Massage therapy can be a rewarding career. Massage therapists can relieve pain, relieve stress, help heal injuries, and make a difference in their clients’ lives. Like other healthcare professionals, massage therapists receive extensive education to safely treat clients.
Before you can become a massage therapist, you need to get a professional certification. Here’s what you need to know about preparing for this career.
Where to Get a Professional Certification
Many Ontario colleges, including private career colleges, offer massage therapy programs. Choosing which college to attend is a big decision. Consider factors like the location of the college, the cost of tuition, and the facilities. Don’t forget to make sure the college is registered and the program is approved; Oxford College’s massage therapy program fits these criteria’s.
What to Expect from a Certification Program
Students who pursue massage therapy education can expect to learn a lot. In these programs, you’ll learn both theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills. The theoretical aspects of your courses may include topics like anatomy, physiology, or nutrition. In the hands-on courses, you’ll learn how to put that theoretical knowledge into practice.
In your hands-on courses, you’ll get experience giving massages. Students learn to administer various massage techniques by practising on other students. They learn how to perform trigger point therapy, lower grade mobilization, hydrotherapy, and other therapies. They also learn how to explain the procedures they’re performing to their clients, as well as how to talk about risks and benefits of procedures.
Massage therapy programs may also teach students courses such as business management or communication. These courses can help students run their own businesses in the future. Courses in ethics and professionalism, communication skills, or self-care can also be part of a massage therapist’s education.
The length of the course will vary depending on the college. If you choose to study massage therapy at a private career college, you could graduate in as little as 88 weeks. If you attend a public college, the course could take as long as three years to complete.
Getting Certified after Graduation
After you graduate with a professional certification in massage therapy, you need to get certified. The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario administers certification exams. Once you pass the examination, you can start looking for work in massage therapy.
The massage therapy profession is regulated in Ontario. If you don’t pass the exam, you’re not permitted to call yourself a “massage therapist” or a “registered massage therapist.” However, if you choose a good career college and study hard while you’re in school, you should be able to pass the exam.
Finding Work as a Massage Therapist
Once you’re a registered massage therapist, you can start looking for work. Most massage therapists in Ontario are self-employed. You may decide to start your own business after graduation. You could start your own massage therapy practice or offer your services independently to clients.
Massage therapists can also find work as employees of other companies. Companies in many different sectors hire massage therapists. Massage therapists can find work in places like spas, wellness centres, or health clubs. Sports clinics also need massage therapists to help athletes recover. Massage therapists can also work in environments you might not expect. You might be able to find work in a hotel or resort, hospital, or nursing home. Keep an open mind when you’re job searching.