Every few years, licensed or certified massage therapists are required to take continuing education courses to keep their credentials current. Continuing education units, or CEUs, include anything from a few hours of study to several days' worth of hands-on practice, depending on the topic chosen.
The number credits and type of classes you'll need will vary from state to state. Many massage therapy schools and other professional massage organizations will offer continuing education workshops that you can attend for a few hours or for a few days back-to-back. It's a great way to expand your skill set in an immersive hands-on training.
But sometimes it's nice to take care of your credit requirements from the comfort of your own home. That's why online CEU classes for massage therapists are so popular.
The trick is finding online massage therapy courses from a legitimate source.
In this article, you'll get tips on searching for online CEU options yourself, as well as 7 great online CEU hubs to get started.
Massage Therapy Continuing Education Requirements
It's difficult to get too specific when talking about the requirements for massage therapy continuing education, because it can all depend on various factors:
- The state you work in
- The licensing board in your area
- Local requirements, including city-specific rules
- Even which licensing test you originally took
But we know this much: as a professional massage therapist, you'll be required to complete continuing education courses. You have the option of attending courses in person (a must for any hands-on training) or by taking online courses where you complete the class via computer and submit your test or essay online.
The kinds of classes you can expect to take online include:
- Business and marketing
- Self-care training
- Pain theories
- Advanced anatomy and physiology
Given the nature of online courses, you will be tested more on your academic understanding of theories and ideas, rather than the practical application of new massage techniques or modalities. For that, you'd need a hands-on training course.
Tips for Finding Online Massage Therapy CEUs
There are many places online where you can find online CE courses. In most cases, websites will have a searchable list, where you can filter to see just the online class options. If there's no filter option, try using the website's basic search bar (if there is one).
If you're having trouble finding a list of online courses on any given CEU resource, just move on to another one. There are plenty of CEU hubs that make finding online courses easy, so don't waste your time on ones that make you search their website high and low.
One last tip for searching for online massage therapy CEUs:
Try searching for courses that include phrases like "web-based," "home study," or "webinar" to open up your search result options.
Where to Find Online Massage Therapy CEUs
Wherever you begin your search for online CEU options, you'll want to make sure the classes you're taking (and paying for) are backed by a legitimate source.
The last thing you'd want is to pay money on a course only to find out later that it won't count for credits the way you thought it would.
Some reputable organizations make it easy. For example, the National Certification Board For Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) has a recognizable symbol they allow credentialed CEU providers to present on their website.
They also offer a comprehensive list of state-by-state requirements regarding continuing education for massage therapists (find that here). This tool also allows you search for the requirements of the state you work in. It also will list out any restrictions your state has regarding the number of online CEUs you can take.
As mentioned above, this organization is one you can count on to be a go-to spot for reputable CE providers.
They have a great search feature to find approved continuing education providers. Just select one of their "home study" options in the drop-down menu to find courses you can do at home.
As one of our industry leaders, Massage Magazine is a great resource for everything a massage therapist would need to build a successful practice. In addition to their extensive online articles, they also have a printed magazine, and of course, online CE courses.
At the time of this writing, the cost is $97.95 for access for one year to their online courses. These kind of package deals could be a smart financial choice to knock out a bunch of credits in the course of the subscription time period. The courses are included for free if you choose to use Massage Magazine's insurance coverage.
The Institute for Integrative Healthcare offers an extensive list of courses you can take online. Just click the box on the search field to limit your search to online courses only.
But they also give you the option of ordering materials to be send to your home, if you prefer a pencil and paper method.
Each of their courses has been peer-reviewed and tested, so they can ensure their courses are thorough and easy to follow. Each course you can choose from has been reviewed and rated by other massage therapists who have previously taken the course, so you can read through reviews to see what other therapists have to say about it.
AMTA is a great resource for all stages of a massage therapist's career. In addition to putting on an annual conference, they offer training videos online, an insurance plan, and guidance on running your massage therapy practice.
AMTA also offers more than 60 online CE classes on all massage therapy topics. Some courses are free, some have a cost only if you're not a member of AMTA, and others have different prices for members and non-members.
Many of their classes on tips for self care for massage therapists are offered free.
Another NCBTMB-approved site, Nirvana Massage offers individual courses as well as packaged deals. The currently highlighted special deal is $89 for access for one year, and access to all 115 of the courses offered at Nirvana Massage.
All of Nirvana Massage's CEU courses are online, so there's no need to filter for that when searching.
The Center for Massage Therapy CE offers more than 75 home study classes. Students have the option of taking tests completely online, getting the material mailed and taking only the test online, or taking the the test on paper as well.
These courses are NCBTMB-approved, and come in a variety of packages that give you a better deal on how many credits you get for what you're spending, from 100 credits for $700, down to one credit for $12.
Ready to put your CEUs to good use?
Incorporate Massage is always hiring professional, dedicated massage therapists who are looking for additional massage therapy work. Click below to find out more.