July 26, 2017
Six Questions Every Student Should Ask When Choosing a Massage Therapy School
Choosing which school to attend is a big decision no matter what you want to learn, but there are certain questions every potential massage therapy student should be asking. Not all massage educations are equal. We asked (and answered) six questions that every student should ask and every massage school should have a good answer for.
1. Does Your School Specialize in Teaching Massage Therapy?
You’ll want to know if your educators and other staff members are well-versed in what they are teaching. It’s important to find a school that has an established reputation in teaching massage.
The San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork specializes in teaching massage. Every aspect of our Massage Therapist Program, from the anatomy to ethics, was created specifically for training people to become a massage therapist. It is important that each class in the program is developed with massage in mind because massage therapists deal with the body or client interaction in much different ways than a nurse or phlebotomist does.
A potential student should always be wary of schools and colleges that offer a wide assortment of subjects unrelated to massage. If the school you are looking at seems to have their focus elsewhere, it may be that their massage program is more pieced together than tailor made.
2. What Kind of Massage Does Your School Teach?
You need more than a hammer to build a house. Having a lot of different tools is essential to being an effective and successful massage therapist. While some schools focus on one style or modality of massage such as Swedish massage or acupressure, no single technique you employ will be right for every person’s body or physical condition. At our school we incorporate a wide variety of different modalities and techniques. Our intentions are to create technically proficient and well-rounded massage therapists who have numerous ways to address the unique circumstances of each client and their body.
3. How Long Have You Been in Business, and What is Your School’s Reputation?
Bad news travels fast, so the longer a massage school has been in business, the more likely it is that they offer a quality education and that their reputation is in good standing. The San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork has been in continuous operation since October 1969. This makes our little school one of the oldest in the country and certainly the oldest in the San Francisco Bay Area. We believe that our longevity is a sign of the quality of experience that students enjoy here.
4. Is Your School Accredited?
Whether or not a massage school is accredited is important to consider when choosing a school to attend. Being accredited means that an objective third party has examined and assessed the school and determined that it meets the high standards set by the United States Department of Education. Everything from curriculum to record keeping to a school’s financial health and facilities are looked at by the accrediting agency during an onsite visit. This detailed evaluation that accredited schools go through ensures that there are absolutely no obstacles to students receiving high quality educations. Accredited schools may also offer federal financial aid.
5. What Methods Are Available for Me to Pay for School?
It is extremely important to know what payment options and assistance are available at the school you’re interested in. With student loans becoming one of the largest segments of debt in the country, the San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork is dedicated to offering a variety of loan-free plans to pay for your education. We handle every angle of financing your education in house. This means that you can have a great deal of flexibility in how you pay your tuition and that you will always have a friendly face at school to help if needed.
6. What Are My Schedule Options?
By the time the typical massage student goes to school, they are already living an established life. Many students have things that they have already committed their time to such as work, family, and hobbies. For these students, finding a schedule of classes that meets their needs is essential. Unfortunately, not all massage schools offer a diversity of schedule options. At SFSM, however, we have multiple start dates throughout the year with a variety of scheduling options: full-time or part-time, weekdays or weekends, mornings, days, or evenings. With so many different possible schedules, in our experience most students are able to find one that works well for their lifestyle and commitments.
We hope that sheds some light on a few important points to consider when choosing a massage school, and we hope that no matter what school you attend that is it the best fit for you! To find out if SFSMB is the school for you, contact us at 415-474-4600.
Thanks for the advice about checking if the massage school is accredited since that means the United States Department of Education has evaluated it and determined it met the high standards. My daughter told me she wants to go into massage therapy since she’s had her own share of help from it and she wants to help others. I’ll have to tell her as she’s looking at schools she needs to make sure they’re accredited so she won’t have problems later with getting hired after she graduates.
I wanted to thank you for explaining what to keep in mind when looking at a massage therapy school. I’m glad you mentioned it’s important for the student to find out if the school is accredited and meets the standards that are set by the United States Department of Education. I’m interested to learn if you can actually search by this to see which schools meet that accreditation.
Taylor, I know that COMTA (Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation) and NACCAS (National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Science) who are the two largest accreditation commissions for massage schools both maintain member school databases (https://comta.org/member-directory/ and https://naccas.org/naccas/accredited-school-search#main-content respectively) that list members or can be searched for specific schools. While COMTA and NACCAS cover many massage schools, some schools have accreditation elsewhere. For example, here at SFSM, we have our accreditation through ABHES (Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools). In either case, schools will always (and I believe are required to) make their accreditation public and any accrediting agency will… Read more »