How Important is Accreditation

Is Massage School Accreditation Important?

Is Massage School Accreditation Important?

When it comes to choosing the right massage school, almost every education expert recommends looking for accreditation. By definition, accreditation is a process of review performed by an overseeing body to ensure that the program (and the school) meets certain regulations. Accrediting bodies range from general educational organizations to massage-specific organizations, and schools can have any number and combination of them.

If you’re getting ready to apply to massage school, here are a few of the things to consider:

Vocational schools and career training centers have their own criteria when it comes to recognition by the U.S. Department of Education – and this is one type of accreditation you should always look out for. Recognition from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT), the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Accrediting Commission of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) all fall under this category.

When it comes to massage training, the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) is the primary overseeing body. Another thing to look out for includes whether or not the school is part of the American Massage Therapy Association Council of Schools, or if it is listed as one of the providers of a program that allows graduates to sit for the National Exam through the The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

More general health and wellness accreditations include those offered by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).

Regional accreditation is another factor to consider (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). Unless your massage school is accredited by one of these bodies, you probably won’t be able to transfer your credits from one school to another.

Some of these accreditations are useful in the massage industry; others are not. Some great schools have no accreditation; some not-so-great schools have them all. In some cases, accreditation means that students are eligible to receive federal student loans and grants; in others, it means graduates can sit for national and/or state certification exams.


All these different options are why accreditation is just one part of the larger picture of what makes a massage school great. Determine what qualities are most important to you, and then discover what schools offer those qualities.


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