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What it takes to become a Massage Therapist in Wisconsin

The massage industry is currently experiencing a rapid expansion across the country and is poised to expand even more as the nation's aging and growing population creates a higher demand for professional massage therapy services. This demand is expected to increase all the more as medical professionals and the general public become more aware of the benefits of therapeutic massage. Wisconsin massage therapists can expect to see a parallel increase in the demand for massage services in their state.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2008 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Wisconsin shows that massage therapists working in Wisconsin at that time made an average annual income of $35,660. Most professional massage practitioners are self-employed and enjoy the benefits of setting their own schedule and determining when and how much they work.

To become familiar with the profession, first, spend some time thinking about whether your personal traits are conducive to a career in message therapy. Also, take time to do some research. Look online for information about different types of massage or check the local library for massage books. Make sure to visit massage therapists or schools, ask questions and even get some massages personally. Choose which specialty in massage therapy to concentrate on.

Find and complete a suitable training program. There are plenty of massage schools out there. Look for a program that leads to certification and, most importantly, one which satisfies your jurisdiction's licensing requirements. If interested in a certain specialty, try to find a school that caters to that specialty. You can research schools online, or you can ask massage therapists which schools they went to and what they thought of their experiences. Massage schools can be somewhat expensive; keep in mind that these schools are for-profit businesses, so be sure to investigate all their claims. Most schools offer some kind of financial assistance, including federal student loans.

Most massage schools require a high school diploma and many also require a personal interview. Often times massage schools will arrange internships with a local massage practice, so that students can gain a valuable amount of practical on-the-job experience. Depending on the specific program of study, the school will award either a certification in a certain specialty or a degree.

Prospective massage therapists who wish to work in Wisconsin will need to obtain at least 600 hours of massage training and education, and will need to pass both a state and national examination (NCETMB) to become certified. The Massage Therapy Board of the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and licensing regulates the massage therapy industry in Wisconsin.

What does it take to be a massage therapist in Wisconsin? It takes dedication and the ability to set goals and see then through to completion. It also takes organization. You need to write down the steps that will lead you to success and adhere to them. And of course you need to follow all of the rules and regulations for getting certified and practicing in the Badger State.