There are two massage therapy schools in Montana, each of which is privately owned. The campuses are in Great Falls and Bozeman.
Both schools offer certificate programs that take between five and 10 months to complete. The curricula consist of classroom lectures, lab work, and clinical experience. Graduates are eligible to apply for state licensure to practice in the state.
Most Montana massage therapists earn higher wages than their peers in other states. The field is growing, with labor officials expecting about 50 job openings every year through 2026.
To view a list of other states, visit our main massage therapy schools page.
This government agency, a division of the state Department of Labor and Industry, regulates the practice of massage. It establishes educational and examination criteria, and licenses prospective practitioners who meet the standards.
The board also determines license renewal and continuing education requirements. It investigates complaints of alleged illegal or unethical behavior, taking disciplinary action when warranted.
The governor names five board members, with the consent of the state Senate. One of the appointees represents the public and may not be a medical practitioner. One member is a licensed healthcare provider, and the other three are licensed massage therapists with at least three years’ experience. None of them can own a massage school.
Prospective Montana practitioners must first graduate from high school or earn a GED. They then need to apply to accredited postsecondary schools that offer MT programs meeting state standards.
The board mandates that a program feature 500 or more clock hours of instruction and hands-on training. According to state code, curricula must “meet or exceed guidelines established by any program or organization accredited by the national commission for certifying agencies or its equivalent.”
Both Montana schools provide more than 500 required hours. Their programs have additional classes related to massage techniques or business skills.
Graduates are eligible to apply for state licensure, which involves passing the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards has an online application process to take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center.
Montana massage therapists’ licenses expire every other year. Renewals entail getting 12 hours of continuing education.
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.
This small, locally owned school in Bozeman offers two programs: massage therapy/therapeutic massage and esthetics/skin care specialist. HWI is recognized by the prestigious Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.
The MT certificate involves 750 clock hours (30 credits) of instruction and training. The curriculum, which exceeds state requirements, takes 10 months of full-time study to complete. Day and evening class schedules are available.
Students get real-world experience practicing their techniques on the public in an on-campus clinic. The school accepts 95 percent of program applicants. Classes begin in May and September. There are career services and continuing education classes.
This for-profit institution in Great Falls is a Redken school that awards multiple health and beauty certificates. The MT program has a “special emphasis on practical training.”
Students can complete the 700-clock-hour curriculum in just five months. They receive 125 hours of instruction in human body systems, 40 hours of pathology, and 50 hours of business and ethics. There are classes in body assessment, touch and movement, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, massage techniques, sanitation, salon and spa management, and marketing.
Program participants administer chair massages, as well as more extensive treatments, to paying customers in a student clinic.
In this state, the average pay is an annual salary of nearly $45,000 or an hourly wage of over $21.60 per hour. That is better than the national median of about $41,400 a year or about $20 per hour.
The most financially successful 10 percent of Montana practitioners make about $64,900 or $31.20, less than the nationwide average of around $78,300 or $37.65. The state’s worst-paid 10 percent take in about $25,530 or $12.25, and more than $21,300 or $10.25 nationally.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that Montana had 350 massage therapists in 2016. There will be 420 positions by 2026, according to the agency. Such a rate of growth (21 percent) would be a bit slower than the predicted national median of 26 percent.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop
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