How Long Does It Take to Become a Licensed Massage Therapist?

How Long Does It Take to Become a Licensed Massage Therapist?

Becoming a licensed massage therapist requires 500 hours of accredited classroom learning. Another way of looking at it is this: After 2½ months of training you can begin a career where the 2016 average starting salary (in Texas) was $46,190. That’s an excellent return on your time – and your money. Let‘s look further:

A massage school is like any college or trade school. It’s an investment of your time and money so you can learn a particular set of skills and earn a living with them. The return on your time and money investment to become a licensed massage therapist is greater than a manicurist, bartender, or even a cosmetologist.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the average and top 10% wages for those trades:

Occupation Hours Required Average Salary Top 10% of Wages
Manicurist 600+ $23,950 $33,050 ($636/wk)
Bartender 40+ $27,530 $41,630 ($801/wk)
Cosmetologist 1,500+ $28,180 $50,670 ($974/wk)
Massage Therapist 500 $46,190 $77,470 ($1,490/wk)

Massage schools, like Healing Hands Massage Institute in Dallas, offers a 500-hour certification program for less than $4,500. That’s an amazingly quick and sizable return on your investment: Spend less than $4,500, go to school for two and a half months, and begin a career where the average pay is almost double that of a manicurist. Keep in mind that in Texas the average salary for a massage therapist is $46,190 a year. In Dallas and the DFW Metroplex, that average salary is even higher! The uniqueness of HHMI is that they offer classes taught in English which can also be translated into Mandarin and Spanish.

The top massage schools will offer all these essentials:

  • Seasoned and skilled instructors
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Variety and comprehensiveness of massage curriculum
  • Hands-on/real-life classroom training
  • Licensing test preparation
  • Flexible and affordable tuition
  • Networking and career training and placement resources

So, a career in massage pays well, is inexpensive to get licensed, takes a short-period of required training time, and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, has an industry demand that will drastically increase in the short-term future. Why else would someone want to become a massage therapist? Flexibility!

Once you have your standard license, the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), you can work on your own, for a massage studio, a physician or occupational therapist, even on a cruise ship! You can choose your path, control your hours, and be your own boss.

Andrew Alexander is the owner and CEO of Healing Hands Massage Institute (HHMI), located in Dallas, Texas. Established in 2013, HHMI is a premier massage therapy school where students can receive hands-on instruction in the art and science of massage from experienced and skilled staff while also learning the pragmatics of how to establish and sustain a successful massage practice. You can learn more about Andrew and HHMI at or by calling 972.234.4224.

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