Massage Therapy Schools in Nebraska: Some of the Highest Standards in the Nation

Nebraska has some of the highest standards in the Nation for massage therapists. It’s not just the massage therapists who are held to high standards, though — it’s also the state’s massage therapy schools. A student who chooses to enroll in massage school in Nebraska can expect that the school has been carefully reviewed according to a number of criteria, not just curriculum.

Select a Nebraska Massage Therapy School Topic:

Nebraska Massage Therapy Curriculum

Nevada massage therapy students pursue comprehensive curriculums of at least 1,000 hours. 700 of the 1,000 hours are distributed in a specific manner. The course of study will include at least 100 hours in each of the following:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Hygiene and practical demonstration
  • Health services management
  • Massage
  • Hydrotherapy

Some content areas are more similar to those required in other states than the wording might suggest. Ethics, legalities, and business practices (common requirements around the nation) are among the topics that are considered ‘health services management’. The career development content that many schools provide would also fall into this category. ‘Hygiene’ includes far more than sanitation. Various health and wellness topics would be considered hygiene (though state code does stipulate that this content be taught by a massage therapist). ‘Practical demonstration’ can include everything from demonstration to clinic hours. State code includes a description of topics that could fall under the various topics. However, a student who attends a Nebraska-licensed school can expect that the required content will be included.

Programs can include varied content. The 300 discretionary hours can include any of many modalities, Eastern and Western: among them, Swedish massage, sports massage, reflexology, acupressure, deep tissue massage, and infant massage. Even exercise physiology is creditable. Topics are to relate to the clinical practice of massage – but many things do. Preparation for certification and licensing examinations is an acceptable topic.

A semester hour is considered to be the equivalent of 15 hours of instruction. Nebraska students will be in massage school for at least nine months – they can’t complete a program quite as quickly as in many other states but can still finish one in the space of about one academic year. It is more common to take a full calendar year. Some students of course opt to extend coursework over a longer period of time to allow time for other responsibilities.

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association has provided some information about career schools in Nevada, including contact information for a massage therapy contact person (

The Massage Therapy School Experience

Nebraska code sets minimum requirements for admission to, and completion of, its licensed massage therapy programs. Students must have a high school diploma or equivalency. They will need to pass examinations periodically as they progress through the program. The minimum average is 75%. Students must pass a final practical examination as evaluated by two scorers; it will cover sanitation and draping as well as massage techniques like effleurage and petrissage.

State code allows for transfer of college/ university credit.

Any approved program should meet generally accepted standards; Nebraska students can be assured that the state has taken steps to protect their interests. Nebraska requires massage therapy schools to have an affiliation with a licensed physician. The physical premises of the school are inspected on a yearly basis. The facilities and equipment must be safe, hygienic, and otherwise adequate. Record keeping and policies must meet state standards. According to administrative code, a school must score 100% on the initial inspection; re-inspection can take place under stated conditions.

The actual massage therapy school experience will be variable. As in other states, programs may choose to go beyond stated standards. The program may allow its students to select an area of specialization such as long term care massage. Students may have the option of a diploma or an associate’s degree. The associate’s degree option may include more advanced training in bodywork modalities and in care of special populations. One Nebraska school notes that its graduates will have performed 200 massages by the time they complete the program.

Schools may also go beyond the minimum in establishing admission policies. A student won’t need to be in the upper echelon academically but may need to write an essay articulating his or her vision.

Attendance at a school that has been assigned a code by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is advantageous for individuals who plan on pursuing an additional adjunct national credential: board certification. Nebraska has two assigned schools (

Out-of-State Massage Therapists: Back to School?

While Nebraska requires even out-of-state licensees to have training on a par with in-state massage therapists, reciprocal applicants are allowed more flexibility in how they meet requirements. Experience can be used to offset formal education requirements. However, some out-of-state massage therapists will need to re-enroll in massage therapy school. They may seek enrollment as non-diploma students to make up hours needed for licensure.

The licensing agency may credit up to 100 hours of continuing education that is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

There have been some attempts to lessen licensing standards. Those opposed believe that it’s other states that should be upping their standards. One other state sets requirements at 1,000 hours: New York.

Career Outlook and Average Salary

Nebraska is expected to see 19.3% growth in massage therapist employment levels during the 2014 to 2024 decade (

Nebraska massage therapists earn a median wage of $14.59 an hour. 80% fall between $10.89 and $28.85 an hour, though 10% are below this range and another 10% above.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also provided data for the Omaha/ Council Bluffs metropolitan area. The median is just a shade higher than the state as a whole: $14.95. The job concentration is slightly higher as well.

Narrowing it Down to a City

Massage School in Lincoln

Massage School in Omaha