Massage Therapy

The Massage Therapy day program is three 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 of 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 admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students accepted into the program are required to have a criminal background check.

Employment Stats

  • Program Length 1 year (Diploma)
  • Job Placement 100%
  • Average Earnings $35,920 / yr
  • Cost $5205
Gainful Employment Details

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 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 the 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 licensure exam in order to be licensed. The content of 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 Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the mean wage for massage therapists is $19.12 per hour (May 2010).  The median annual income was $34,900 with $51,410 for 25% therapists and $69,000 or more for 10% of therapists.

Course Schedule

Students are selected through a competitive admissions process for enrollment in the fall term each year.

  • Full-time classes
  • Day Class Only
  • Enrollment is limited to 20 students in each class
Full-Time Program Schedule for (semester) (Hours)
Semester Day Class Evening Class Days
Fall (450 hours) 7:30am – 2:30pm 3:00pm – 10:50pm Monday - Thursday
Spring (450 hours) 7:30am – 2:30pm 3:00pm – 10:50pm Monday - Thursday
Summer (390 hours) 7:30am – 2:30pm 3:00pm – 10:50pm Monday - Thursday


Tools List
Quantity Description
1 Portable Massage Table.

Scrubs (top and bottom in royal blue) may have black scrub pants as well

1 Set of twin sheets (print is best in cotton or flannel)


3 semesters – 1,290 clock hours - *Tuition will increase every fall semester
*Fall 450 hours $1,235.00
Spring 450 hours $1,235.00
Summer 390 hours $1,235.00
Tools (estimate) $750.00
Books (estimate) $370.00

Special Fees Charged in Addition to Maintenance and 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.
  • 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.


Lippincott, Williams & Wilkin

Textbooks cost approximately $370.00

Fall Semester

  • Massage Therapy Principles & Practices (5th Ed.) - Susan Salvo
    ISBN – 978-0-323-23971-4
  • Kinesiology – The Skeletal System and Muscle Function, 2nd Ed. – Joseph E. Muscolino
    ISBN – 978-0-323-06944-1
  • Musculoskeletal Anatomy Coloring Book (2nd Ed.) – Joseph E. Muscolino
    ISBN – 978-0-323-05721-9
  • Drug Handbook for Massage Therapists – Jean Wible
    ISBN – 13-978-0-7817-6309-7
  • Disease Handbook for Massage Therapists – Ruth Werner
    ISBN – 13-978-0-7817-5094-3

Spring Semester / Summer

  • Aromatherapy for Massage Practitioners - Ingrid Martin
    ISBN – 13-978-0-7817-5345-6
  • Condition-Specific Massage Therapy – Celia Bucci
    ISBN – 13-978-1-58255-807-3
  • A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology (6th Ed.) – Ruth Werner
    ISBN – 13-978-1-4963-1082-8
  • Spa Bodywork: A Guide for Massage Therapists – Anne Williams
    ISBN – 13-978-1-4511-7678-0
  • Myofascial Massage – Marian Wolfe Dixon
    ISBN – 13-978-0-7817-4832-2
  • The Psychology of The Body (2nd Ed.) - Elliot Greene/Barbara Goodrich-Dunn
    ISBN – 13-978-1-60831-156-9

If you have any question whether you are ordering the right books please feel free to email Mrs. Renée Johnson:


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

First semester

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Ethics
  • Kinesiology
  • Swedish massage
  • Medical terminology
  • Nutrition
  • Seated massage
  • Therapeutic communication
  • Self-care
  • SOAP charting
  • Massage Tools and Equipment

Second semester

  • Rehabilitation Bodywork
  • Special Populations (Pregnancy Massage, Infant Massage, Medically Frail, Geriatric Massage)
  • Pathology
  • Sports Massage
  • CPR and first aid
  • Breathwork
  • Bodymind
  • Relaxation Clinic
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Introduction to Energy Bodywork
  • Myofascial Massage Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Massage Therapy
  • Deep Tissue Modalities
  • Introduction to Spa Therapy

Third Semester

  • Business
  • Lymphatic Massage
  • Pharmacology
  • Bodymind
  • Licensing
  • Review
  • Tennessee Massage Regulations
  • Therapeutic Clinic
  • Introduction to Energy Bodywork
  • Introduction to Spa 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.