Massage therapy school costs can vary greatly depending on the school you attend and the amount of training required before you can begin practicing. While you may be able to complete a program and get a license for less than $5,000, it can cost up to $15,000. Some states require massage therapists to be licensed, which requires more hours of training and costs more than states that don't require a license.
Most massage therapy schools charge students by the hour, with the range falling between $6 and $17, according to Natural Healers, an online alternative medicine career guide. However, most schools cost between $9 and $10 per hour, according to Natural Healers.
Each state has its own requirements with regard to the number of hours required to practice as a massage therapist. For example, Texas and Illinois require 500 hours of classes, so completing a class in those states can cost about $5,000. In Mississippi, massage therapists are required to complete 700 hours of classes and complete a CPR class. New York requires 1,000 hours, so the average completed education costs about $10,000. Other states, such as Montana, have no minimum hour requirements.
In addition to the cost of attending classes, some massage schools require therapists to purchase a massage table, according to Natural Healers. These tables can cost as little as $100 or as much as $1,500.
Each state regulates massage therapists differently, but in most cases, a state license is required. There is usually a fee associated with the application for this license, and this is typically your final education expense. In Illinois, the fee is $175, and the license must be renewed every two years, according to the American Massage Therapy Association's Illinois Chapter.
Some massage schools require students to purchase additional supplies, such as lotions, towels and oils, and others specify that they must take a CPR course, complete a criminal background check or get fingerprinted, all of which are additional costs.
- Massage to the palm of the hand as part of a Thai body massage. image by Deborah Benbrook from Fotolia.com