Best Massage Therapy Schools In Alabama | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

There are many reasons to consider studying massage therapy in Alabama. Massage therapy schools in Alabama prepare students for a variety of career paths.

Graduates of massage schools in Alabama may have the opportunity to work in spas or, for example, on sports teams. A graduate can also be employed as part of a rehabilitation institution or even create his own small business.

The diversity of employment opportunities in downtown Dixie is one of the reasons CareerOneStop predicts the demand for massage therapists will grow 19 percent over the next decade. Massage schools from Birmingham to Montgomery, AL can be your path to success.

Are There Massage Therapy Schools In Alabama?

Alabama, from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee border, has nearly two dozen state-approved massage therapy schools. They range from institutes and academies to community colleges, although some smaller schools offer no-credit programs.

Depending on the site, you will receive a certificate, diploma or specialist degree. Most programs take less than a year for full-time students. To practice massage in Alabama, you must successfully complete a program at a state-recognized school and then pass a licensing exam.

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How Much Do Massage Therapy Schools Cost In Alabama?

The average tuition for a massage school—tuition only, not books, massage tables, equipment, etc.—was $13,605 in 2014, with the average cost of attending corporate and for-profit programs (programs with multiple campuses in different states that are mostly a corporate entity) with a skew towards the higher end of the spectrum.

The type of institution can affect the total cost, but the length of the massage therapy program and the number of credit hours included can also make a difference.

More expensive programs may be longer and offer a wider range of coursework to allow students to learn more specialized techniques such as hydrotherapy, sports massage or trigger therapy.

On the other hand, less expensive programs may involve fewer hours of instruction and focus on the fundamentals of massage therapy.

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What Are The Requirements For Massage Therapy Schools In Alabama?

Officials require those applying for a license to provide school transcripts, proof of passing the national massage therapy and bodywork certification exam, and proof of $1 million in personal liability insurance.

There is a $25 license application fee. The exam consists of 125 questions on anatomy, physiology and kinesiology; pathologies; massage and assessment of body work; and professional massage standards.

The Board also regulates continuing education programs and conducts hearings to review allegations of misconduct and violations by schools or practitioners.

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What Are The Best Massage Therapy Schools In Alabama?

If you want to practice massage in Alabama, you will need to complete the licensing requirements at one of the massage schools in the state.

There are some great Massage Therapy Schools in Alabama as you’ll see in the list below, and it’s easy to meet all the education requirements, don’t panic.

Blue Cliff Career College

This school in Mobile offers a 750-hour curriculum that it advertises as a “solid foundation” in anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.

Additional courses include Deep Tissue Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Spa Massage, Sports Massage and Basic Shiatsu. Swedish massage classes cover different draping options for a one-hour full-body treatment.

All students perform and receive massages in the classroom, as well as massage 10 people in the school clinic. In addition, the instruction covers marketing and creating an operational business plan.


Gadsden State Community College

Located in the city of the same name, GSCC has a short-term certificate program in massage therapy. This involves 720 contact hours (29 credit hours) of study.

Courses include anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, business and marketing plans, massage therapy for special populations, and pathology.

Some of the classes are available online, either fully or in a hybrid format that involves multiple campus visits each semester. Students must also attend massage labs, supervised clinics, and lectures.


George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville

Massage therapy students at this school have two options: a short-term certificate program and an associate degree in salon and spa management.

Courses that make up the 29 credit hours in the certificate program include Massage Therapy Laboratory, Anatomy and Physiology, Musculoskeletal and Kinesiology.

They also include Supervised Massage Therapy, Fundamentals of Massage Therapy, Business and Marketing Plans, Massage Therapy for Special Populations, and Ortho- motor apparatus and kinesiology.

Students seeking an associate degree must take additional classes in spa techniques and practices, cosmetology, hair and facial care, bacteriology and sanitation, English composition, career and personal development, and other subjects.


Northeast Alabama Community College

Massage therapy students at his small school in Rainsville take the following courses: Introduction to Massage Therapy, Massage Therapy Lab, Anatomy and Physiology, Musculoskeletal and Kinesiology.

They also include Massage Therapy Supervised Clinic, Business and Marketing Plans, Massage Therapy for Special Groups population and Pathology.

Those seeking an Associate of Applied Science degree in Salon and Spa Management, a 69- to 72-hour program, also study English; humanities and fine arts; history, social and behavioral sciences; and natural-math.

In addition, there are three core technical courses and 38 credit hours of classes in the program.


Southern Union State Community College

The massage therapy program here at the school’s Opelika campus offers three semesters (fall through summer) of evening classes (Monday through Thursday).

The curriculum includes classroom lectures, hands-on laboratory work, clinical sessions and opportunities to work with people.

In the first course, “Introduction to Therapeutic Massage,” students learn Swedish massage, hot and cold therapy, stretching, and other techniques.

They continue to study anatomy and physiology, musculoskeletal and kinesiology, business and marketing plans, massage therapy for special populations, and pathology.


How Much Do Massage Therapists In Alabama Earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alabama massage therapists make an average salary of $35,500 a year, excluding tips.

The massage therapy field in Alabama is expected to grow by 19% through 2026, especially as the field becomes more respected and professional in the treatment of pain and injuries.

Massage therapy for seniors is also expected to grow as many people live longer and more active lives. It is important to note that the cost of living in Alabama is generally about 10% lower than the United States as a whole.

Alabama’s trained and certified massage therapists have the ability to create their own schedules, being self-employed or working in salons, spas, resorts, and chiropractic clinics.

Consider one of these massage schools in Alabama to start working toward a career in the state that can steal your heart in the Heart of Dixie.

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How Do I Become A Massage Therapist In Alabama?

To become a massage therapist in Alabama, a student must successfully complete at least 650 hours of public school education. The requirement includes 100 or more hours of coursework in anatomy and physiology, 35 hours in myology, 15 hours in osteology, and 10 hours each in the circulatory and nervous systems.

Additional classes depend on the school, but at least 250 hours must be devoted to basic massage theory and closely related topics. This includes instructions on touch modalities. Some education in business practices and water therapy is required. Supervised practice is another 50 hours of study.

Some schools define classes for an additional 50 hours. State-approved alternatives include hydrotherapy, business, ethics, and first aid. Some schools exceed the 650-hour mandate.

The state board of massage therapy offers advanced certification for those who complete 750 hours of training, some of which is available through continuing education.

This can give practitioners more opportunities and qualify them for higher paying positions. There are also graduate programs that train therapists in specialties, such as working with certain types of animals.

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Best Paying Massage Therapy Jobs In Alabama

Some of the places you can find work include spas, fitness centers, resorts, and medical facilities.  You can also use the knowledge and skills gained to start your own massage business or offer mobile massage services, serving clients in their homes.

In this way, you will experience the business side of massage.  On the other hand, working in a medical facility, spa or salon allows you to get on-the-job training from more experienced colleagues.

It also gives you access to a ready-made market and clientele without having to sell your services, as is the case with running a business.

Ascension – Massage Therapist

PCH Hotels & Resorts – Massage Therapist (PT)

Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa – Massage Therapist

PCH Resorts – Massage Therapist – On Call

Aptor Rehab Services – Licensed Massage Therapists

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa – Massage Therapist – On Call

Massage Therapy Schools In Alabama FAQs

What Do Massage Therapy Schools In Alabama Teach?

Students complete at least 650 hours of training to perform a range of massage techniques to help clients improve their health. Massage therapy students also study anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and business practices. Massage schools in Alabama give students the opportunity to practice their skills under the supervision of experienced instructors and massage therapists.

Do You Need License To Work As Massage Therapist In Alabama?

The state of Alabama requires all massage therapists to be licensed by the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy and certified by the National Board for Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Upon completion of coursework, massage therapy students take the National Certification in Massage and Bodywork Therapy (NCETMB) exams, as well as take practical and/or oral exams administered by the Alabama State Board. If the above is successfully completed, the massage therapy student receives a certificate and license to practice in Alabama.

What Do Massage Therapists Do In Alabama?

Alabama massage therapists help clients improve their health and well-being by manipulating the soft tissues of the body, promoting circulation and improving muscle health. As a student at a massage therapy school in Alabama, you will learn how to provide individualized care to each client to relieve pain and stress. After you complete your massage education program, you will take the exams to become a certified massage therapist in Alabama.

What Is The Requirement For Message Therapy License In Alabama?

First, the state of Alabama requires a minimum of 650 hours of study, plus 16 continuing education units (CEUs) and the required fee to renew your license every two years. Expiry dates will correspond to the day/month it was issued. The license and renewal fee is $100 every two years.
The first step to becoming a massage therapist in Alabama is to pay a $25 registration fee. This is required for a massage therapist who will treat clients. However, there is another program for individuals who wish to own and/or operate a massage business but not provide therapy.


Most massage therapy schools in Alabama have received codes from the National Board for Certification in Massage Therapy and Bodywork. Historically, there has been a close relationship between the NCBTMB processes and registration in Alabama, although Alabama has not “upgraded” its licensing requirements to meet the requirements of the new NCBTMB certification.

Currently, NCBTMB certification is intended in most states across the country to reflect a higher level of professional knowledge than licensure. An individual seeking board certification will complete a total of 750 hours of training.

Some education may be obtained through college coursework or through continuing education that has been specifically approved by the NCBTMB. There aren’t as many NCBTMB CE providers in Alabama as entry-level programs, but there are opportunities to take blocks of courses in areas such as postural analysis or the myofascial system.

Massage therapists who wish to receive significant additional training sometimes travel to conferences; Alabama massage therapists can use the search tools on the NCBTMB website.



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