For anyone wanting to get into the field of massage, there is an ever growing range of choice in the type and style of therapy work you could do. Being a massage therapist can be a lucrative career, but the choice of course is important in offering the therapist the widest number of career options. There are now so many different types of massage that you could specialise in, it makes choosing a course almost more difficult, so good research is crucial in deciding your career path.
Your first task then, is to decide exactly what type of therapist you would like to be. Would you like to work closely with the medical field as a physical therapist, helping those who have been injured due to accidents, and even this can be broken down to such categories as sports injuries, work injuries, etc. Though being a physical therapist does involve knowing many types of massage, it also entails knowing other forms of therapy as well, so training should be detailed and in-depth. A training course in massage therapy as part of a physical therapy course should be done at an accredited school; one that will eventually lead you to certification in many areas and be a stepping stone for working closely with the medical profession.
What if you are just interested in massage therapy in and of itself? Is certification still necessary? If you are simply interested in learning the techniques of giving a good massage, then certification is probably not necessary, and you may be able to learn through books, videos, non-credit courses, or by being mentored by a masseuse. If you are going to be charging fees for your massage services, however, then you will need to become certified and insured. In fact, to work in a clinic environment it is required. How then, do you find a good massage course that not only teaches you how to give an effective massage, but also provides you with recognized certification?
The first thing that you will need to do is check the rules and regulations for massage certification in the state in which you live. Though most regulations will be similar from area to area, it is best to know the details of where you live. Also, external vocational examining bodies should be able to give you a list of schools that can provide you with the type of training that should suit your goals and needs. After obtaining a list of schools that you feel would fit your needs, start narrowing down your choices by such factors as location, expense, length of training before certification can be accomplished, and possibly even graduate placement record. Check references, and make sure that all schools that you are interested in attending are themselves board certified.
Never discount the advantage of having a mentor in the field, and if you possibly can, try to network with different types of massage therapists so that you can get a feel for different types of techniques. Experience and diversity are key factors when it comes to attracting and maintaining loyal clients once you go into business.