Understanding the requirements to open a massage school can be difficult to figure out. I speak with massage therapists weekly who are frustrated with navigating their state licensing boards to figure out all of the requirements to open a massage school.
I think it’s exciting that there are so many massage therapists who are interested in opening a massage school! The way I look at it is that in the years between 2011 and today, hundreds of massage schools have closed – yet still hundreds of massage therapists have reached out in the last year asking for information on how to open a massage school.
We are definitely a profession filled with passionate people who care about improving the quality of massage education!
In 2019, my team attended the AMTA National Convention in Indianapolis where we had over 60 people sign up for information on how to open a massage school using our done-for-you system. That is encouraging.
** UPDATE ***
COVID-19 has created a greater burden to the massage industry. Massage schools closed around the country. Those that stayed open saw decreased admissions for several years. This slow-down created an increase in demand for massage therapists in nearly every city in the US.
Quite frankly, we cannot currently keep up with the demand for massage therapists.
Perhaps you have felt the pinch yourself. From franchise owners to small clinics, the demand is there from clients seeking massage yet there aren’t enough LMTs to keep up with the demand. I am talking to LMTs daily who realize their city needs a massage school.
I can certainly understand! After I graduated from massage school in 2006, I began traveling the country helping teach CE classes. I saw firsthand the lack of knowledge by LMTs around pathologies, and how to treat conditions that we commonly face as a massage therapist – such as whiplash and shoulder pain and dysfunction.
These are conditions I learned to treat while still a student in school!
What I saw around the country is precisely why I bought my massage school in 2010 and why I am committed today to help solve this problem by helping passionate massage therapists open their own massage school.
Challenges to opening a massage school
There are challenges to opening a massage school that may stop many therapists from moving forward on their dreams.
- Obtaining state approval
- Hiring / training instructors
- Finding a school location
- Recruiting students
- Building the schedule
- Doing it all while working
For many massage therapists, these challenges are enough to have them set their goals aside for years – silently dreaming of opening their own massage school.
I spoke with a massage therapist in Mississippi recently who has dreamt of opening a massage school for more than 10 years! That’s a long time to hold on to a dream…. Her challenges included many of the bullet points above.
Franchise massage school
We are NOT a franchise massage school. In fact, I call us the “anti-franchise massage school.” Many of my entrepreneur friends and mentors have pressured me to create a franchise massage school – but I am 100% against a franchise program.
Primarily, my goal is to HELP massage therapists reach their goals with their own school, that we help them open and then step back into a mentorship role. (See more of my story here –> http://bit.ly/ShariAldrich)
The problem I see with the franchise school model is that it doesn’t allow the owner the flexibility to create a program that they feel is needed in their area. Franchisees are required to “follow the program.” And that is precisely the problem with many massage programs in the US that were designed with a corporate feel and mass producing mediocre massage therapists.
The Bodymechanics System will help with requirements to open a massage school
The Bodymechanics business-in-a-box system is designed to help massage therapists build their program – with a jump start using our system. We start with a base 700-hour program that incorporates the requirements of each state licensing programs. We train owners how to operate their school (see more here), and then over time, owners feel confident to begin tweaking the program as they see fit.
This is NOT a one-size fits all approach.
Take Valerie Smothers, LMT as an example. Val lives in Benton, Kentucky where there is another massage school in her community. Over the years, Val has felt a need to have another school to give her community options. She has also felt that her school would be based on a medical approach to massage, where the other school does not.
This fills a need in her community to meet the needs of interested students.
Val used the Bodymechanics system to do/help with the following:
- complete the application to the 2 state organizations in Kentucky
- build school documents (operating manuals, catalogs)
- recruit students
- design her school
- implement school curriculum and schedule
- purchase school equipment
- hire and train staff
- design school marketing material
- and more
Now that she has opened her doors, our relationship has changed to mentoring. We have weekly check in phone calls. We spent a day together at the AMTA National Convention masterminding growth strategies for her school.
How to afford a massage school
There are certainly expenses to cover when you choose to open a massage school – and it’s not cheap. Yet the rewards are worth every penny spent when you realize the value you are bringing to your community with each class you graduate.
There is a lot to consider financially with opening a massage school, such as purchasing massage equipment; office equipment and supplies; leasing a space; hiring and training staff; state fees; and so on.
The intangible expense is going to come with lost time and earnings while you do everything on your own – creating the curriculum, applying to the state, developing school collateral (such as catalogs, contracts, employee handbook and so on) – all while navigating state requirements.
Our program is designed to ease the burden, and cut the process time exponentially. It’s done for you – and we manage the process which allows you to focus on YOU.
Our fees are all inclusive – and we walk you through the process and mentor you using our 10+ years of experience as owning a massage school.
If you are interested in more information on the requirements to open a massage school, let’s hop on a call. My mission is to help you launch your school and I am committed to your goals.
Shari Aldrich, LMT