There are five massage therapy schools in San Diego—privately owned institutions with programs that qualify prospective practitioners for licensure in California.
The curriculum at each school features coursework that the state requires. Other classes vary, with programs providing training in different massage techniques. Each school has a certificate program that takes less than a year to finish. One college offers two-year associate degrees, as well.
Employment is booming for massage therapists in this city. The number of jobs will continue to grow by nearly one-fifth each year through 2024, according to state officials.
You might also be interested in viewing massage therapy schools in California.
We selected the schools below based on the programs that they offer, accreditation, student population, graduation rate and reputation.
View our Ranking Methodology to learn more about how we rank schools.
Founded by massage therapists and acupuncturists, PCOM offers three MT programs.
A certificate in massage therapy and Asian bodywork involves 690 contact hours. It prepares students for employment as soon as possible. 1,147.5-hour associate of science degree program in MT and Asian bodywork includes general education classes and instruction in more advanced therapies, enabling graduates to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
An associate of applied science in massage therapies program, featuring 1,192.5 hours, integrates Oriental medical theory with training in techniques such as tui na (medical massage), Thai massage, and Asian bodywork therapies.
This institution has a 600-contact-hour massage therapy certificate program on its Escondido, Kearny Mesa, and Laguna Hills campuses.
Core courses cover circulatory (Swedish) massage, anatomy, and business and professional practices. A 50-hour clinical practicum is also required. Students craft individualized curricula by selecting from more than 1,800 hours of foundational classes and electives. They can specialize in techniques like sports massage, deep tissue manipulations, geriatric massage, Shiatsu, and tui na.
The program is available full time or part time; days, evenings, or weekends. The school reports a job-placement rate of more than 80 percent for its graduates.
Located in San Diego’s “Little Italy,” this school provides five career programs. It is one of only seven nonprofit massage colleges in the United States.
Courses in the professional massage therapy certificate program are Energy Channels & Acupoints – Tui Na; Shiatsu – Zen Touch; Kinesiology; Client Assessment; Physiology/Pathology; Business Practices; Special Populations; and Communications, Ethics and Career Prep.
Students learn about holistic health, anatomy, circulatory and deep tissue massage, passive joint mobilization, Eastern modalities, Chi integrated exercises, and strategies for success. An on-site clinic and community outreach events are opportunities for experience practicing on real clients.
An annual salary of more than $25,800 or an hourly wage of about $12.40 is typical in this city. Nationally, the average income is higher—over $41,400 a year or around $20 per hour.
The best-paid tenth of San Diego practitioners receive nearly $64,500 or about $31, less than the U.S. median of almost $78,300 or approximately $37.65. The city’s lowest-paid tenth make about $22,600 or nearly $10.90, better than the nationwide medians of around $21,340 or $10.25.
Employment for massage therapists in San Diego will increase by an average of 19.5 percent (520 positions) per year from 2014 to 2024, according to the California. Employment Development Department. Federal officials project a 29 percent job growth rate statewide from 2016 to 2026, faster than 26 percent nationally.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop
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