There are three massage therapy schools in Oklahoma. Students attend classes on campuses in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton.
Graduates receive certificates that take less than a year to earn. Curricula feature classroom lectures, lab work, and practical experience at student clinics or off-campus establishments.
The employment prospects for massage therapists in this state are good. The field continues to grow, with government officials predicting 100 annual job openings in Oklahoma during the decade ending in 2026.
You might also be interested in finding a massage therapy program in another state.
This government agency sets standards for the massage therapy profession. It issues licenses to practitioners and private massage therapy schools.
The board requires prospective therapists to obtain a minimum amount of postsecondary education and post acceptable scores on a pre-licensing test. It ensures that practitioners regularly renew their licenses and receive continuing education. In addition, the panel determines criteria concerning school curricula. It approves programs that comply.
Another board function is to look into complaints of misconduct. Investigations target practitioners and schools that allegedly violate rules and regulations. This can result in a range of penalties, including license suspension or revocation.
The board has nine members, six of whom the governor appoints. Four members represent schools, two come from business and industry not connected to private schools, and three represent other state agencies.
To become a massage therapist in Oklahoma, a student needs to obtain either a high school diploma or a GED. The following step is to enroll in an accredited postsecondary school that the state board has approved.
A school’s MT program must provide at least 500 clock hours of instruction. Curricula generally cover anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, pathology, massage history and theory, business skills, and laws and ethics. Most programs provide instruction in Western and Eastern massage modalities, but they vary in the types of techniques.
After graduating, a prospective practitioner applies to the board for a license. This entails passing one of two tests: the Board Certification Examination for Massage and Bodywork (BCEMB), which the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork administers; or the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), governed by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).
The BCEMB addresses technique and application; planning, evaluation, and documentation; communication; and laws and ethics. The MBLEx tests students’ knowledge of anatomy and physiology, the benefits of soft-tissue techniques, massage and bodywork, professional practice guidelines, massage for special populations, client assessment and treatment planning, and laws and ethics.
Most people choose the MBLEx, which has 100 multiple-choice questions. They register online with the FSMTB, paying a fee of about $200; and take the test at Pearson VUE assessment centers. The company sends exam results to the state board.
Practitioners must get license renewals every two years. They are required to receive 16 hours of continuing education, which can include classes, workshops, and webinars.
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 private institution in southwest Oklahoma City began in 1975 as the Central State Beauty Academy. It now offers certificates and advanced degrees in dozens of career fields.
The massage therapy certificate program consists of 750 clock hours and 44 quarter credits, which take about a year of day or evening classes to complete. The curriculum includes courses in Swedish massage, reflexology, sports massage, and therapeutic methods for clients with special needs.
Students practice their techniques in 12 fully equipped spa rooms. They get real-world, hands-on experience by administering chair and full-body Swedish massages at the Central Park Salon & Spa.
A small, for-profit school with several campuses in the state, Platt offers a massage therapy program in the southwestern Oklahoma city of Lawton.
Among the classes are Introduction to Massage Therapy; Applied Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, and Pathology; Spa Massage Therapies; and Assessment Procedures. Students learn Swedish massage, hydrotherapy, sports massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, Eastern modalities, clinic administration, and patient services.
The program touts its “small class sizes that provide individual attention to each student, convenient class schedules, industry-experienced instructors, and career services.”
This private school in Tulsa is primarily known for its cosmetology and design programs. It also prepares students to become massage therapists.
The 30-credit-hour MT program takes eight months to complete. Students learn Swedish, deep tissue, sports, pregnancy, hot stone, and lymphatic massage techniques. In addition, they take courses in reflexology, aromatherapy, and spa body treatments. Classes start every week.
At the Clary Sage Spa & Salon in Broken Arrow, students give massages to actual clients. The school’s Career Services department provides training in resume writing, interviewing skills, job-search techniques, job skills, and salary negotiation and budget preparation.
The median salary and hourly wages for an Oklahoma practitioner are about $39,900 and $19.20—a bit less than the national average of over $41,400 and around $20.
The leading one-tenth of earners in the state make more than $62,450 a year or $30 per hour, below the nationwide median of over $78,700 or $37.60. The lowest 10 percent receive about $21,700 or $10.50 in Oklahoma, and more than $21,300 or $10.25 nationally.
The state’s massage therapists totaled 692 in 2016, according to data the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled. The agency predicts that the number will rise to 860 by 2026. That would be a job-growth rate of 24 percent, about the same as the projected national median of 26 percent.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop