Massage Therapy Licensing Exams – Check the Scores!

Once you finish an accredited massage therapy certification or educational program, there is one more step you'll need to take before you can start working as a massage therapist. In most states, you will need to pass a mandatory national certification examination in therapeutic massage and bodywork as part of your licensing requirement.

Board certification ensures high standards of client care and ethical practice in the massage profession. National board exams are also a good barometer to gage how well a massage school is preparing its graduates in comparison to the national norm. 

National University's massage therapy students traditionally score well above both state and national averages for board exams. The latest data shows:

Board Scores Bar Graph With States #6

When you are comparing massage therapy schools, be sure to ask about students' performance on national board exams. For a more detailed report on National University's board score performance, click here.

Come see why National University's massage therapy program offers one of the most outstanding education opportunities in the field. For all those who visit campus during our Summer Soak Up event (any time from May 1st through August 31st), we'll offer you $500 in tuition credit for your first trimester!

Trends in the Massage Therapy Industry

Statistics from surveys and government data compiled by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) show interesting trends in massage therapy field. Their industry fact sheet shows:

  • Massage therapy was a $12.1 billion industry in 2015
  • Between July 2014 and July 2015, approximately 39.1 million adult Americans (18%) had massage therapy at least once
  • Massage therapists earn an average of $47 per hour (including tips) for massage related work

The AMTA data also showed that 52% of clients received their last massage for medical reasons. Massage therapy is increasingly part of patient health and wellness care in hospitals and integrative medical clinics.


Industry trends show that massage therapy is a great career field for those seeking a rewarding job in health care.  Interestingly, the AMTA data shows that it's also a great choice for career changers. 82% of massage therapists started practicing massage therapy as a second career.

National University offers a one-year massage therapy certification program with convenient evening classes that can start you on your way to being part of this thriving industry. Find out more at our upcoming Massage Therapy Information Night on March 23rd

Massage Therapy One of Top 28 Employment Growth Leaders

Chair MassageMassage therapy job opportunities are anticipated to grow by 21.6% over the next 8 years. The profession comes in at number 23 out of the 28 top employment growth fields according to a major online media source.

MSN's "Money" featured a recent slideshow highlighting the top 28 fields with the highest projected employment growth between today and 2024.  The online publication used projections from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine career rankings.

If you have a high school degree or GED, it can take as little as one year of convenient evening classes at National University to earn certification as a massage therapist and be able to take your state licensing exam.  You can then work in your choice of venues, be it a spa, a sports medicine center, integrative health care clinics, corporate wellness centers or your own business.

Explore how easy it is to start your career as a massage therapist by attending National University's next Massage Therapy Information Night on March 23rd, 2016.  You can also schedule an individual tour during the daytime if that is more convenient for you. Get started in planning your visit by calling 1-800-826-6285.

Gift Idea: 4 Night Course in Massage Therapy!

Massage FBDo you have a friend or family member who just loves to give back rubs, or who has a special touch that can calm and comfort others? They might make a perfect massage therapist and enjoy learning more about massage as a career. Here is a great gift idea to help them take their skill to the next level:

For $90, you can give someone a four-evening Introduction to Massage Therapy course. Since it's at National University, you can trust that they'll get the best possible learning experience. It will give them solid skills on how to give a great back massage to family and loved ones.  Moreover, the course will introduce them to career opportunities in massage therapy.

The course is held several times a year. There are no prerequisites to apply, but the person must be 18 to register and attend the course. If your friend discovers they absolutely love learning about massage, the great news is that those who pass this course can enter right into a massage therapy certification program if they have a high school diploma or GED.

This is not only a great gift idea for individuals - the Introduction to Massage Therapy is a wonderful course for couples.  Give it as a gift to yourselves, and you and your partner can enjoy providing better, more effective health-giving massages to each other.

Apply online, email or call Deb Cascio at 1-800-826-6285 for more information.

A History of the Massage Profession

Here at National University of Health Sciences, we are currently seeing historic growth in research supporting the health benefits of massage, and an increased incorporation of massage therapy in integrative medical settings. But did you know that the massage occupation dates back to colonial times?

History MTRecently, Patricia J. Benjamin wrote a great article for AMTA's Massage Therapy Journal titled "Brush Up on the History of Your Profession."  She explains how "Rubbers" (what massage therapists were once called) worked as far back as the 1700s, when they were even employed by surgeons to assist with patient rehabilitation after surgery. "Rubber" was one of the few occupations where women could make a living outside the home.

In the 1850's, you might receive bodywork from a "medical gymnast" trained in a Swedish system developed by Pehr Henrich Ling. Several training schools opened for Ling's system across the United States. 

The words masseuses or masseur became common later in the 1880s, through a training system of manual manipulation developed by physician Johann Mezger. Ohio was the first state to license masseuses and masseurs in the late 1800s, with Agnes Bridget Forbes being the first licensed masseuse in 1916.

At the turn of the 20th century, massage was often used along with hydrotherapy and rest cures in sanitariums and natural convalescence centers. It wasn't until 1930 when Swedish massage became dominant on the massage scene - yet it was different than today's Swedish massage, in that it encompassed an entire wellness system of massage, movements, electrotherapy and hydrotherapy.

In 1960, the terms "massage therapy" and "massage therapists" became the preferred term we still use today in the profession. Then, in the 1960s and 1970s, a growing counter-culture brought in more techniques and styles such as Rolfing and Esalen, while Asian influences raised the popularity of Shiatsu and Ayurvedic massage.

From the 1990s until today, more and more states began to license massage therapy. There are now 45 states that license massage therapists.

Read more from this article and see why now is a great time in history to start your career in massage therapy, then visit National University to get started with the education you'll need!