14 Best Massage therapy schools in New York | Tuition & Key Information

Are you thinking about how to become a massage therapist in New York? attending the massage therapy schools in New York is the first step towards achieving your dreams. The employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 32% from 2020 to 2030.

There are 18 massage therapy schools in New York that are approved and accredited by State officials.

Most of these massage therapy schools in New York award vocational certificates which take between six months and two years to earn. There are also associate degree programs that last for about two years or longer. Instruction and real-world training are aimed at preparing students for a state exam to become a licensed practitioner.

In this article, we will talk about the best Massage therapy schools in New York. The schools that made it to our list were selected based on programs offered in the school, students population, accreditation, reputation and above all, the graduation rate of their students.

Why Choose Massage Therapy as a career?

A career in massage therapy provides you with the following opportunities:

  • An exciting career in the choice of settings,
  • Flexible job hours,
  • Enhancing self-growth ,
  • Job growth,
  • Deep sense of personal fulfillment,
  • Helping restore the health of people, and
  • Ability to pursue other health careers.

What is the career outlook and average salary or massage therapists?

Without doubts, New York’s average salary places it second in the nation. The mean is $29.94 an hour. However, there is a wide range of actual salaries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also provided information about what massage therapists are making at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles.

Those at the 25th percentile statewide make $17.48; those at the 75th percentile, $41.69. The median is $28.06.

There are two metropolitan areas that have been taken note of for being among the highest in the country. These metropolitan areas are Binghamton and the Nassau County-Suffolk County Metropolitan Division.

Binghamton has a mean wage of  $35.42 (median: $30.94), while the Nassau County-Suffolk County area has a mean wage of $31.99 (median: $28.68).

Those at the upper end of the salary scale have the chance of enjoying especially high hourly wages in these two locales; in the Nassau-Suffolk area, the 90th percentile wage is $59.74.

The following is a list of median wages for New York and New York/ New Jersey metropolitan areas:

  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy $24.49
  • Rochester $28.80
  • Syracuse $28.43
  • Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls $25.82
  • New York-Jersey City-White Plains $26.91

Interestingly, New York State was projected to see massage therapists employment levels increase by 2,220 (or 29.1%) over the course of the 2014 to 2024 decade.

This regulatory agency

The regulatory agency that is governed by the State Education Departments board of Regents issues licenses to professionals in over 50 occupations with the aim of ensuring public protection.

This regulatory agency sets criteria for massage therapy education programs and consequently maintains a website where you will find the list of approved schools.

Also, the regulatory agencies create instructions, training and examination for future practitioners. This examination determines whether applicants are eligible for a state license and above all enforce license renewal.

Lastly, another thing the regulatory agency in New York does is to investigate allegations whenever there is professional misconduct and then take legal actions when warranted.

Also, therapists who violate laws are might be reprimanded, fined or even go as far as suspending or revoking a license.

Minimum Education Requirements for Massage Therapy Programs in New York

Most massage therapy schools in New York require students to have not more than a high school diploma or GED.

It is critically important to enroll at an accredited post-secondary institution with a program that the New York Office of the Professions recognizes.

Curricula must total 1,000 or more clock hours, including at least 200 hours of anatomy, physiology, and neurology classes.

The state also mandates 150 hours of Kinesiology or myology, 100 hours of pathology, and 150 hours of massage theory and techniques.

At least 325 other hours are devoted to technique and practice.

Of these, 150 hours must involve administering massage methods and other therapies to real clients.

Seventy-five hours are to cover hygiene and first aid. Programs specialize in different modalities, though the state requires Eastern and Western techniques.

How to become a massage therapist in New York

To become a massage therapist in New York, a school graduate has to obtain a state license by applying online and paying a fee to the state office.

Applicants must pass the New York State Massage Therapy Examination. They may take the test in January or August, registering beforehand with CASTLE Worldwide Inc.

Practitioners renew their licenses every three years. They must take 36 hours of continuing education classes each time. Read on to see the list of the best massage therapy schools in New York.

List of the best Massage therapy schools in New York

  1. CUNY Queensborough Community College
  2. Finger Lakes Community College
  3. Niagara County Community College
  4. ASA College
  5.  SUNY Morrisville
  6.  North Country Community College
  7. Trocaire College
  8. Swedish Institute a College of Health Sciences
  9. Mildred Elley School-Albany Campus
  10. New York College of Health Professions
  11. Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage-Rochester
  12. New York Institute of Massage Inc
  13. Finger Lakes School of Massage
  14.  Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy

CLUNY Queensborough Community College

CUNY Queensborough Community College Massage Therapy program is certified by the New York State Department of Education and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and secondary schools. This makes them one of the top accredited massage therapy schools in New York.

Program of Study: Full-time, two-year structured sequence of courses beginning in the fall semester and leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Massage Therapy.

Graduates are eligible to take the New York State Licensing Exam for Massage Therapy.

Admission and Placement: To be admitted to Queensborough with degree status, a student must have a high school diploma or equivalency.

All students entering the college must take the CUNY Assessment Tests in Writing and Reading as well as the CUNY Mathematics Assessment Test (CMAT) for incoming freshmen and non-CUNY transfer students.

Transfer students: If you began your studies at another institution and have a transcript from another school, please have all courses evaluated for transfer credit.

Transfer credit will be accepted only from schools with college accreditation. To graduate with an A.A.S. degree, at least 30 credits must be taken at Queensborough Community College.

Key Information

Tuition Fees:

  • Full-time matriculated students (taking 12 to 18 credits or equated credits): $2,400.00 per semester
  • Part-time matriculated students (taking less than 12 credits or equated credits): $210.00 per credit or equated credit
  • Non-degree (non-matriculated) students (regardless of number of credits or equated credits taken): $265.00 per credit or equated credit

There will be an additional fee of $2,000 for uniforms, textbooks, malpractice insurance, equipment and supplies for the entire program.

Graduation Rate: 24%

Student Population: 15411

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Niagara County Community College

This is one of the massage therapy schools in New York that through their Massage Therapy degree program helps students to develop a keen understanding of the benefits of massage therapy.

Here are some of the reasons to choose this institution as where you will get your massage therapy degree:

They have a 100% pass rate for the NYS Board Exam for 2018 and 2019.

They have a job placement program to help you start your career right after graduation.

Their massage program consists of in-depth training in Western and Eastern massage modalities, as well as business and science courses to complete your skillset for a fulfilling career.

They also have a Student clinic that provides real-world training.

Key Information

Part-Time Tuition fees:

Non-NYS residents and International Students: $412 per credit hour/per semester

NYS residents who are not residents of the sponsorship area and do not present a Certificate of Residence: $412 per credit hour/per semester.

NYS residents who are residents of the sponsorship area or non-residents of the sponsorship area who present a Certificate of Residence: $206 per credit hour/per semester

Prepare for application for licensure in New York State.  In addition to tuition and fees, students should expect to spend approximately $1,000 on books, supplies and uniforms.

There are several scholarships available to NCCC students. Scholarship deadline dates vary each semester. Find out full details from their website.

Graduation Rate: 31%

Student Population: 5944

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ASA College

ASA College is one of the massage therapy schools in New York that offers an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Massage Therapy. It is a 65 credit program that is designed to be completed in just five semesters.

ASA College meets the New York State Education Department’s required minimum of 1000 clock hours (lecture, lab, and practicum contact hours) and required criteria in all specified content areas.

Their onsite internships and off-campus externships provide opportunities for students to practice their skills and prepare for the required New York State Massage Therapy licensing examination.

In this massage therapy school, just like in other massage therapy schools in New York, students will learn four types of massages:

  • Swedish Massage
  • Shiatsu Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Sports Massage

Key Information

General Undergraduate Tuition Fee: $11,880

Other Fees Fees: $848

Graduation Rate: 24%

Student Population: 4356

SUNY Morrisville

Through the SUNY Morrisville Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in massage therapy, you will learn how to help people restore their health and enhance their well-being.

Their massage therapy program will introduce you to all forms of massage therapy and give you the needed knowledge into the integral role in healthcare through manipulations of the soft structures of the body.

The program will help their students get ready to take the New York State Massage Therapy Exam, where their students have regularly seen a 100-per cent pass rate.

Key Information

Tuition for 2-year degree: $7,070

Mandatory Fees: $1,694

Room: $7,900

Dining Meal Plan(optional): $6,300

See full details about fees:

After graduation, you can work as a self-employed professional or you can decide to work in Spas, hospitals and other physical therapy offices.

Graduation Rate: 33%

Student Population: 2986

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Trocaire College

Trocaire College is one of the massage therapy schools in New York that combines lecture, laboratory experiences as well as clinical components to provide a well-rounded understanding of massage therapy techniques.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the NYS board licensure exam. Once licensed, graduates have wide-ranging career options that include wellness massage in spas, resorts, and cruise ships; sports massage in health clubs; medical massage in hospitals, rehab centres and chiropractic offices; stress-management massage in corporate offices; and owning and operating private practices.

Admission requirements:

  • High School Diploma (minimum 75% average) or GED Diploma with a minimum score of 2500
  • Biology
  • Minimum final semester average of 2.0 with minimum grades of “C” in laboratory sciences for current and transfer students

Key Information

Full Time (12-19 credit hours): $9,170 (per semester)

Over 19 credit hours: $200    (per credit hour)

Part Time (1-11 credit hours): $760    (per credit hour)

At Trocaire, they find a place of inspiration and a source of support. Despite busy lives, family obligations and work responsibilities, they learn in class and labs and from real-life clinical experiences and service opportunities. 

Graduation Rate: 27%

Student Population: 1349

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Swedish Institute a College of Health Sciences

If you’re looking for a massage therapy school to break into this in-demand field, choose Swedish Institute’s Massage Therapy Program.

They are the only Massage Therapy school in the country with over 100 years of continuous experience educating and training students to become professionally licensed massage therapists.

In fact, the Swedish Institute job board yields 2.5 jobs for every 1 graduate. “The job openings for Massage Therapists that come into their office each month far exceed the number of graduates they have available to fill them.

Their Massage Therapy Program is available in 5-semester (20-month), 6-semester (24-month), and 8-semester (32-month) schedules.

Massage Therapy classes are available in the morning, afternoon, and evening/Saturday, so you can begin working in your new career in as little as 20 months.

Key Information

  • Program Length
  • Available in 20-month
  • 24-month
  • 32-month tracks

Tuition and fees:

  • Tuition$18,000
  • Fees$1,000
  • Books and Supplies$1,200
  • Room and Board$6,254( for those living off-campus)
  • Other Expenses$3,752

Graduation Rate: 33%

Student Population: 705

Mildred Elley School-Albany Campus

At Mildred Elley, their massage therapy classes provide in-depth exposure and detailed instruction for a number of massage techniques.

The Massage therapy classes offered at all three of their campus locations aim to teach you time-tested techniques of massage.

Students who successfully complete the A.O.S. degree or Certificate program at Mildred Elley could have the opportunity to take their state Massage Therapy licensure in hopes of becoming licensed massage therapists.

Here are some courses Massage Therapy students can take in their Massachusetts and New York campus locations to build on their skills:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Myology & Kinesiology
  • Neuromuscular Therapy
  • Sports Massage
  • Oriental Massage
  • Biology
  • First Aid & CPR

What to benefit from this massage school:

  • Financial Aid & Scholarships for Those Who Qualify
  • Lifetime Job Placement Assistance
  • Flexible School Schedule
  • Approved for Veterans Education Benefits
  • Free Career Assessment
  • International Students Welcome

Key information:

Tuition fees:

Massage Therapy Students tuition per credit hour: $506.00

Application Fee: $25.00

Audit and Processing Fee: $100.00

The college estimates the cost of books to be approximately $1,000 to $2,300 for certificate programs and $1,700 to $3,300 for associate’s degree programs.

Graduation Rate: 29&

Student Population: 422

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New York College of Health Professions

The New York College of Health Professions Massage Therapy program is offered as an advanced 72 credit Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) degree program.

Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the New York State licensing exam, as well as to sit for the Massage Board Licensing Examination (MBLEx).

New York College of Health Professions Massage Therapy Program offers many currently practised modalities of massage therapy in addition to its core curriculum of European Swedish massage therapy, which is based on standard Western anatomy and physiology, and Asian Bodywork, which is based on the principles of oriental medicine.

The 72-credit Recommended Course of Study for the Massage Therapy program with electives outlined below is designed to be completed in 24 months but can be completed in 20 months as well.

Some students, however, who must work full-time or part-time jobs while in attendance or have other responsibilities outside of school.

May attend New York College as part-time students. For these students, a part-time course of study is available.

Key Information:

Tuition is charged per credit for each course taken at New York College of Health Professions.

Undergraduate level courses cost $390 per credit.  Graduate-level courses cost $471 per credit.

Financial aid is available to students who qualify.  For information regarding financial aid, please visit their financial aid office.

Graduation Rate: 32%

Student Population: 473

New York Institute of Massage Inc

At the New York Institute of Massage (NYIM), you’ll learn the skills necessary to become a licensed Massage Therapist. Since 1994, their accredited school has offered personalized training for residents in and around Buffalo, New York.

If you are looking to get the career you want without putting your life on hold, and are looking for a simple, straightforward road to a rewarding career as a Massage Therapist, then this institution is for you.

They offer flexible class schedules so you still have time for what’s important, whether that be work or family.

They also offer small class sizes, flexible learning schedules, short time commitments, good industry relations, transferable credits and in-depth training.

Get first-hand experience in a professional setting at their Student Clinic.

After you complete the qualifying exam, you’ll get the opportunity to practice various massage techniques that you learned over the course of all 4 terms, including Introduction to Massage, Massage Techniques, Oriental Massage, and Medical Massage. 

Once you finish the required 80 massage therapy sessions (20 per term), you’ll have confidence in your abilities when you enter the profession

Key information

Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage tuition fees: $18,600

Books & Supplies: $813

Program Length (Hours): 1,124

Completion in Months: 12

Graduation Rate: 100%

Student Population: 44

Finger Lakes School of Massage

Finger Lakes School of Massage – Ithaca is located in Ithaca, NY.

This school offers training in 6 qualifications, with the most reviewed qualifications being Massage Therapy License, New York Massage Therapy License and Certificate in Massage and Hydrotherapy.

Time to complete this education training ranges from 4.7 months to 21 months depending on the qualification, with a median time to completion of 7 months. 

Finger Lakes School of Massage – Ithaca has been reviewed 14 times, with an average rating of 4.50 out of 5. About 71% of reviewers would recommend Finger Lakes School of Massage – Ithaca to a friend.

Key Information

The cost to attend Finger Lakes School of Massage – Ithaca ranges from $12,000 to $25,000 depending on the qualification, with a median cost of $15,900

Graduation Rate: 82%

Student Population: 69

Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy

Their masterfully designed curriculum strives to enrich the lives of our students through a comprehensive program of study that intentionally balances both the art and science of therapeutic massage.

Additionally, their staff and faculty are committed to maintaining high standards of integrity, character, and ethics – while cultivating these qualities in each one of their students.

Key Information

  • Full-Time (9months): September 2021
  • Part-Time Evening (22 months): October 2021
  • Part-Time Morning (14 months): September 2021

Name: Massage Therapy Program

Level: Diploma Program

Length: 9.5 Months Full-Time, 14 Months Part-Time (Day), 22 Months Part-Time (Evening)

Target Occupation: Massage Therapist

Program Tuition: $16,500.00 (including $100 deposit)

Graduation Rate: 68%

Student Population: 38

Massage therapy schools in New York FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to the massage therapy schools in New York

How do I qualify for a Massage Therapy license in the State of New York?

To qualify for a Massage Therapy license in the State of New York an applicant must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete and file an application with the New York State Education Department
  • Candidate must be a high school graduate or have the legal equivalent education (GED) or have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours at an accredited college or university
  • Candidate must be a graduate of a New York State registered Massage Therapy program or have equivalent education
  • Pass a written examination satisfactory to the Board and in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations
  • Candidate must be either a U.S. citizen or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S. Documentation beyond the candidate’s affirmation is not required.
  • Candidate must be of good moral character
  • Candidate must be at least 18 years of age
  • Candidate must hold current Red Cross or American Heart Association Certification in CPR and First Aid
  • Initially a fee of one-hundred and eight dollars ($108.00) is paid to the New York State Education Department and a fee of two-hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) to their testing agency. Thereafter, a triennial registration fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) is required.

To receive further information about licensing in New York State, contact the office of the State Board for Massage, New York State Education Department at (518) 474-3817, ext. 150 or write to the State Board for Massage Therapy, The State Education Department, State Education Building, 2nd floor, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234-1000; or e-mail: msthbd@mail.nysed.gov.

10 Top Regional Employers for Massage Therapists

  1. Soothe
  2. Soothe Inc
  3. Massage Envy
  4. Ulta Beauty Inc.
  5. Lifetime Fitness
  6. Tmp Worldwide
  7. Wts International
  8. Red Door Salon Spa
  9. Hand And Stone Spa
  10. Marriott International Incorporated

what are the 10 Top Job Titles for the massage therapy Program

  1. Therapist
  2. Practitioner
  3. Skin Therapist
  4. Therapist, Flex
  5. Massage Therapist
  6. Massage Therapy Assistant
  7. Certified Massage Technician
  8. Massage Therapy Trainer, Credit
  9. Registered Massage Practitioner
  10. Massage Therapy Career Training – Local Massage Training

Does massage therapy school cost?

While choosing any of the massage therapy schools in New York, it is very important that you weigh very well before committing to this stream.

Most programs in the massage therapy schools in New York require up o 1000 hours before you will be awarded your certificate.

The tuition cost per hour of training is in the range of $6 – $17. This, therefore, translates into a program cost in the range of  $3,000 – $11,000.

Apart from the tuition, the application fee is another thing to talk about. Other costs might include the cost of the massage table and the table linen and not to forget the cost of lotion. The cost of textbooks and other study materials as well as licensing costs are other costs to be put into consideration.

How much does a massage therapist make?

The national average annual wage of a massage therapist is $47,180, according to the latest data from the BLS. This is around $6,000 less than the current average annual salary for all occupations, $53,490.

What are the states where massage therapists make more money?

  1. Louisiana average massage therapist salary: $28,790
  2. Mississippi average massage therapist salary: $31,770
  3. South Dakota average massage therapist salary: $32,620
  4. Georgia average massage therapist salary: $35,240
  5. Alabama average massage therapist salary: $35,650
  6. Kansas average massage therapist salary: $35,750
  7. Nevada average massage therapist salary: $36,540
  8. Rhode Island average massage therapist salary: $37,260
  9. South Carolina average massage therapist salary: $37,860
  10. Iowa average massage therapist salary: $38,660

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