How to Become a Massage Therapist

Do you dream of a job in a peaceful environment where your work makes a real difference in the lives of others? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Can you connect with people and put them at ease while still maintaining a professional demeanor? If so, massage therapy may be right for you! Read on to learn how to become a massage therapist in Oregon.

Figuring out that you want to become a massage therapist is the first step. Next, you must apply to accredited massage schools in your preferred area, and with the academic programs you desire. Following acceptance into a program, you must complete the classes and hands-on clinical work required by your state. Each state has unique requirements for massage therapist licensure. The last step is to pass state licensure test. Below, we cover these steps in more detail.

An Eagle Eye’s View of How to Become a Massage Therapist

  1. Take our Massage Career Readiness Quiz.
    This is the beginning of your self-inquiry about massage therapy. We also recommend that you speak with family and friends, read online articles about becoming a massage therapist, and thoroughly educate yourself on the pros and cons of this healing career path. Understanding your own dreams and goals is important at this stage, as you visualize yourself working in one of the many environments where massage therapy happens (everywhere from spas and clinics to sports fields and cruise ships). Finally, you’re ready to reach out to admissions departments and begin touring massage school campuses.
  1. Complete the Admissions Process at Accredited Massage School(s)
    Get in touch with the admissions departments of the schools on your list. Admissions team members can answer questions, discuss your eligibility, talk about transfer credits, and more. As you pencil out your readiness for massage school, tour campuses and compare facilities. We recommend prioritizing accredited schools with on-site massage clinics. There, massage students can hone their craft under the guidance of experienced teachers. Finally, once you’re certain on which schools will work for you, it’s time to apply. At East West College, we offer an online application form.
  2. Complete Classes and Clinical Work for an Accredited Massage Program.
    Having been accepted into a program of your choice, it’s time to hit the books! While each school’s approach is different, there are certain quality signposts you should see in all programs, including clinical work, classes grounded in body science, and a high ratio of program graduates successfully passing state exams.

East West College’s prestigious COMTA-accredited massage therapy program kicks off with introductory classes on Swedish massage techniques, kinesiology and anatomy foundations, and how to create healthy therapeutic relationships with clients. In the second term, East West students dive deeper into physiology, pathology, and anatomy while also adding western massage and bodywork modalities. The third quarter sees East West College students expanding and applying their learning to conditions and disorders often found in massage practice. Eastern and energetic massage techniques are also covered in this quarter, as students also prepare for clinical work in quarter four. This last quarter includes plenty of clinical practice as well as bodywork electives and massage therapy business basics. Fourth quarter East West College students also learn about providing massage therapy to special populations, such as athletes and the elderly. Learn more about our massage school’s program here, where you’ll find our list of goals for students as well as more on class options.

  1. Pass State Licensure Requirements.
    Having graduated from an accredited massage school, the final obstacle to working as a massage therapist is to pass the state’s licensing exam. Earning a massage therapist license in the state of Oregon includes three components: 1. 625 hours of required massage education; 2. A passing score in a national massage certification test such as the MBLEX or the NCBTMB; and 3. A passing score for the Oregon jurisprudence (law) exam for massage therapy. Oregon also requires background fingerprinting for first-time massage therapy license applicants.

We hope that this basic outline has spurred your determination to achieve your massage therapy career goals! Massage therapists are famous for enjoying their work. To learn more about how to make this rewarding career path your own, call us today at 503-233-6500.