Deciding which massage school in Miami to attend is perhaps the most important career decision you can make. Because massage therapy education is expensive and requires a lot of time to complete, you need to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of every prospective massage therapy school in Miami that you’re considering enrolling in. In this article, we're going to discuss the importance of choosing a state-approved and nationally-accredited massage school.
Why Accreditation Matters for Massage Therapy Schools in Florida
State of Florida Approval: To begin, you need to make sure that the massage school of interest is approved by the State of Florida Massage Therapy Board. This ensures that can you sit for the Mblex (Massage Therapy and Bodywork Examination) and state licensing exam after graduation, which are legally required to practice massage therapy in Florida.
If a school you're considering applying to is not approved, then move on. Don’t bother studying for months without even being able to apply for a job afterward.
You can check to see if a massage school is approved by the Florida Massage Therapy Board by downloading this list. Be sure to check the Board of Massage Therapy site often, as massage schools are routinely added or removed.
Accreditation: Accreditation of a massage therapy school or program by the United States Department of Education (USDE) ensures that an acceptable quality of education and training is being provided by the institution.
Accreditation is conferred by organizations that exist at three different levels: Regional, National, and Professional.
Regional Accreditation is the highest-accreditation level in the US and is conferred by one of seven accrediting agencies. This level of accreditation is largely limited to traditional universities and therefore, does not apply to the overwhelming majority of massage therapy programs in the US.
National Accreditation is the second-highest level of accreditation in the US and is conferred by one of nine accreditation agencies recognized by the US Department of Education. Accreditation of vocational, career or technical programs (including massage therapy schools) usually occurs at the national level. Below is a table of Nine agencies. However, keep in mind that this list is not static and that organizations are always being added or removed. Please visit the Department of Education for the most-updated list of approved institutions.
National accreditation is often prerequisite for federal financial aid. As such, it should be one of the most important aspects to be aware of when evaluating a particular massage school or program, since
Luckily, if you’re looking at massage schools in Miami, know that Acupuncture and Massage College is nationally-accredited by Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and offers financial aid assistance to those who qualify.
Professional Accreditation is the lowest level of accreditation in the US and is conferred by various professional organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Because professional accreditation is often voluntary and self-regulated, these organizations typically do not require the same quality standards for accreditation that national or regional accreditation organizations do. That being said, professional accreditation is important and any school that is nationally or regionally accredited will also belong to one or more professional organization.
For massage therapy programs, these organizations include the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), the National Accrediting Commission of Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
As the first accredited Acupuncture School in Florida, our Masters of Oriental Medicine degree is programmatically-accredited by Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), which is recognized by the US Department of Education as the professional accreditation agency responsible for regulating Oriental Medicine education and training.
As we mentioned in our Asian Bodywork Therapy article, the Department of Education considers Shiatsu to legally be a form of Asian Bodywork, not a form of massage therapy.
Since ACAOM regulates Shiatsu and other Asian Bodywork Therapies, we are able to grant a professional certification in Shiatsu as part of our massage therapy program, which few massage schools can do!
Acupuncture and Massage College is nationally-accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and our Oriental Medicine program is programmatically-accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). We offer federal financial aid to those who qualify, including qualifying massage therapy applicants.
For more information about our massage therapy as a career, download our free career guide below. Acupuncture and Massage College is located at 10506 North Kendall Drive, Miami, FL 33176.