A recession can be a good time to reassess and possibly change one’s occupation, and massage therapy is a good career choice for the 21st century. Indeed, U.S. News & World Report recently named massage therapy one of the top 50 careers of 2011 because the field is expanding and the education required for the job is relatively inexpensive (1). Los Angeles is an especially good place to start a massage therapy career due to local demand from individuals and businesses and the fact that there are many, many schools in the area from which to chose.
Indeed, there are at least 35 separate academic institutions in the greater Los Angeles area that offer a reputable massage therapy program. Moreover, many of these schools have separate campuses in the greater L.A. metro area, meaning that there are actually more than 50 locations offering a massage therapy education.
To narrow down the number of Los Angeles massage therapy schools, start with location.
Will you have access to reliable transportation? How much time can you spend commuting? Will you work your classes around your schedule? Or will massage school come first? While many schools offer flexible schedules, be sure to choose a school that is nearby if transportation or scheduling is an issue.
Next, check out each school’s massage therapy program. Most major schools found online will be accredited by academic and massage therapy organizations. Be sure to ask an admissions officer if it’s unclear. A solid curriculum should total at least 500 hours and should focus on: numerous modalities (Swedish massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, chair massage); anatomy, physiology and kinesiology among other body and wellness related classes; and career management courses that will demonstrate how to break into the corporate massage world and build a solid client base.
School Websites will usually give a good description of the school’s massage therapy program and what it offers students, and there is usually contact information listed so interested students can request additional information.
Because the amount of financial aid varies so widely, schools do not usually list their tuition rate, and that is something students should definitely contact admissions offices about once they have narrowed down their list based on location and curriculum.
Once quality candidate schools are found, it’s important to take the time to visit each school to get an idea of what classes will be like, who the instructors are, and the general feel of a campus/classroom. Speak with faculty, administrative staff, and current students who should be able to convey a good sense what the school is like and the quality of its education.
With more than 17 million potential customers in the greater Los Angeles area and thousands of companies bringing chair massage therapy into their offices on a regular basis, L.A. is great place to start a career in one of the best occupations going. A good education at a school that features a solid curriculum, good location, an acceptable faculty and campus, and a reasonable tuition will ensure that a Los Angeles massage therapy career starts off right.
Brandon Thomas is a nationally certified massage therapist and founder of JoyLife Therapeutics. JoyLife Therapeutics provides chair massage, corporate massage, office massage, special event and trade show massage throught the US.
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