How much does massage therapy school cost

Attending massage therapy school prepares you for a rewarding and exciting career as a therapist. Settings where you may work include spas, cruise liners, hotels, physician’s’ offices, self-employment, and health clubs. At present, there are more than 300 accredited massage therapy institutions in America. However, before you get a job in one, you will need your education, and before that can happen, you will need to determine where you will attend and how you will pay for the opportunity.

Massage Therapy School Cost

The cost of a massage therapy course and payment options available to you are important considerations that you must weigh before committing to this stream and choosing a school. Most state health boards require around 500 to 600 hours of training and passing the MBLEx (Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam) before you can call yourself a licensed massage therapist. Most programs are of this duration, though some may require up to 1000 hours before you earn your certificate.

The tuition cost per hour of training is in the range of $6 – $17. This translates to a program cost in the range of $3,000 – $11,000. Apart from the tuition fee, which is the single largest component, there are other contributors to the cost of the program. These include an application fee, cost of massage table and table linen, cost of lotions and creams, cost of textbooks and other study material, and licensing cost.

The terms of fee payment do not vary much between schools. You can pay the course fee each month. Some schools may invite you to pay the complete course fee at the beginning of the course. Schools also offer payment plans that allow you to pay off the fees after course completion; this facility may attract an interest. It is a good idea to check the terms of fee payment, because these terms can affect the total cost.

Financial Aid for Massage Therapy School Fees

Of the various financial aid options available to students, federal financial aid (FAFSA) is the most beneficial for you. Check if you qualify for federal aid. Different types of federal aid include grants (which you don’t have to repay), subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans, PARENT Plus loans, and the federal work-study program. Federal aid is available only to accredited massage therapy schools. However, accredited schools often charge higher fees; sometimes the costs are double of those that you’d incur in an unaccredited institution. In such cases, you should explore other financial aid options. These include scholarships, private loans, IRS tax credit and deductions, and veterans’ benefits. Check if an unaccredited college can provide you with the education that will allow you to practice in your state.


Consult financial aid officers attached with schools that you compare before making a decision.


Massage therapists can earn upward of $71,000 per annum, meaning that paying up front for your education is more than worth it – provided that you can afford it. Massage therapy school fees are a small cost to pay for learning a skill that not only enables you to earn a living but also, gives you the opportunity to help people lead healthier lives. Anchorage, Alaska; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and Danbury, Connecticut are the top three best paying cities in America for massage therapists, but no matter where you work, you’ll be sure to find a number of wonderful opportunities.