There are two massage therapy schools in Kissimmee—privately owned institutions that issue the certificates which state authorities require for licensure. Program participants graduate in as few as six months.
In classrooms and labs, students receive a foundation in body systems as well as training in various massage techniques. At on-campus spas and clinics, they gain real-world experience treating actual clients.
Florida has the second-most MT jobs of any state. More than 2,000 positions are becoming available every year, according to a federal labor agency.
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Founded in 1995, ACT provides a massage therapy program featuring 600 contact hours of class lectures and hands-on experience.
Students learn anatomy/physiology, effects/benefits of massage, massage variations, hydrotherapy, sports massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, therapeutic stretching, first aid, Florida rules/regulations, business practice, and professionalism. Actual clients receive services from program enrollees in an on-site Salon & Spa Area.
The academy emphasizes a “strict adherence to small class sizes”; a “focus on individualized attention”; and instructors who “stay current and informed on the latest techniques” by attending industry training seminars, shows, and professional forums.
A licensed massage therapist created and continues to own this professional school of massage and colon therapy. The institute dates to 1989, with locations in Orlando and Kissimmee.
The MT program totals 500 contact hours of teaching and training, which take six or seven months to complete. Coursework and hands-on instruction are designed to satisfy standards established by the Florida Board of Education and the Florida Board of Massage.
Students give one-hour Swedish massages to customers at an on-campus clinic. Ninety-eight percent of graduates pass the national massage licensing exam. Many of them return to WHI for continuing education courses.
In the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area, the median income for this occupation is about $37,160 per year or $17.85 an hour. That falls somewhat short of the national averages (approximately $41,420 or $19.90).
However, MTs here who are among the top-paid 10 percent receive approximately $129,730 or $62.35—considerably more than the U.S. standards of about $78,280 or $37.65. For the lowest-paid 10 percent, salaries and wages are over $18,600 and almost $9 in Kissimmee—below the national medians (around $21,340 and $10.25).
The number of positions for MTs in Florida is rising by about 32 percent annually.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop
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