There are four massage therapy schools in the Orlando area. They are privately owned facilities that deliver all the classes and training required to become a practitioner in Florida.
Lectures, lab assignments, and clinical rotations make up the curricula. It takes just five to 11 months to earn a certificate. Graduates can receive state licenses after passing a national exam.
Jobs for MTs in the Sunshine State from 2016-26 are likely to increase by one-third, based on U.S. labor officials’ projections. This would be a faster pace than the anticipated national average.
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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.
A chain of beauty schools with locations across the country, Aveda began in 1978 by marketing plant-based cosmetics. MT students use the company’s products.
The curriculum, which includes the aromaology instruction that Aveda developed, is based on the principles of ancient Ayurveda healing practices. Students also are taught Swedish massage and reflexology, as well as energy work, chakra alignment, business development, health and wellness, and retail knowledge.
The company claims that its graduates “are some of the most sought-after in the industry and are consistently above accreditor requirements.” There are cadaver labs, workshops, and career fairs.
This is another national network of vocational schools. It has awarded more than 100,000 MT certificates. The 600-clock-hour, 20-semester-credit program lasts 32 weeks (7½ months) for full-time students or 47 weeks (11 months) for part-timers.
Like other schools, Cortiva’s curriculum features courses in anatomy, physiology, pathology, client assessment and documentation, communication, laws and ethics, and career development.
In addition, students gain skills in Swedish massage, sports massage, reflexology, deep tissue treatments, myofascial techniques, neuromuscular assessment and therapy, lymphatic and Russian sports massage, injury techniques, trigger point therapy, and cranial sacral therapy.
This institution in Winter Park, about seven miles northeast of Orlando, is one of the oldest such schools in the region.
The 525-clock-hour MT program covers anatomy, massage theory and techniques, hydrotherapy, and therapeutic ethical practices. The school’s owner, a sports massage instructor since 1985, leads 98-hour internships involving massages for athletes at the University of Central Florida. Additional practical experience occurs at a student clinic, where enrollees give Swedish relaxation massages.
There are free tutoring and counseling services. Workshops provide continuing education credits for practicing MTs. Subjects include neuromuscular therapy, kinesio taping, reflexology, fibromyalgia treatment, and chakra therapy.
The MT program here entails 517 clock hours that take five to six months. The school’s owner/director teaches the daytime program, while a licensed massage therapist leads evening courses.
Among the subjects are contraindications, history and benefits of massage, sanitation and hygiene, massage equipment, reflexology, cupping, hydrotherapy, Florida statutes, HIV, medical errors, professional ethics, and the business of massage.
There is also instruction in Swedish, neuromuscular/deep tissue, prenatal, chair, cranio sacral/lymphatic, and Thai yoga massage. Students perform 125-hour clinical practicums. The school operates a student clinic and offers continuing education classes.
The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan region is an extremely lucrative place for MTs. The most financially successful 10 percent of them earn more than $129,700 a year or nearly $62.50 per hour—greatly exceeding the national medians of about $78,300 or $37.60.
The average pay for a median-range MT is a little below the U.S. standard—approximately $37,160 or $17.90, compared with around $41,420 or $19.95. Among the bottommost 10 percent, incomes are about $18,610 or $8.95 in Orlando; almost $21,350 or $10.30 nationwide.
With nearly 13,700 licensed MTs in 2016, Florida provided more jobs in the field than any other state except California.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop
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