Becoming a Massage Therapy Instructor

Massage Therapy Instructor

What Is a Massage Therapy Instructor?

After going to massage school and getting your certification in the field, most massage therapists have several career options. Traditional employers like spas, health resorts, cruise lines, and alternative healthcare organizations often have one or more massage professionals on staff, and there are equal numbers of opportunities for those who want to start their own businesses.

Many massage professionals also branch out by selling massage and personal care products, or even by giving massage classes for couples. However, there are other careers for massage therapists – especially once you acquire several years of experience.

Massage therapy careers are often short-lived due to the heavy physical and emotional toll the job can take on you, and one way in which to continue making a living in the field without encountering massage “burnout” is to consider a job as a massage therapy instructor.

The best massage schools have a staff of instructors who are knowledgeable about the field and passionate about what they do. Most massage instructors have at least a Bachelor’s degree in the field and up to ten years of experience working with clients in a real-world setting.

They often have training and certification in a number of different massage modalities, and know not only how to perform these different types of massage, but what tools are necessary to do the job well.

This list of requirements is pretty heavy for anyone hoping to become a massage therapy instructor right out of school – and for good reason. Becoming a massage instructor means that you’ll be responsible for educating hundreds of new professionals every year, many of whom will go on to work in the healthcare field.

Massage Instructor Requirements

After graduating from an accredited massage therapy program and spending a few years in the field, anyone interested in becoming a massage therapy instructor should look at advanced education options.

These include getting a Bachelor’s degree or higher in massage, staying current with continuing education credits, or even taking courses related to adult education. In some states, you may also be required to be certified by the state board in order to teach.

The courses you can expect to cover as you learn to become a massage instructor include:

Learning strategies

Theories of massage

The teaching process

Classroom activities

Lesson planning

Advanced massage modalities

Massage technology

Online learning

There are specific massage schools that specialize in teaching professionals to become licensed instructors, as well. As is the case with any massage program, it’s best to do your research ahead of time and ensure that they are accredited by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork or American Massage Association before you sign up for classes.

Many of these courses qualify for your biennial continuing education requirements, so they will count toward your continued professional growth even if you decide not to become an instructor.

Looking for a Massage Therapy School Near You?


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12 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Mike says:

    The average high school graduate has no clue as to what educational path to follow upon graduation. A growing field that may interest those that are seeking hands on learning environment is the field of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapy. Students who fulfill all educational and training requirements of massage therapy classes can earn a certification and/or diploma in the respective field.

  2. Susanna Clinton says:

    Thanks for your post. I am an elementary educator in the public school system with a Master’s degree in education. I also am an LMT part time. When I retire from elementary teaching in about 10 years, I would like to teach massage therapy, or perhaps even teach massage therapy in the evenings before I retire from public education. I have been a practicing LMT for only 2 years. Specifically, where can I find education to become a massage therapy educator? What certification do I need besides my teaching degree, master’s degree and LMT certification? I have taken a few continuing education courses in modalities that interest me, and I plan to take more, but I am definitely not an expert in any, since I have only been practicing part time for two years. Thank you for any advice.

  3. KR says:

    I have never before now heard of the massage therapy instructor certification requirement and I have been in the business for over 14 years, over 5 yrs teaching and a Master’s Degree in the life sciences!! If you are going to require the 30-hr adult learning, PLEASE OFFER SOME website and school options for enrolling in this!!! I can find none by doing a google search and have no idea which programs are acceptable/un-acceptable for your accreditation.

  4. MGD says:

    I to have never heard of the massage therapy instructor certification? I have search the web for information of this certification or schools in my area. Please offer more information about this if you will.


  5. AB says:

    Can anyone recommend where I can take a course to receive my Massage Therapy Instructors Certification. Thanks!

  6. Christa says:

    There is a teacher training program at IPSB in San Diego, not sure what kind of certificate you get out of it however. check out their website.
    Great School.

  7. Lisa Palmer says:

    With so many varying requirements state to state, I would love to find a school
    that I could attend to be qualified to work (as a therapist or an instructor). We ought
    to have a national requirement to make things easier!

  8. ALI says:

    I would like more information on how to become a Massage Therapist Instructor. Please advise. Thank You!

  9. Ilona Davenport says:

    I am interested in becoming an instructor and need information on schools. I am currently an LMT in Columbia South Carolina.

  10. Bimla Kecht says:


    I work for Krysia from Kryssage Wellness. Krysia has been a LMT for many years and has her own business. She will be expanding in May and would like to teach and certify people in the art of Massage Therapy.

    What would she need to do in order to get her licence to teach People to become LMT?

    Her business in in Geneva, IL what are the states requirements to become a massage teacher?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Sincerely, Bimla Kecht

  11. nicolle says:

    I’ve been a massage therapist for 2 decades, and have my MT CEU and Instructor license; however, besides teaching in a massage school can I use my instructor license? I teach CEUs in my clinic.

  12. Ellen DeVito says:

    I don’t believe that any “certification” is required bu law to become a teacher of massage therapy other than a number of years of hands on experience and the ability to communicate what the students must learn to pass a state licensing exam.

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