There are three massage therapy schools in San Jose, including two private institutions and public college. All of them have programs that provide the instruction necessary to qualify graduates for licensure.
One school also offers a much more extensive program, with almost double the state-required clock hours. Another school operates an on-campus clinic where students apply the techniques they have learned on public clients.
No other state comes close to California in the number of jobs for massage therapists. Demand for these practitioners is skyrocketing at a faster clip than the national median.
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The program at this privately owned school provides 500 clock hours of coursework, meeting California’s licensing standard. There are only four months of day and evening classes, with no internships or externships.
The major courses are Anatomy, Physiology & Kinesiology; Contraindications & Pathology; Health & Hygiene; Swedish Massage and Biomechanics; Deep Tissue; Prenatal Massage; Hot Stones; Business & Ethics; and Spa Essentials. The curriculum also teaches Swedish and prenatal massage.
All instructors have professional experience in the field. Class sizes are no bigger than 24. The school prepares students for employment in luxury day spas, and provides career placement assistance.
This private school has been training massage therapists for more than 40 years.
The 500-hour program lasts eight months full time or 10-12 months part time. Morning, afternoon, and evening schedules are available. The curriculum covers anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and myofascial therapies. Business courses address finances, marketing, ethics, and career development.
Students gain skills in massage techniques such as Swedish, deep tissue, lymphatic, sports, prenatal, hot stone, and Thai. In addition, they learn aromatherapy and spa life, Shiatsu, traditional Chinese medicine, hand and foot reflexology, energy work, and rocking and shaking. There is an on-campus student massage clinic.
A public vocational institution, Cosmotek has twice won the California Cosmetology Association’s Overall School Winner award. It advertises “flexible schedules, affordable tuition, financial aid, (and) lifetime job placement.”
In a 500-hour program, students become skilled in Western, Eastern, ancient, and modern massage modalities. They learn complete body massage, hydrotherapy, clinical massage techniques, lymph massage, therapeutic procedures, and medical massage.
A 900-hour program adds Shiatsu, deep tissue and sports massage, myofascial therapy, aromatherapy, acupressure, energy massage, foot reflexology, hot stone massage, pregnancy massage, rocking and shaking, Thai massage, traditional Chinese medicine, additional business classes, and more extensive clinical experiences.
An annual salary above $47,200 or hourly pay of about $22.70 is typical for a practitioner here. This is superior to the U.S. medians (over $41,400 or approximately $20).
Those ranking among the upper 10% in San Jose earn almost $77,000 or about $37, not quite as much as their peers nationwide (close to $79,000 or over $37.60). In the lower 10%, incomes are nearly $25,600 or around $12.30 in the city; almost $21,350 or over $10.25 across the nation.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop
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