There are 23 massage therapy schools in Texas, including private institutions and public colleges. Some of them train only massage therapists, while others offer programs in multiple fields.
Most students pursue certificates, which take a year or less to earn. One college awards an associate in applied science degree that involves 16 months of study. Curricula consist of classroom lectures, lab sessions, and clinical internships.
Massage therapy is booming in the Lone Star State, where labor officials expect nearly 1,700 job openings every year through 2026. Most Texas practitioners earn higher salaries and wages than the national average. corp, dall, el, fort, san,houston
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This government agency, a division of the state Department of Licensing and Regulation, oversees the practice of massage in Texas. It licenses practitioners, schools, instructors, and establishments.
The board establishes education and examination criteria for prospective practitioners. It enforces license renewal and continuing education requirements, approving CE providers and classes.
Another duty is to determine the number of hours of instruction, and the subject matter to be covered, in school programs. There are also education and experience standards for instructors. Officials inspect schools and massage establishments to ensure they are properly equipped, comply with health and safety regulations, and keep records properly.
The board investigates complaints about practitioners, schools, and establishments. Disciplinary actions include license suspensions and revocations.
The nine-member panel features two massage therapists, two school representatives, two establishment representatives, one police officer, and two people who represent the public.
To become a massage therapist in Texas, the first step is to either graduate from high school or earn a GED. Health and science classes help prepare a student for MT training.
The state board requires that a prospective practitioner enroll in an accredited postsecondary school with an MT program that provides 500 or more clock hours of instruction. The curriculum must provide:
Programs at many Texas schools exceed the minimum standards. Some teach a wider array of massage techniques, require more additional business courses, or have additional hands-on opportunities.
Graduates are eligible to apply to the board for licensure.
They need to pass the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) which the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards administers. Students take the exam at Pearson VUE testing centers.
Therapists have to renew their licenses every other year. This involves receiving 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 private massage and esthetics school in Mesquite has maintained state board approval since 1991. An advisory board of industry professionals oversees the programs.
There are two options for students seeking massage therapy certificates. The basic 500-clock-hour curriculum satisfies board requirements.
So does an advanced 750-hour curriculum, which also covers deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, reflexology, chair massage, sports massage, postural assessment, and prenatal massage. Students may choose additional modalities. Other classes address client assessment and treatment plans.
A beauty school with seven campuses in four states, the Milan Institute of Cosmetology has 14 career programs.
The institute boasts MT certificate curricula that feature “the best of Eastern, Western, and ancient practices, as well as the latest massage therapy techniques.” A 25-week, 500-hour program covers the basics; and a 30-week, 600-hour program provides training in additional massage modalities.
In the school’s spa, students administer Swedish, deep tissue, therapeutic, stone, sports and pregnancy massages; plus aromatherapy, Shiatsu, and reflexology treatments.
This for-profit institution in Houston, just off Katy Freeway, offers numerous programs for healthcare providers and professional office workers.
The massage therapy certificate program exceeds state standards with 715 hours of instruction and practical experience. Courses include Trigger Point, Hydrotherapy Business Practice & Career Plan, Deep Tissue Massage, Clinical and Energy Based Massage, Hot Stone Massage, and Pharmacology.
In a student clinic, program participants treat the public with 50-, 75-, and 90-minute massages; as well as 50-minute hot stone massages.
Schools in Dallas and Houston are among the campuses in five states that this private massage institute operates.
The massage therapy certificate program, recognized by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, lasts 32 weeks full time or 47 weeks part time. There are courses in a “spectrum of therapeutic methods,” with day and evening class schedules. Cortiva also offers a massage bodyworker/Zen practitioner certificate program.
Tuition includes membership in the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals organization, which provides free liability insurance. Students get hands-on training at an on-campus clinic and in internships.
This beauty and massage school is the only such institution in Austin where students are eligible for federal financial aid.
The 750-hour “advanced” MT certificate program takes as little as 22 weeks of day classes or 43 weeks of evening classes to complete. Among the courses are Client Consultation and Assessment, Aromatherapy, Body Wraps, Foot Scrubs, Exfoliation, Positional Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial Release, and Energy Work.
Students also learn chair, pregnancy, deep tissue, therapeutic, sports, hot and cold stone, and special populations massage methods. They perform internships at an on-campus clinic.
Students earn massage therapy certificates on this privately operated school’s campuses in McAllen and Brownsville.
The 30-week diploma program, which lasts 30 weeks, consists of 600 hours (30.5 credit hours). This includes 299 hours of lectures, 249 hours of labs, and 52 weeks of clinical work. In addition to taking the state-required coursework, students learn sports massage, patient services, spa therapies, assessment procedures, client communication, deep tissue massage, and Eastern modalities.
The school provides resume writing training, interview coaching and practice, soft skills enhancement, communication development, and job-placement assistance.
A private school with five campuses, STVT delivers technical vocational training. A massage therapy certificate program is available in McAllen and Brownsville.
The curriculum totals 600 clock hours — 299 in lectures, 249 in labs, and 52 in internships. Thirty weeks of full-time study are necessary. Along with the state-mandated courses, students take classes teaching trigger point palpation and deactivation, myofascial therapy, lymphatic drainage, sports massage, and therapeutic techniques for special populations.
The school assists with resume and cover letter writing, interviewing skills, and job searches.
This career training school in El Paso boasts an MT certificate program that the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation endorses.
The 750-hour curriculum includes 355 classroom hours and 295 hours in labs. Students spend the remaining 100 hours in two on-site internships. The program consists of 25 weeks in day classes or 47 weeks in the evenings. Courses cover deep tissue, sports, and chair massage; as well as spa and wellness treatments, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release.
Students practice their techniques on anatomy and organ system mannequins. Faculty who have worked in the field teach all classes.
A privately operated school established in 1978, Parker offers MT certificate and associate in applied science programs that the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation recognizes.
The 600-hour certificate curriculum includes courses in Nutrition, Myofascial Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, and Eastern Modalities. The AAS requires an additional 26 credit hours of general education classes in computers, English composition, speech communication, college algebra, American literature, and general psychology.
Completing both programs takes 16 months. Day and evening class schedules are available, with programs starting three times a year. Students benefit from their interaction with Parker’s chiropractic students.
This public school, part of the Texas community college system, was founded in 1946. It is based in Corsicana, with five campuses.
A massage therapy certificate program is available in Corsicana and Waxahachie. The curriculum consists of 24 credit hours in fall and spring semesters. The curriculum satisfies state requirements.
Students applying for admission must take the TSI assessment, which measures their proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics.Those with inadequate scores are not automatically rejected. They may have to take prerequisite classes.
A public school in Waco, WCC awards a certificate that takes less than one year to earn. The program emphasizes “mind-body integration.”
There are 470 hours of instruction, followed by a 50-hour internship. Students take the basic courses, in addition to classes teaching medical terminology, healing foundations of the body, equipment use, and safety practices. Day and evening class schedules are available.
MCC, like most community colleges, charges lower tuition rates than those at the typical private institution. The school has “limitless continuing education opportunities.” It provides success coaches, tutoring, advising services, student development, and counseling.
This public school in San Antonio, which dates to 1898, is a member of HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). It offers nearly 90 programs, including a certificate in massage therapy.
The curriculum’s 23 credit hours of courses cover state requirements. Applicants take placement tests to determine whether they need tutoring in reading, writing, math, or natural sciences.
Students receive training in writing resumes and doing interviews. The school also helps its graduates find employment, posting daily notices of job openings in the area. Employers frequently visit the campus to recruit practitioners.
A public school in the west Texas city of the same name, AC has a massage therapy certificate program on its West Campus.
Students attend classes for two semesters to complete the 550-hour curriculum. One course teaches specialized massage techniques. All the instruction takes place in the evenings, to accommodate those with daytime jobs.
In addition to internships, students get practical experience doing community service projects. For example, the school has provided free full-body and chair massages for wild-land firefighters.
This public school houses a massage therapy program in what it describes as a “state-of-the-art facility” at the EPCC Administrative Services Center on Viscount Boulevard.
Earning a certificate takes as little as seven and a half months. The program involves 525 hours of study, including a 75-hour internship. Students learn sports, prenatal, spa, and clinical massage techniques. Class schedules are flexible, with a weekend option.
All the instructors have at least 20 years of experience in massage. The school touts it “military friendly” policies, low tuition rate, and job-placement services.
A large public school, TCCD offers a massage therapy certificate on its South Campus in southern Fort Worth.
The 580-hour program features nine courses. Students learn chair, hot stone, and deep tissue massage methods; as well as foot reflexology. They administer and receive treatments with other class members before performing internships.
Full-time students graduate after only five and a half to six months. They attend day classes Monday through Thursday, with clinical rotations on Fridays. A part-time alternative entails eight or nine months of evening classes Monday through Friday, with Saturday clinics. Programs begin in January and July.
This Houston-based school is among the top 10 community colleges in the country, according to the Aspen Institute. It has a massage therapy program on the Central Campus in Pasadena.
The 592-hour, 23-credit curriculum meets state mandates. It also teaches spa modalities and “healthy lifestyles.” Earning a certificate takes nine months, in two semesters of full-time study. Day and evening class schedules are available. Programs begin in March and October.
The school has an on-campus clinic where students give massages to real clients, and provides continuing education classes for practitioners.
Massage therapy students at this public institution attend classes about 20 miles outside Houston — on the North Harris Campus in the Woodlands community, east of the Hardy Toll Road.
The full-time, 23-credit certificate curriculum involves passing eight courses in nine months. The final requirement is to take part in an internship at an area spa or clinic. Students also get real-world experience by performing one-hour massages at the school’s salon.
LSC has an open-enrollment policy and a 100 percent acceptance rate, though class sizes are limited. There is no application fee.
The median salary range for Texas practitioners is about $42,750 a year or more than $20.50 per hour. That is marginally better than the national average of around $41,400 or $20.
The highest 10 percent of massage therapists in the state make about $91,350 or $44, compared with approximately $78,300 or $37.60 nationwide. For the lowest 10 percent, the wages are $21,800 or about $10 in Texas, and about $21,350 or $10.25 nationally.
Texas had 11,360 practitioners in 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics determined. The department projects there will be 14,950 by 2026—a 32 percent job-growth rate, faster than the predicted 26 percent nationwide.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop
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