15 Best Massage Therapy Schools in Wisconsin in 2024 | How to Apply


If you want to work in the beauty industry, you’re probably looking for a job that will allow you to make people feel better about themselves and enjoy life a little more. Massage therapy meets both requirements.

Continue reading to learn more about massage therapy schools in Wisconsin if you want to learn how to relieve stress, ease physical pain, and promote relaxation.


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Are there Massage Therapy Schools in Wisconsin?

There are a good number of massage therapy schools in Wisconsin, and they are listed below:

  • Fox Valley Technical College
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • Madison Area Technical College
  • Western Technical College
  • The Institute of Beauty and Wellness
  • Herzing University-Brookfield
  • Aveda Institute-Madison
  • The Salon Professional Academy-Onalaska
  • The Professional Hair Design Academy
  • East-West Healing Arts Institute
  • Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork

How Does One Become A Massage Therapist in Wisconsin?

Anyone wishing to work as a massage therapist in Wisconsin must have a high school diploma or a GED. 

The following level of education must be at a postsecondary institution with accreditation accepted by the state credentialing board.

According to board rules, a massage therapy program must have 600 or more content hours of instruction and training. 


This includes 125 hours of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and kinesiology courses and 50 hours of business, law, and ethics classes.

At least 300 hours of massage and bodywork theory, technique, and practice are required, including 100 hours of supervised, hands-on training and 20 hours working in a student clinic. 

Adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid must be covered in five hours of class time.

Many schools go above and beyond the requirements by teaching a more comprehensive range of massage modalities. 

Some programs include courses that prepare students to open their practices, while others provide extensive clinical experience.

Graduates may apply for licensure with the state board. The Message and Bodywork Licensing Examination is a national certification test.

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards accepts exam applications. Another required test concerns state laws and administrative rules.

Wisconsin practitioners must renew their licenses every other year. This entails completing 24 hours of continuing education, two of which must be in ethics.

What are the Best Massage Therapy Schools in Wisconsin?

We chose the schools below based on their programs, accreditation, student population, graduation rate, and reputation.

1. Fox Valley Technical College

This public community college, which offers over 200 degree and certificate programs, is our top choice. 

Massage therapy students earn technical diplomas on the Appleton campus.

The full-time program includes 24 credits. 

There are day and evening classes available. Deep tissue, pregnancy, infant, and pressure point face massage are all taught to students. 

Trigger point therapy, myofascial release, joint movement, neuromuscular therapy, polarity, reflexology, Asian bodywork, Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, kinesiology, safety and sanitation, and communication skills are also taught in other courses.

Students provide Swedish chairs, hot stones, and customized massages to the public at the school’s Trilogy Salon & Spa.

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2. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

NWTC’s Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay campuses offer massage therapy diplomas. Personal and professional development, increased self-awareness, and sensitivity are all emphasized in the program.

Hygiene and safety, myofascial release, deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, spa treatments, Eastern and energetic approaches, medical terminology, pharmacology, kinesiology, and diversity studies are all covered in the 28-credit curriculum. 

Massage techniques for athletes, mothers and infants, the elderly, end-of-life clients, and those with chronic pain are taught to students.

A minimum high school grade point average of 2.6 is one of the program’s admission requirements. Students have the option of studying abroad.

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3. Madison Area Technical College

This public community college in south-central Wisconsin serves a 12-county area and offers more than 150 career programs.

Full-time students need nine months to complete the 800-content-hour, 28-credit massage therapy diploma curriculum. 

Eastern and Western modalities are taught, such as Swedish, chair, and full-body therapeutic techniques. Methods for pregnant women, the elderly, and cancer patients are also covered in classes.

Clinical approaches such as trigger point therapy and sports massage are covered, as well as spa treatments such as hydrotherapy, hot stone massage, aromatherapy, and Eastern bodywork. 

The therapeutic relationship, treatment planning, and body-mind awareness are all emphasized.

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4. Western Technical College

WTC is one of Wisconsin’s 16 public vocational-technical schools in La Crosse. The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation has approved it.

The MT program consists of 750 content hours, half of which are classroom lectures and half are hands-on training. One hundred hours are made up of two internships. 

Certificates are awarded after 25 weeks of daytime training or 47 weeks of nighttime training. All instructors have relevant professional experience.

Also, Swedish massage, hydrotherapy, deep tissue massage, advanced clinical massage, spa and wellness treatments, chair and sports massage, and kinesiology are all taught to students. 

In addition, they receive extensive training in advanced clinical techniques.

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5. The Institute of Beauty and Wellness

This Aveda beauty school in Milwaukee offers esthiology, Ayurvedic esthetics, and massage therapy programs.

The MT curriculum includes 750 content hours, with 70 of those hours spent in clinical settings. There are three program length options: 22 weeks of full-time during the day, 36 weeks of part-time (three days per week), and 38 weeks of evening classes. 

Students learn Swedish and deep tissue massage techniques, aromatherapy, chakras, and body opening movements.

The school’s cadaver labs and specialty clinics provide hands-on training. Students get “one-on-one instruction” as well as free iPads. There are career fairs and workshops with guest speakers.

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6. Herzing University-Brookfield

This is a private, non-profit organization that offers a variety of programs. It operates nine campuses in seven states, including the Brookfield campus in Milwaukee.

Herzing offers a therapeutic massage diploma with 900 content hours. Students take Health Services Management, Therapeutic Strategies and Decision Making, Wellness and Eastern Philosophy, Hydrotherapy, and Advanced Hydrotherapy in addition to the state-mandated courses. 

A Specialty Areas in Massage Practices class covers postural assessment, connective tissue massage, trigger point therapy, remedial exercise and stretching, and positioning.

Four clinical assignments are also required as part of the curriculum. Career services are available at the school to assist students with their job searches.

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7. Aveda Institute-Madison

In 1977, the Aveda cosmetics company began opening beauty and wellness schools. It’s North American network now includes more than 60 institutes. The Madison site is in University Square.

According to the school’s website, “The school embodies an integrated view of beauty, nutrition, body care, health, and wellness.” 

The 750-content-hour massage therapy program teaches Swedish massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy through an “advanced interactive curriculum.” Ayurveda, India’s ancient healing method, is also taught to students.

Opportunities for practical experience include a student salon and community events. Guest educators, tutors, and career fairs are available. Many of the school’s graduates work at Aveda salons.

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8. The Salon Professional Academy-Onalaska

SPA is a privately owned school that offers certificates in cosmetology, esthetics, and massage therapy.

Students must complete the MT program in 25 weeks. They attend classes and labs for an average of 30 hours per week, Monday through Friday. 

The programs start in May and October. The 750 contact hours of instruction cover relaxation and clinical massage techniques. With each class limited to eight students, the school promises “individualized attention.”

Participants in the program gain hands-on experience in a spa and salon. They offer their clients Swedish deep tissue, hot stone massages, and aromatherapy treatments.

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9. The Professional Hair Design Academy

This family-owned institute has been in Eau Claire for over 20 years. Its massage therapy certificate program includes 630 hours of content.

Students gain hands-on experience in various massage and wellness modalities such as Swedish, deep tissue, sports, prenatal, and reflexology. 

They also learn about communication and customer service. The program, which lasts 45 weeks, is offered twice a year.

Students provide full-body, hot stone, and aromatherapy treatments in an on-campus salon and spa. The school can help with career planning and job hunting.

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10. East-West Healing Arts Institute

This school offers an Asian bodywork and therapeutic massage diploma program on campuses in Madison and Milwaukee.

Eight hundred hours of content necessitate ten months of full-time study. There is a longer, part-time option available. 

The institute’s curriculum is billed as having “the most in-depth modalities of any school in the Midwest,” with classes covering Eastern and Western massage techniques and theory, student chair massage, Western science, and licensing exam preparation.

Dr. Xiping Zhou, the program’s director, is a traditional Chinese medical acupuncture expert who teaches Tai Chi and QiGong. He has over 25 years of experience in Chinese medicine.

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11. Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork

Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork, located in Grafton, offers a massage therapy program with three tracks: therapeutic/relaxation, therapeutic/medical, and therapeutic/energy. 

The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) has accredited this flexible program, which allows students to take day or evening classes. 

It offers a full-time program that can be completed in 112 months or a part-time program that takes 23 months. 

Applicants must complete an interview with school staff and submit two letters of recommendation as part of the admissions process. 

Applicants must also submit a letter from a healthcare professional stating they are in good overall health and physically capable of providing and receiving massages.

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How Long are Massage Therapy Schools in Wisconsin?

To be eligible for a massage therapy license in Wisconsin, you must complete at least 600 hours in an approved massage school, pass the MBLEx, and pass the state’s online Statutes and Rules Examination.

Massage-Exam.Com provides a comprehensive review of massage assessment, application, anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, body systems, and business ethics. 

For your subscription, you will have unlimited access to our site, 24 hours a day, whenever you have time to study. 

Take as many tests as you want and review the answers and rationales on your results page at any time. 

Each test is graded and saved, allowing you to see your progress or need for improvement in any category.

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How Much are Massage Therapy Schools in Wisconsin?

Massage therapy school tuition can be less expensive than a four-year college degree, but costs vary greatly depending on the program.

Most schools require 500 to 1,000 hours of massage therapy training to graduate, and the cost of programs with more training hours and a more comprehensive curriculum is higher.

As you consider your educational options, arm yourself with sound advice on how to finance your education.

Massage therapy school tuition costs vary greatly. 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 Wisconsin?

The average practitioner earns about $42,400 per year (or $20.40 per hour), slightly higher than the national median of about $41,420 (or $20).

In Wisconsin, the top ten earners earn nearly $65,000 (or around $31.20), less than the national average of almost $78,300 (or more than $37.60). 

The pay for the bottom tenth in the state is more than $18,850 (or more than $9)—less than the national average of approximately $21,340 (or $10.25).

In 2016, there were 2,820 massage therapist jobs in Wisconsin. Federal analysts predicted that the figure would rise by 18 percent within a decade, compared to the 26 percent expected nationally.

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A good massage therapy program starts with a basic understanding of how the human body works. 

By studying the anatomy and physiology of the human body, you can learn how to use massage techniques to relieve pain in various parts of the body. 

After you’ve completed this portion of your education, you can progress to specific types of massage and massage techniques. 

As you learn each massage technique, you can put it into practice with peers and actual clients. This allows you to fine-tune your technique in response to your customers’ needs.

Why not try out this career?

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Is going to massage therapy school in Wisconsin worth it?

Overall, massage therapists are happy with their jobs. Massage therapy was named one of the best career paths in the 2021 U.S. News 100 Best Jobs survey. You can also enjoy a high level of job satisfaction by pursuing a degree.

Do you need a license for massage therapy in Wisconsin?

Before beginning to practice in Wisconsin, massage therapists must obtain a license.

How long is massage therapy school in Wisconsin?

To be eligible for a massage therapy license in Wisconsin, you must complete at least 600 hours in an approved massage school, pass the MBLEx, and pass the state’s online Statutes and Rules Examination.


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