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Best Massage Therapy Schools In North Carolina | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

Massage therapy schools in North Carolina can provide the proper training to become a successful therapist and offer a rich education that explores the human body as well as holistic healing methods.


If you enjoy working with your hands and have a strong passion for wellness, massage may be for you. Massage therapy students in North Carolina have one thing in common – they value the opportunity to help other people.

They are interested in the art of auto body work and are looking for a professional career that can provide both personal and professional satisfaction.

In the Massage therapy schools in North Carolina, students study anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology in the human body. They learn to apply their knowledge in the practice of massage and body therapy.

Are There Massage Therapy Schools In North Carolina?

There are 21 massage therapy schools in North Carolina. Some are completely auto body oriented, while others offer multiple career programs. There are private institutes and community colleges.

All schools offer certificates that usually take less than a year to complete. Two-year associate degrees are available at some campuses. Students attend classes and laboratories and gain real-world experience working in clinics.

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How Much Do Massage Therapy Schools Cost In North Carolina?

The Professional Massage and Bodywork Program at the North Carolina School of Advanced Bodywork is a 500-hour diploma program. A clock hour is defined as a 50-minute block of instructions and a 10-minute break.

The total cost of the program is $9,000.00, which includes an application fee ($75.00), textbooks and supplies ($300.00), and tuition ($8,625.00). Tuition is based on per hour of instruction This is $17.25 per hour of instruction.

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What Are The Requirements For Massage Therapy Schools In North Carolina?

If you live or plan to live in the North Carolina area, you have educational options, including the Body Therapy Institute, the Living Arts Institute, and the Southeast Institute, just to name a few examples.

Once you apply to a school and are accepted, you will undergo training that includes practical and clinical parts. You will learn the techniques of Swedish massage.

In addition, part of your education will consist of training in facial massage, business and ethics, laws and marketing practices. Obviously, safety and sanitation are key factors in providing massage services to clients, so you will need to be trained in sanitation.

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What Are The Best Massage Therapy Schools In North Carolina?

When choosing the right school for you, it’s important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we’ve created a number of important rankings, including the best massage therapy schools in North Carolina.

The following massage therapy schools in NC have received Board approval. Graduates of these schools are eligible to apply for a massage and body therapy license in North Carolina.

 Applicants may be issued a North Carolina state license if they meet all licensing requirements required by the Board and pass one of the following exams: MBLEX or ABTE.

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1.     Southeastern Institute-Charlotte

This for-profit facility began operations in 1994 as the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapy. It has since expanded to offer multiple programs and includes two campuses in South Carolina.

The 900-hour MT certificate curriculum takes eight months full-time or 12 months part-time.

Swedish massage, cranial-sacral therapy, Thai massage and other Eastern techniques, lymphatic drainage, therapeutic massage, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, reflexology, breathing work, Ayurvedic medicine and nutrition are taught here.

Program participants give 50-minute massages to real clients for 100 hours in a student clinic. The school provides continuous education for its graduates.


2.     Tri-County Community College

Located in Murphy, TCCC offers two massage options. The two-semester, 44-hour certificate program meets state requirements.

Students also take a performance-based massage course, writing and inquiry, and a psychology course. In the Advanced Skills of Massage class, they learn neuromuscular therapy, sports massage, soft tissue relaxation, spa treatments, oriental therapy, and energy techniques.

The five semester, 72 credit hour, associate of applied science program adds to the general education requirements.

In addition, students take the College Student Success, Basic PC Proficiency or Computer Concepts, Math Measurement and Literacy, Professional Research and Reporting, and Nutrition tests. Class size is limited to 10 students.


3.     Carteret Community College

This school in Morehead City offers certificates and degrees in applied sciences. The nine-month, 688-hour certificate program is available full-time or part-time, with day or evening classes.

The five-semester, 66-hour AAS program covers the same required classes as the certificate curriculum.

There are also core courses in writing and inquiry, critical thinking or cultural studies, general psychology or interpersonal psychology, public speaking, and introductory sociology.

The AAS program accepts a maximum of 14 students who must either pass English language and reading tests or complete college preparatory courses. There is a student clinic on campus.


4.     Lenoir Community College

This Kinston school offers two levels of massage therapy.  Comprised of 750 credit hours and 34 credit hours, the certificate program requires nine months of full-time study.

Students take core coursework, in addition to classes in human relations, nutrition, and student achievement. There are also three general education courses: Writing & Inquiry, General Psychology and Public Speaking.

The Associate of Applied Science degree requires 1,000 hours and 70 credits. There are daytime and evening class schedules.

The curriculum includes all classes in the certificate program with more advanced training in massage therapy.


5.     Sandhills Community College

This Pinehurst school has one of the oldest massage therapy schools in North Carolina. Students study traditional and Asian concepts in two programs.

The three-semester, 41-hour certificate program provides standard coursework. Additional classes: Success and Study Skills, General Psychology, Writing and Inquiries, and Massage Therapy Management.

The five-semester applied science program adds general education courses; Small business management; Advanced massage skills; Massage based on the result; electives in physical education, communications, humanities or fine arts.

Students provide Swedish, sports and pregnancy massages, as well as reflexology at the on-campus clinic.


6.     Southwestern Community College

Located in Silva, SCC awards certificates and degrees in applied sciences. The 616-hour, 40-credit certificate program involves 12 months of evening classes over two semesters.

Along with required state courses, students study writing and inquiry, introduction to computers, massage therapy management, and general psychology. They provide Swedish and chair massages at the on-campus clinic.

The five-semester, 73-credit AAS adds classes in college student success, professional research and reporting, critical thinking, outcomes-based massage, nutrition, and developmental psychology.

Students study neuromuscular therapy, sports massage, soft tissue relaxation, spa treatments, oriental therapies, and energy techniques.


7.     Davidson County Community College

This school primarily serves students from Davidson and Davie counties. Massage therapy programs are offered on campus in Thomasville.

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Students receive certificates after completing 37 credits over three semesters. In addition to state-required classes, there are core courses in massage therapy management, writing and inquiry, and general psychology.

Another option is a five-semester, 66-credit associate degree in applied science. It covers the same curriculum as the certificate program, as well as classes in nutrition, introduction to interpersonal communication, results-based massage, critical thinking, introduction to sociology, and fitness for life.


8.     Forsyth Technical Community College

At its main campus in Winston-Salem, FTCC offers certificate and associate of applied science programs.

To earn a certificate, you must earn 37 credits over three semesters. The curriculum meets state requirements and adds classes such as Writing and Inquiry, General Psychology or Interpersonal Psychology, and an English elective.

Applicants with low SAT or ACT scores must take placement tests. The AAS program involves 69 credit hours over five semesters.

Additional courses include college student success, massage therapy management, human relations, workplace learning, and a liberal arts or fine arts elective.

Students learn advanced skills such as manual lymphatic drainage and result-based massage.


9.     Johnston Community College

This school in Smithfield has two full massage therapy programs with daytime classes and evening clinics.

The certificate curriculum consists of 32 credit hours. It covers compulsory subjects as well as ‘therapeutic approaches across the lifespan’. Students also study results-oriented massage and massage therapy management.

 They provide chair massages and relaxation massages at the school’s spa and wellness clinic.

The 62-credit program adds classes in writing and inquiry, interpersonal psychology, personal health/wellness, interpersonal communication, introduction to sociology, and music appreciation or critical thinking.

Students study sports massage, soft tissue relaxation, spa treatments, oriental therapies and energy techniques.


10.  Gaston College

This community college in Dallas offers several massage options. The three-semester diploma program provides 656 hours and 40 credits.

The massage therapist certificate curriculum consists of 27 credit hours. Spa specialization in any program includes aesthetic technology certification courses.

To earn an Associate of Applied Science degree, you must complete 69 credit hours.

Classes include: College Student Success, Writing and Research, General Psychology, Interpersonal Communication, Results-Oriented Massage, Yoga, Developmental Psychology, and electives in Humanities or Fine Arts.

Students study neuromuscular therapy, sports massage, soft tissue relaxation, spa treatments, oriental therapies, and energy techniques.


How Much Do Massage Therapists In North Carolina Earn?

In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that massage therapists in North Carolina could earn a median annual salary of $40,600, with annual salaries ranging from $20,860 to $67,280.

The massage therapy field is projected to grow by 29% over the next few years. . By attending a massage therapy school in North Carolina, you could be giving yourself a chance to work in a high-value and in-demand professional field.

Asheville, North Carolina, ranks 9th among all metropolitan areas in the United States for the highest concentration of massage therapist jobs and places to practice the profession.

Massage therapists in the state offer their services in places such as hotels, B&Bs, day spas, holistic health centers, health clubs, massage therapy clinics, medical offices, salons and spas, and more.

One of the big emerging markets is the baby boomer generation. They have been described as the most conscious group of people in American history.

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How Do I Become A Massage Therapist In North Carolina?

To become a massage therapist in North Carolina, it all starts with a high school diploma or GED. Schools with competitive admissions policies may give preference to applicants who took college-level health and science courses in high school.

The student must enroll in an accredited high school that has state board approval. The curriculum must include at least 500 hours of classes and clinics, including:

  • 100 hours of anatomy, physiology and pathology
  • 200 hours of theory and application of massage, contraindications, body mechanics and hygiene
  • 20 hours of training in client-therapist relationships, boundaries, communication and mind-body connection
  • 15 hours of laws and ethics
  • 15 hours of business practice
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Much of the remaining time may include massage at a student clinic or private facility. The programs differ in the massage techniques they cover. Some teach students how to start and run a business.

Graduates must apply to the board for licenses to practice in the state. They must pass two tests to qualify.

The Massage Therapy Board Licensing Examination (MBLEx) is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) and charges a fee of approximately $200. Students take the exam on computers at Pearson VUE testing centers.

The second requirement is passing the bar exam, which assesses the applicant’s knowledge of North Carolina laws governing massage therapy.

Practitioners must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years to renew their licenses.

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Best Paying Massage Therapy Jobs In North Carolina

North Carolina’s scenic Atlantic coast is home to many oceanfront resorts looking to hire talented massage therapists. You can work in a salon or spa, in a doctor’s office, on a sports team, or work as an independent practitioner.

Auroraflow – Licensed Massage Therapist

UNC Health– Massage Therapist – Per Diem

 Hand and Stone– Licensed Massage Therapist

 Duke University Health System – Massage Therapist 

Johnston Health – Massage Therapist/PRN/Rotating

FirstHealth of the Carolinas– Massage Therapist

Haywood Fitness Center – PRN – Massage Therapist  

Forsyth Technical Community College– Clinical Coordinator, Therapeutic Massage

 Panache Hair and Body Loft– Massage Therapist

Massage Therapy Schools In North Carolina FAQs

What Is The Requirement For Message Therapy License In North Carolina?

The North Carolina Board of Massage and Body Therapy require potential licensees to complete at least 500 hours at a board-approved massage therapy school. They must also receive a passing score on a national certification exam from NCETM/TMB, MBLEx, or NCCAOM.

Where Do Massage Therapists Work In North Carolina?

A well-trained massage therapist will know a variety of massage techniques and use this knowledge to create effective and personalized massages for their clients. After becoming a licensed massage therapist in North Carolina, you can work in a variety of unique positions or even be your own boss as an individual therapist.

What Is The Requirement To Work As Message Therapist In North Carolina?

To work as a professional massage therapist in North Carolina, you will first need to complete a 500-hour training course and then pass a state exam that covers all important rules and regulations. In addition, you will be required to complete at least 24 credits of continuing education courses between each renewal period. Your first license will cost $210 ($190 plus a $20 application fee). You will renew your license every two years for a fee of $100 with the renewal application.

How Much Does Message Therapy License Cost In North Carolina?

You will need to provide supporting documents and the total cost will be $190 ($150 for the license + $20 for the application + $40 for the criminal record report). If approved, you can bill and practice massage therapy for two years. The renewal fee is $100 every two years and requires 24 hours of continuing education, which must be at least 3 hours of ethics.


Deciding which college to attend is not easy because there are so many options for students. Massage therapy/massage therapy is the 544th most popular major in the country with 10,638 degrees awarded in 2019-2020.

Some of the factors we consider in determining these ratings are, among other things, the overall quality of the massage therapy/massage therapy program at the school and the cost of post-treatment tuition. Read our ranking methodology to learn more.




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