularly.
This massage program graduates are prepared to:
- Integrate and apply a variety of therapeutic massage techniques with confidence and competence.
- Design and implement safe and effective massage treatments for a wide range of clients using their knowledge and practical skills.
- Model personal and professional behaviors and attitudes required for therapeutic massage’s ethical practice.
- Discuss massage’s purpose, benefits, and effects with healthcare practitioners and other professionals.
- Participate in the thriving professional massage community and commit to ongoing personal and professional development throughout their career.
Port Townsend School of Massage
Port Townsend School of Massage provides two distinct programs, allowing you to learn in the manner that best suits your current needs.
The first is a weekday program that is more accelerated and is best suited to people who have a more flexible schedule.
The second option is a weekend program, which is ideal for those who work full-time and have a family.
The Weekday Program runs for ten months, Monday-Wednesday, for 669 credit hours.
Ideal for students who have a flexible or open schedule.
Faster certification means you can start your career sooner.
Also, it provides you with an intensive and comprehensive education with plenty of practice time.
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Therapeutic Connections School of Massage
Therapeutic Connections is a one-of-a-kind setting on South Hill, close to the lovely Manito Park.
For students who want to immerse themselves in the world of Massage and Bodywork to become Licensed Massage Therapists, they offer a hybrid style of education.
Therapeutic Connections School of Massage provides a one-of-a-kind Hybrid Massage Therapy Program that includes both online and in-person classes.
They educate and prepare you for the endless opportunities that await you as a Licensed Massage Therapist.
You will be able to work in holistic healing, bodywork, healthcare, spas, and other fields. Take your time starting your journey.
Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts
Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts is the Northwest’s leading academic institution for massage therapy and bodywork education.
Their massage program provides a thorough curriculum that combines the art and science of massage therapy and bodywork with a well-rounded, holistic approach to client care.
The students learn manual therapy techniques, client communication skills, and professional ethics.
Students can work with professional massage therapists in various clinical settings during their residencies and externships.
Upon completing this program, students will receive a diploma in massage therapy and bodywork, allowing them to sit for their national board examinations.
Their massage therapy program aims to prepare students to take and pass the National Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
Additionally, graduates who pass this exam can receive a massage license in Washington.
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How Long Are Massage Therapy Schools In Washington State?
The State Department of Health requires at least 500 hours of training at an approved school to obtain a license in Washington.
This training program’s contents are precise and are outlined on the Department of Health website.
The state expects education on business practices, ethics, HIV/AIDS, and massage techniques and theory.
Students must pass an exam that covers the laws and regulations that apply to massage.
Finally, students must pass either the NCBTMB or the MBLEx national certification exam. Licensed massage therapists can benefit from the freedom and flexibility a massage career provides.
Completing license requirements may prepare you to open and run your therapy practice or contribute in various ways to any clinic or spa setting.
How Much Are Massage Therapy Schools In Washington State?
Massage therapy school tuition may be less than a four-year college degree, even though costs vary greatly depending on the curriculum.
Most universities require 500 to 1,000 hours of study before issuing a license to practice massage therapy, and more intensive programs are more expensive to attend.
While weighing your educational options, ensure you have the right financial advice.
Massage therapy schools charge a variety of tuition rates. Enrollment in community college courses may necessitate a budget of $5,000 to $7,500. Others may charge up to $20,000 for a one-year program.
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How Much Do Massage Therapists Make In Washington State?
The average practitioner in this state earns more than $63,700 per year or more than $30.60 per hour, which is significantly higher than the national median of more than $41,400 per year or about $20 per hour.
The top 10% of Washington massage therapists earn nearly $82,400, or approximately $39,60, more than the national average of around $78,300, or $37.75.
In the state, the bottom 10% earn around $38,300, or nearly $18.50, compared to around $21,350, or $10.25, nationally.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 8,820 practitioners in the Evergreen State in 2016.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number will rise to 13,540 by 2026, representing a 54 percent increase in job growth, more than twice as fast as the projected national median of 26 percent.
Students considering massage therapy schools in Washington State will have the opportunity to work in one of America’s fastest-growing industries.
Massage therapy can help with back pain, migraines, stress and anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, pregnancy discomfort, cancer pain and nausea, and insomnia.
You can have the confidence, competence, and professionalism as a massage school graduate to meet your potential as a professional massage therapist.
I hope you find this article helpful
Do you need a license to give massages in Washington State?
To run a massage business, you must have a massage license unless you are a healthcare professional with a higher level of medical training.
How do I get a massage license in Washington State?
You must enroll in a massage school and complete at least 500 hours of training. The hours cover all core areas, with massage theory and practice taking the most time, requiring 265 hours of instruction.
How do I renew my massage therapy license in Washington State?
Every two years, licensed massage practitioners must complete twenty-four hours of continuing education to renew their licenses.