So far, our massage therapy career guide series has covered massage as a medical practice, which included an article discussing the differences between massage therapy, bodywork therapy, and asian bodywork therapy. Last time, we discussed how to become a Licensed Massage Therapist in Florida and learned about the massage program requirements. This week, we will discuss the cost of massage school and how to finance your massage therapy education.
How Much Does Massage Therapy School Cost?
Higher education is expensive. There’s no way around it. The total cost of attending massage therapy school will depend on the tuition of the program, in addition to living expense. Additionally, the amount of time you spent studying will impact your finances.Time: As we mentioned in our massage school perquisite article, most state-approved massage therapy programs consist of at least 500 hours. Typically this means that you should expect to devote a minimum of 6-months of study for shorter programs, and even a year or more for longer programs. Obviously, full-time students will finish schooling faster than part-time students, but part-time students may have the advantage of working while attending school, which eases the financial costs.
Massage School Tuition: Since tuition is calculated per credit, cost will vary between different massage programs, depending on the number of credits needed to complete the program and whether the massage therapy program is offered at a public or private institution.
While there are no super-reliable statistics on massage therapy school tuition, one popular, but unofficial source states that tuition can range “between $6,000 and $10,000,” while Massage Magazine notes that some programs can “cost upward of $15,000.”
Public or Private Massage College: Another factor that affects cost is whether the school is private or public. Public colleges, like community colleges, are less expensive than private colleges, but often have rigid schedules and fewer local employer connections. Additionally, they often have a set curriculum and usually offer fewer opportunities for specialization.
Private massage therapy schools are more expensive than public colleges, but they have the advantage of specialization. For example, because most private massage schools only offer one or two programs of study, they can focus their resources on building better connections with local employers than most community colleges, which can have upwards of over 100 programs.
These private massage schools depend on the success of their massage graduates in order to keep their doors open. The advantage to this is that these schools will typically have higher-pass rates on the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEX) than massage programs at public colleges, which are not dependent on the success of their massage students.
Also, because massage therapy colleges offer fewer classes than community colleges, they often have more flexible class schedules, which are ideal for working adults or those with family responsibilities.
Additionally, massage schools generally offer more opportunities for massage specialization, while community college massage programs do not.
For example, Acupuncture and Massage College offers a certificate of specialization in Shiatsu, while other programs are limited to teaching western massage modalities. Specializations can serve as resume boosters when applying for employment as massage therapists.
Outside of living expenses and regular tuition, there are additional fees that will factor in your total cost. These include textbook costs, Student liability insurance and malpractice fees, MBLEX and state licensing fees, as well as administration costs. Some schools may include these in their tuition costs, while others do not. The easiest way to find out is to ask an admissions representative what the total cost for the massage program is.
Financial Aid for Massage School: Unsurprisingly, studying massage is expensive. Studying massage at a private massage therapy school is even more expensive, but as we discussed, they offer many advantages over public community and vocational college.
Luckily, accredited massage therapy schools will offer financial aid to those who qualify. If you’re unsure whether a particular school is accredited, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website and look up the particular school. Next, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to determine which grants, scholarships, and loans you qualify for.
While a lot these forms may be slightly complex to complete, don’t worry. Every accredited school, including Acupuncture and Massage College, has a financial aid counselor that is there to help guide you through the process and assist you with making the best financial decision for you.
If you interested in studying massage therapy, visit our massage school program page. You can also download the career guide below to learn more about the industry. Acupuncture and Massage College is located at 10506 North Kendall Drive, Miami, FL 33176.