A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Miami, FL

Miami massage therapists work with many populations: from the premature infant to the very elderly hospice patient, from the person who wants to take a relaxing weekend getaway to the one who needs expert care to recover from a debilitating accident. Some therapists even find their home in sports massage. There are many work options once one gains the expertise, and, thankfully, Miami is also a good place to get that experience! The city is a leader in research in therapeutic massage – and the research, like the therapy, is hands-on.

Miami Massage Therapy Schools

Educating Hands School of Massage offers a 624-hour holistic massage therapy program and a 650-hour advanced massage therapy program. Students can gain some foundation in many modalities. Students in the therapeutic massage program may have the opportunity to study Lomi Lomi, chair massage, and even music and massage. Thai massage, manual lymphatic drainage, geriatric massage, oncology massage, and myofascial technique are among the topics an advanced student may pursue. Very promising students may be offered the opportunity to work in the graduate clinic after graduation.

The Praxis Institute offers 600- and 900-hour therapeutic massage programs. The advanced program is in therapeutic sports and clinical massage. It includes 100 hours of neuromuscular therapy, 85 hours of sports massage, and 55 hours of manual lymphatic drainage; there is also some coverage of deep tissue and clinical rehabilitation. The Praxis Institute is also known for its occupational therapy assistant and physical therapy assistant programs.

The Healing Hands Institute holds status as an assigned school through The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). The school’s 720-hour program provides a foundation in Eastern and Western modalities.

Miami Dade Community College has three massage therapy tracks: one for individuals who do not already hold health care credentials, two for those who hold them. A physical therapist assistant would qualify for the shortest program, identified as ‘accelerated’.

The Professional Hands Institute has a 600-hour diploma program with additional courses available as continuing education.

Massage as Healthcare

In Miami, therapeutic massage has gained acceptance even in traditional healthcare systems. Baptist Health states that their massage therapists can provide a number of specialty massages, including neuromuscular, oncology, geriatric, prenatal, post-partum, and lymphatic drainage (https://baptisthealth.net/en/education-events/community-programs/pages/massage-therapy.aspx).

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center provides oncology massage for in-patients and outpatients. The organization states that this form of therapy may manage pain, control nausea, and lessen anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

Lymphedema is a related specialty area. People who have had surgery are among those who may benefit from lymphatic massage. Some massage therapists seek certification as lymphedema therapists. The Dayton Daily News recently published a story of a Miami therapist whose mission includes education as well as manual treatment (https://www.daytondailynews.com/lifestyles/health/local-therapist-helps-educate-patients-public-lymphedema/PcJd5psVhvFiKq9AV2GwwI).

The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine offers massage among its clinical services. Healthcare benefits are not limited to those with serious medical conditions. The Herbert Wellness Center at the University of Miami is among the many student recreation and wellness centers around the nation that utilizes massage therapists. Members of the university community have the opportunity of scheduling a single massage or purchasing a block of eight massages.

The Touch Research Institute: Advancing Therapeutic Massage in Florida and Beyond

Miami has some very strong massage therapy education programs, but here -- as in other cities -- massage therapists sometimes gain experience in specialized settings through volunteer work. Miami boasts a well-known and influential organization: the Touch Research Institute. The Touch Research Institute, located within the Miller School of Medicine, has carried out studies on the use of therapeutic massage in conditions from headaches to burns (http://pediatrics.med.miami.edu/touch-research/research). The organization has also put smiles on the faces of many infants -- and on the massage therapists who have worked with them. In recent times, this institute has become known for its research on infant massage. Massage Magazine reports that some volunteers seek out the institute specifically because they want to work with pre-term infants; others want to work with people with chronic health conditions (https://www.massagemag.com/touch-research-institute-2-90408/).

Spa and Resort Massage

Sunshine and water: It’s no surprise that Miami also has plenty of resorts and day spas. Some have unique spins on traditional massages like Swedish, hot stone, or deep tissue. Spa at Shore Club has a massage that uses chocolate-infused massage oil, a treatment that they note is aromatic but also potentially therapeutic (https://oceandrive.com/spa-treatments-beach). Spas may sell packages that combine massage with other services such as facials. Guests may have the opportunity to enjoy amenities such as a sauna and steam room. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort has a salt float bath. Some retreats have a wellness focus, some a spiritual or meditative focus. Location and atmosphere can be part of what sells the experience.

Massage Therapist Salary in Miami and Career Outlook

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area can be a haven for massage therapists as well as for tourists seeking wellness retreat. The area boasts a lot of jobs, some of them high-paying -- though one does of course have to figure in cost of living!

The median hourly wage for the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area is $18.57. It’s just $10.44 at the 10th percentile, but at the 90th percentile, it rises to $43.91.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has provided information for multiple ‘statistical regions’ in this area of South Florida. The median is highest near West Palm Beach. The range of wages, meanwhile, is especially high right around Miami, with 90th percentile figures approximately five times those at the 10th percentile.

The Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall metropolitan area has higher than average massage therapy concentration. Job concentration goes higher as one moves into the Fort Lauderdale area, higher still when they get into the area around West Palm Beach. The West Palm Beach metropolitan area boasts a massage therapist job concentration that's 10th out of all metropolitan areas in the nation.

Additional Resources

Massage Schools in Florida