A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Schools in Ohio

The Weekly Villager recently featured a woman who was in business providing therapeutic massage (http://weeklyvillager.com/healing-hands-therapeutic-massage/). The article notes that the profession is a calling but also hints at the training required; the therapist featured draws on a knowledge of anatomy, among other concepts.

The State Medical Board of Ohio sets minimum standards for massage therapy education. Minimum standards are set somewhat above the national average. Some Ohio schools use the term “medical massage”.

Select an Ohio Massage Therapy School Topic:

Educational Standards for Oregon Massage Schools

The most fundamental thing requirement for a massage therapy school is that it be approved to operate in the jurisdiction where it is located. Ohio massage therapy schools may draw their authorization from any of the following:

  • Ohio Board of Regents
  • Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools
  • Ohio Department of Education, Division of Career/Technical Adult Education

Ohio protects massage therapy students by setting program standards and issuing statements of good standing. The Ohio Board continues to monitor programs throughout their operation. Certificates of good standing are renewed each year. Performance on the licensing examination is one consideration. In the case of repeated sub-par performance on the exam, a program may be placed on probationary status; it could ultimately lose its certificate.

Curriculum is also under state control. The Ohio Board requires 325 hours of combined anatomy, physiology, and pathology coursework. (This is considerably more than what is mandated in most jurisdictions.)

Theory and practical work comprise another 325 hours. Business and law together comprise 25 hours. Ethics instruction comprises 25 hours. (Ohio requires a discrete ethics course of at least ten hours.)

Every Ohio massage therapy student will perform at least one massage on a licensed massage therapist before graduation. Some students will have the opportunity to perform massage off-site under supervision. The Board places limits, though, on how many hours can be credited for this type of internship experience.

The Massage School Admission Process

Some parts of the Ohio admission process are standardized. The massage therapy school will require evidence of high school graduation or equivalency – this is required under state code. The school will provide information about how legal issues could impact licensing eligibility. This is the minimum, but the student may be required to go through a criminal background check before beginning coursework. Individual schools may also be more selective with regard to academics and/ or professional dedication. Community colleges, for example, may give placement tests. Students may also need to complete prerequisite coursework.

Massage Therapy Educational Options

A 750-hour Ohio program allows only a little room for discretionary curriculum. For some, it's not enough. Ohio boasts multiple programs of 1,000 hours or more. One Ohio school, for example, offers a 750-hour program and a 1,000 hour-program; the longer program allows additional time to explore physical conditions and advanced massage techniques as well as potential professional environments. Some schools boast a lot of time spent in a clinic setting.

Programs may provide introduction to many modalities: traditional Swedish massage, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, neuromuscular massage, even myoneural therapy. Some programs allow students to pursue elective coursework in health-related subjects such as lymphedema/ lymph massage. It's not imperative that everything be included in the initial program, however. Some massage therapists choose to go well beyond the state’s continuing education requirements. There’s a lot offered in this realm as well.

Massage therapists may choose programs that will help them achieve an additional voluntary credential through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Although the NCBTMB also requires 750 hours of massage therapy coursework, graduation from an NCBTMB-assigned program outside Ohio will not guarantee that Ohio’s requirements have been met. Ohio boasts 15 NCBTMB-assigned schools.

Some Ohio programs are eligible for funding through programs such as the WOIA and/ or veteran’s benefits.

An out-of-state massage therapy school can be considered for a certificate of good standing in Ohio if it has the approval of a state entity roughly equivalent to the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools or the Board of Regents and meets requirements delineated in state code (http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4731-1).

Career Outlook and Average Salary

Ohio massage therapists enjoy a median hourly wage of $16.89; this is somewhat below the national average. 25% of the state's massage therapists, though, earn more than $25.05, and 10% earn more than $29.62. Those at the 10th percentile – what is sometimes thought of as entry-level -- earn $9.13; this is very near the national 10th percentile wage.

The highest hourly wages in the state are in a nonmetropolitan area -- this is not uncommon in the world of therapeutic massage. The median hourly wage for the North Northeastern nonmetropolitan division is $21.91: more than a dollar above the national average. Massage therapists in the Cleveland-Elyria area average a shade above their counterparts nationwide, with a median wage of $20.61. Cleveland-area massage therapists at the 10th percentile are already making $12.40: well above the national 10th percentile wage. It’s those in the upper echelon, salary-wise, that are often making a little less than the counterparts nationwide; the 90th percentile wage is $30.35. The 90th percentile wage, though, is higher in the Akron area than in other Ohio districts: $36.28.

Massage therapist job concentration is relatively higher in the Dayton and Columbus areas. The total number of massage therapists is, not surprisingly, greatest in the Columbus area. Ohio has been projected to see an impressive 25.1% increase in massage therapy employment between 2014 and 2024. This would bring employment levels from 3,740 up to 4,680 (http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm).