Massage Therapy School in Houston
When it comes to launching a massage therapy career, Houston, Texas has a lot going for it. The sheer size of the Houston metropolitan area means one will find numerous opportunities here. Houston is also a place of economic opportunity; the city was #19 on the list of best cities for massage therapists created by a company well-versed in comparative economics (https://www.sparefoot.com/self-storage/blog/21072-19-best-cities-massage-therapists-move-2018/).
The path to licensure and entry-level employment can be quick; making it to the top levels as an entrepreneur or clinical massage therapist, though, often takes more. Thankfully, a wealth of educational and life experiences can be brought to the (massage) table. One may, for example, benefit from prior business experience. Bilingualism is among the many skills that can enhance one’s marketability in this area of the state.
Ultimately, there are many options: healthcare offices, franchises, mobile massage companies, private studios,high-end spas. Even the University of Houston offers massage therapy through its sports and fitness department.
Top Massage Therapy Schools in Houston
Serenity Massage School offers students the choice of a 500-hour basic or 650-hour advanced program. The basic program is designed to meet Texas licensing standards. The advanced program includes more than twice the number of internship hours; it also includes additional coursework. Both programs have multiple scheduling options.
The Texas School of Massage Therapy also offers students two options. One program includes 70 hours above the 500 required for Texas licensure.
The Avalon School is a 500-hour option. The bulk of the techniques coursework is in Swedish massage, which also includes closely related deep tissue, prenatal, and sports modalities. Students also receive training in Shiatsu and Thai yoga massage. Here, as in other Texas schools, coursework in human sciences and professional practices forms a foundation for future study.
The Houston School of Massage Therapy offers courses in both English and Spanish. Students get all the basics, including a 50-hour internship, in just eight months.
H.F.E and Massotherapy School offers a 500-hour program that includes 50 internship hours. The focus is on Swedish massage. H.F.E and Massotherapy School is a school member of the American Massage Therapy Association.
Massage in the Houston Healthcare Setting
Massage has some presence even in traditional healthcare settings. Houston Methodist LMTs provide Swedish, sports, prenatal, oncology, and deep tissue massage. The Houston Methodist website notes conditions that each is effective for; the basic Swedish massage is characterized as “exceptional” for increased circulation as well as stress relief. Houston Methodist was among those advertising in 2019. The organization sought someone with a year’s experience; they preferred that the candidate also have a degree in a field related to healthcare.
MD Anderson offers massage therapy to cancer patients and their family members. The organization has also had a role in disseminating information about the role of therapeutic massage in cancer care.
Popular Houston Massage Practices
Some Texas spas consider themselves to be retreats. Bergamos Retreat, started by the great-granddaughter of makeup mogul Mary Kay, was rebuilt after Hurricane Harvey and is now the largest freestanding day spa in the city. This isn’t the only reason this Friendswood Spa has been making news. Bergamos boasts multiple alternatives to the traditional massage table. There’s the amethyst quartz option where guests lie on a sheet on tiny crystals and the limber table which expert massage therapists can use to support body alignment. Among the available massages are Quarts Poultice and the Quartz Tibetan. Bergamos has a clientele who can pay well. Houstonia wrote about the spa in 2019 (https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2019/2/8/bergamos-retreat-largest-freestanding-spa-texas-friendswood).
Zalla Massage has called itself the fastest growing massage studio in Houston. Pre- and postnatal massage are among the specialties. Zalla therapists also teach infant massage. The business provides in-home massage for clients who have visited the studio and been approved. Some Zalla LMTs are noted as able to converse in Spanish.
Sanctuary Spa has a different claim to fame. It’s the city’s oldest day spa. Some Sanctuary Spa LMTs have dual credentialing as aestheticians. Mid-2019 found the Sanctuary Spa again hiring. The organization stated a preference for those with prior experience in high-end spas.
Melt and Relax is a homegrown mobile massage business. Geriatric massage is among the services offered. The business proudly displays two ‘Best of Houston’ badges on its website.
People here recognize the value of massage for all ages. Texas Hill Country in 2017 wrote up Float Baby, the first flotation and massage spa specifically for infants (https://texashillcountry.com/float-baby-water-spa-babies).
Houston LMTs in Business
There are a number of successful private practices. River Works Advanced Bodyworks is operated by an LMT who has been in business 15 years, garnering many positive reviews.
Kinetic Bodyworks is LMT-founded. The goal is lofty: effective massage that delivers biomechanic results. A secondary stated goal is to offer other massage therapists a good place to develop their careers!
Massage Therapist Wages in Houston
The average wage in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area was $17.93 in 2018, with most making between $9.17 and $27.84.
At many practices, LMTs don’t have a set wage. One chiropractic office, for example, recently advertised a commission-based position with tips in addition. This particular practice listed a very wide salary range: $16.00 to $62.50. The massages, they noted, were offered to clients at varying rates ($125 to $145 without Groupon, $39 with).
One Houston franchise noted that the pay rate could be as high as $38 – $45 and specifically stated this did not include tips. This particular franchise also offered benefits.
Houston’s LMTs don’t have to travel far to stay on top of their profession. Asia Pacific Institute is one of the many continuing education providers in the area; the school offers a number of continuing education courses in addition to a basic 500-hour program.