Massage Therapy | Chattanooga State Community College

Massage Therapy

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ChattState is a proud member school of these national massage therapy organizations:




The Massage Therapy program is two semesters long and includes a Medical Massage Certification.  Applications are accepted year round from students who have earned a regular high school diploma or GED.  Massage Therapy students receive classroom training and practical application techniques, off-site practice at health events, and clinical practice under the supervision of a licensed massage therapist.  Class size is limited and students are required to have a face-to-face interview with the instructor before being approved to register for the class.

Employment Stats

  • Program Length 2 semesters (Certificate)
  • Job Placement 100%
  • Average Earnings $39,990/year
  • Cost $4000 approx.
Gainful Employment Disclosure

About Program

Massage therapy is the systematic and scientific manipulation of soft tissue with the intent of positively affecting the health and well-being of a client.  Although some aspects of massage are instinctive, modern massage therapy is also a profession that requires licensure in most states.  As a health care profession, the education of a massage therapist requires basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, pharmacology, business, self-care, nutrition, hydrotherapy and many other related topics.  There are dozens of massage therapy modalities ranging from therapeutic to relaxation (spa).  Some of these modalities include Swedish massage, sports, reflexology, medical massage, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial massage therapy, and pregnancy massage.  The program includes training in both scientific and therapeutic application of many of these modalities.  Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to work independently or work for others in performing a full body relaxation or therapeutic massage session.  Upon completion of the massage therapy program the student will also need to pass a state licensure exam in order to begin the process of applying for licensure.  The content in the program is designed to provide the required information for this examination.

Job Expectations

Massage therapy is a physically demanding profession. One typically stands for long periods of time (hour or two is common per session) and must use their hands, arms, and legs in performing the service. Many physical or mental conditions may preclude one from easily performing this work. Allergies to products, lifting issues, carpal tunnel, contagious diseases, diabetes, sickle cell anemia and many other conditions all have ramifications for massage therapy. Work is usually performed in areas with subdued lighting.

Good personal hygiene is a must in the health care industry.  Hair must be restrained. Fingernails MUST be no longer than the tips of the fingers.

Both men and women are in the classroom and you may work on or receive massage from any one of the students. Modesty is always maintained. Draping is always used and required by law.  No more of the body is exposed than if one was wearing a bikini.

Students are exposed to various analgesics, oils, aromas, lubricants, hot objects and cold products.

Expected Earnings

Massage therapy like so many other professions will usually provide income commensurate with effort put forth by the therapist.  Massage services in the Chattanooga area range from $45 to $80/hour (in spas or more urban areas).  The massage therapist will only earn a portion of this if working for another.  The U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau Statistics data show that the mean wage for massage therapists is $19.23 per hour (June 2018).  The median annual income was $39,990 with $77,470 for the top 10% of therapists and $20,300 for the bottom $10% of therapists. (May 2017)

Course Schedule

Students are selected through a competitive admissions process for enrollment in each cohort.  Beginning Fall of 2018 there will be a day class beginning every two semesters, and a night class will be available every two semesters beginning in the Spring of 2019.

  • Full-time classes
  • Day & Night Classes offered
  • Enrollment is limited to 20 students in each class

Full-Time Program Schedule for (semester) (Hours)


Day Class


1st Semester (375)

7:45 am – 1:30 pm

Monday – Friday

2nd Semester (375)

7:45 am – 1:30 pm

Monday – Friday

If semester begin in Summer semester (375)

7:45 am – 2:30 pm

Monday - Friday


Night Class


1st Semester (375)

2:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Monday – Thursday

2nd Semester (375)

2:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Monday – Thursday

If semester begin in Summer semester (375)

2:30 pm – 10:40 pm

Monday - Thursday


Tools List
Quantity Description
1 Portable Massage Table (for their practice outside of class - optional)

Scrubs - Hunter Green tops, and Black Scrub Bottoms. (No zippers on the legs, or drawstrings allowed. If you tend to get cold easily you can wear either something white, or black under the scrubs. If you prefer you can also by a Black or Hunter Green Lab Jacket, but it will have to come off while working during class.)

2 Set of twin sheets


2 semester – 750 clock hours - *Tuition will increase every fall semester

*Fall 375 hours $1,328.00
Spring 375 hours $1,328.00
Summer 375 hours $1,328.00
Tools (estimate) $750.00
Books (estimate) $500.00

Full cost will be only two of the semesters from list above since the program is a two semester program.

Other Costs

CPR Training $40
Liability Insurance $11.05 (This is purchased through the school)
Practice Massage Table $113-$700 (Depends on type and style or manufacturer)
HESI Test $38
MBLEx (Licensure Test) $195

After Graduation Costs

Licensure (First time) $280
Fingerprinting $36 approximately
Liability Insurance (Yearly) $99-$229

Special Fees Charged in Addition to Maintenance & Tuition

  • GED Testing Fee - $65.00
  • Placement Test Fees - ACT - $45.00 (Refer to Admissions Policy)
    Under extenuating circumstances, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, at his/her discretion, may grant an exception to these fees.

Special Fees Charged in Addition to Maintenance and Tuition

  • Credit by Examination Fee - The regular course fee is charged for each special examination and must be paid prior to taking the examination. Non-refundable. (See Academic Regulations.)
  • Credit for Life Experience Fees - Assessment Fee for Experiential Learning $45.00.  Experiential Learning Credit $15.00 per credit hour in excess of 3.0 credit hours. $90.00 maximum.
  • High School Equivalency Test (Hi-SET) - $75
  • Placement Test Fees - ACT - $45.00. (Refer to Admissions Policy.)



1st Semester:

  • Massage Therapy Principles and Practice (6th Ed.) – Susan Salvo
    ISBN-13:  978-0-3235812-8-8
  • Trail Guide to the Body – Revised 5th Edition – Andrew Biel
    ISBN  978-0-9829786-5-8
  • Trail Guide to the Body – Student Workbook 5th Edition – Andrew Biel
    ISBN  978-0-9829786-6-5
  • Drug Handbook for Massage Therapists – Jean Wible
    ISBN-13: 978-0781763097 


2nd Semesters:

  • Trail Guide to Movement – Building the Body in Motion 2nd Edition – Andrew Biel
    ISBN  978-0-9987850-5-9
  • Condition-Specific Massage Therapy – Celia Bucci
    ISBN-13:  978-1582558073
  • A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology (6th ed.) – Ruth Werner
    ISBN-13:  978-1496310828




The massage therapy program is approved by the Tennessee Massage Licensure Board.

First Semester:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Ethics
  • Kinesiology
  • Swedish massage
  • Medical Terminology
  • CPR/First Aid
  • SOAP Charting
  • TN Law & Regulations
  • Massage History
  • Massage Tools & Equipment
  • Relaxation clinic
  • Self-Care


Second Semester:

  • Therapeutic massage
  • Pathology
  • Rehabilitation Bodywork
  • Seated Massage
  • Business Information
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Deep Tissue Modalities
  • Massage of the Medically Frail
  • Therapeutic Communication
  • Therapeutic Clinic
  • Special Populations​
  • ​Myofascial Massage
  • Hospital-Based Massage Therapy

Career Opportunities

Licensed massage therapist may find work in a spa, health club, chiropractor’s office, hospitals, fitness centers, cruise ships or resorts, as well as working for themselves.