There is one massage therapy school in Wyoming. Students on a campus in the small city of Sheridan graduate in less than two years. They go to class, practice techniques in labs, and work under the supervision of licensed MTs at area spas and other facilities.
Practitioners here earn salaries and wages that are competitive with their counterparts in other states. This field is gradually expanding in Wyoming. The government estimates that an additional 30 jobs will be available annually until at least 2026.
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This is one of only a few states that does not have a government regulatory agency for the practice of massage therapy. There are no requirements concerning education, practical experience, testing, or professional conduct.
Though it is possible to find jobs in Wyoming without formal training, some municipalities enforce ordinances governing the field. For example, the Cheyenne-Laramie County Board of Health issues permits to practitioners and licenses to massage establishments.
Most employers expect their massage therapists to hold either high school degrees or general education diplomas. Certain high school classes can give prospective practitioners an understanding of human anatomy and health.
While no further education is required to become a massage therapist in Wyoming, those who graduate from postsecondary schools are more likely to secure good-paying jobs.
Students also should keep in mind that they might want to practice elsewhere someday. Licensing boards in most states mandate the completion of programs at accredited schools that provide 500 to 1,000 clock hours of classroom and hands-on instruction. Many such programs are available in neighboring states.
Those who earn a certificate, diploma, or degree in massage therapy are eligible to take the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination. Students can sign up for the test by applying to the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. A good score shows employers that a job applicant is qualified, and enables an MT to practice in other states.
Continuing education is advisable to keep up to date on laws and regulations, as well as changes in the industry.
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This school has two locations, including Gillette College. The other site, Sheridan College, awards certificates in massage therapy.
The two-semester program is recognized by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. The curriculum teaches massage techniques such as Swedish, neuromuscular, sports, clinical, and infant/pregnancy.
Students also learn kinesiology, lymphatic drainage, music therapy, Tai Chi, aromatherapy, reflexology, Qigong, mindfulness, Asian bodywork, Reiki, ergonomics, and pharmacology and pathophysiology. Prerequisite classes include communication, ethics, and business application.
Graduates may go on to pursue associate and higher degrees at Sheridan or other schools.
The median pay for a Wyoming practitioner is more than $38,900 annually or about $18.70 hourly—not far below the United States averages of over $41,400 or nearly $20.
Massage therapists among the state’s highest 10% bring in close to $82,000 or $39.50—which exceeds the country’s medians of about $78,300 or $37.60. In the lowest 10%, earnings are approximately $17,000 or $18.20 in Wyoming; nearly $21,350 or around $10.25 across the nation.
With 200 practitioners in 2016, this state is on pace to provide employment for 230 MTs by 2026. If that proves to be an accurate prediction, it will be a 15% growth rate—less than the 26% that federal officials anticipate nationally.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop
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