13 Top Massage Therapy Schools in Michigan|Tuition&License Requirements

The reason people attend the massage therapy schools in Michigan is to become certified medical professionals in order to practice as massage therapists in Michigan.

In massage therapy, a trained and certified professional manipulates the soft tissues of your body such as muscle, connective tissue, ligaments, tendons, and the skin. They use varying degrees of pressure and movement.

Furthermore, Massage Therapists play a pivotal role in helping people care for their body and their overall health.

Massage is considered as part of integrated medicine as medical centres are offering it more and more as treatment along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions.

You are on the right page, therefore relax and read carefully to pick out the massage therapy schools in Michigan and the benefits of massage.

What are the techniques massage therapists learn in School?

Just before you start your massage therapy career or before enrolling on the massage therapy schools in Michigan, it is very essential to figure out the different types of existing massage therapy techniques and then take notes and practice the most popular ones.

There are so many techniques, but we will be looking at the four major techniques that you will find in most massage therapy schools in Michigan. They are:

  • Basic Massage
  • Swedish
  • Chair
  • Trigger Point Massage

Basic Massage

The first thing a massage therapy student must master is the basics. The four basic massage strokes are effleurage-(light or deep stroking), petrissage-(kneading), tapotement-(gentle slapping), and friction. 

Effleurage is the type that is meant for relaxation and also for the release of tension. This is usually how you begin and end your massage in order to ensure that your patient has maximum relaxation.

Petrisage, or kneeding, is the practice of pulling the muscle away from the bone which aids in relieving muscle spasms.

Generally, if anything hurts during a massage session, this is it, however, this movement is not meant to be a painful one.

During the process, the therapist must communicate with the client to ensure maximum comfort.

The action of tapotement is much like the name sounds. It is a gentle tapping or cupping of the skin with the hand, to create a percussion-like effect. It is recommended mostly for patients with ailments.

Lastly, friction is the concentration of pressure to a specific point. Using very small, focused, circular motions, friction helps to release tension in specific spots.


Swedish massage was actually developed in the 1800s by a physiology professor at the University of Stockholm. This technique is usually focused on anatomy and physiology, as well as how the body system works together.

Swedish massage today is the most popular type of massage in the Western World. The beautiful thing about Swedish Massage is that is a versatile type of massage and can be light or hard, gentle or vigorous. Above all, it all depends on the preference of the client.


Chair massage is becoming popular across America. Employers are starting to recognize the benefits of massage.

Usually, a Chair massage takes place while the client is seated in a specifically cushioned chair in order to provide support for the client and reduce stress.

The goal of this type of massage is to release tension, improve the flow of blood and return the client to a positive state of mind.

Trigger Point Massage

The trigger point massage focuses on those knots to help promote healing of the tissue and relieve any residual pain that is associated with it.

This technique not only helps to increase the flow of blood to the area with knots but also promotes faster healing and helps to relax the surrounding muscle group.

Becoming a massage therapist in Michigan

There are top massage therapy schools in Michigan where you can be trained towards becoming a professional.

These massage therapy schools in Michigan range from privately owned institutes to public colleges. Some of the schools that we will be mentioning teach only massage while others have programs in a variety of fields.

Most of the schools offer MT certificate-most times called Diplom-programs, which usually takes a year or less to complete.

There are also massage therapy schools in Michigan that award associate degrees and one university presents bachelor’s degrees.

In these schools, students attend classroom lectures, get hands-on training in labs, and gain real-world experiences in Clinics.

Michigan Board of Massage Therapy

There is a division of the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs(LRA), whose goal is to promote and protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

There are standards that the board has established for massage therapists concerning education, examinations, and other considerations.

This determines whether a licensed applicant is eligible to practice in the state of Michigan, and also that ensures that massage therapists receive continuing education and renew their licenses.

This board is also responsible for approving schools with curricula that comply with certain criteria. The board also investigates complaints, taking disciplinary action against licensees who in one form or the other have violated the laws, ethics and regulations.

The 11 voting board members include seven massage therapists and four public representatives.

The LRA’s Bureau of Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing issues licenses to massage therapy schools. A list is posted online.

The Career outlook of Massage Therapists in Michigan

The hourly wage of most massage therapists in Michigan is $19.35, with an annual wage of $40,260. Nationwide, the median is around $41,420 or nearly $20.

10% of the best-paid Massage therapist in Michigan receive approximately $63,570 or $30.55, not as much as the U.S. average of about $78,300 or $37.65. 

Also, 10% of the worst paid make around $19,830 or over $9.50—less than about $21,340 or $10.25 nationwide.

According to the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics, the positions for massage therapists in Michigan totalled 3,600 in the year 2016. However, there is going to be steady growth in the field and that will lead to 4,630 jobs in 2026, according to federal government projections.

Varieties of careers for Massage Therapists:

  • Massage and body-work specialist
  • Spa and/or health club therapist
  • Spa manager
  • Spa owner
  • Private practice

Massage Therapy Programs in Michigan’s Minimum Education Requirements

To become a massage therapist in Michigan, the process begins by graduating from high school or securing a GED.

Sciences and health classes might be helpful in winning admission into a massage therapy school.

To earn state board approval, a postsecondary institution has to provide a certificate or degree program with 625 or more clock hours of instruction and training. This must include:

  • 40 hours of pathology
  • 40 hours of performing massage therapy services in a student clinic under the supervision of a licensed practitioner.
  • 200 hours of massage and bodywork assessment application and theory
  • 125 hours of instructin on the body system(including anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology)
  • 10 hours of business, professional practice, and ethics instruction: At least six hoours in ethics

The rest of the massage therapy schools in Michigan’s curricula are a lot of times not the same. Some programs train students in many massage modalities, while others sometimes exceed the number of hours required in a clinical setting.

Before applying to any school, students are advised to find out which institution best satisfies their interests and career goals.

Upon graduation, to qualify for the state licensure, graduates must contact the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards in order to sign up for the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination.

The test, known as the MBLEx, is administered at Pearson VUE assessment centres. There is a fee of about $200 to take the computer-based examination, which is available in both Spanish and English.

Every three years, Michigan practitioners are required to obtain license renewals. They must earn 18 continuing education credits from board-approved providers.

The List of Top Massage Therapy Schools in Michigan

  • Lansing Community College
  • Baker College
  • Siena Heights University
  • St Clair County Community College
  • Douglas J Aveda Institute
  • Irene’s Myomassology Institute
  • Carnegie Institute
  • Bayshire Academy of Beauty Craft Inc
  • Dorsey Business Schools-Saginaw
  • Lakewood School of Therapeutic Massage

Let’s review the massage therapy schools in Michigan and give some vital information on them.

Lansing Community College

This is one of the top massage therapy schools in Michigan with a graduation rate of 19% and a student population of 11771.

This institution boasts of its massage therapy certificate programs. The 736-hour programs are available during the day for three semesters or in the evenings for four semesters.

There is a part-time alternative. In addition to the state-mandated coursework, classes teach polarity therapy, clinical massage, speciality techniques, medical elements of massage, and research literacy.

In their classes, students are allowed to administer one-hour, full-body massages to public clients at an on-campus clinic.

In district Michigan residents should budget a total cost of $14,030. This fee comprises $3,330 for tuition, $6,400 off-campus housing, $600 for books and supplies and $500 for other fees. In-State Michigan residents can budget $17,360 in total.

Baker College

Baker College is one of the massage therapy schools in Michigan that provides 100 programs in their eight locations across the state.

The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation recognizes the certificate and associate in applied science programs on Baker’s campuses in Allen Park, Cadillac, Clinton Township, Jackson, and Muskegon.

The certificate curriculum complies with state requirements and students who are going for an AAS degree must complete, 1,130 clock hours of instruction, in addition to a clinical externship during the final semester.

The student population is 9332 and the institution has a graduation rate of 19%.

Tuition Details:

  • Undergraduate Degree Courses: $435/per credit hour
  • Master’s Degree Courses: $695/per credit hour
  • Doctoral Degree Courses: $915/per credit hour

Siena Heights University

Siena Heights University offers Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy, Bachelor of Applied Science, Massage Therapy, and Master’s Degree.

A catholic institution in Adrian, SHU  offers a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree..

Their program is designed for professionals with certification from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

NCBTMB has partnered with Siena Heights since 2013, and hundreds of massage therapists have graduated in that time. Here you have the opportunity to earn your college degree and advance your career with an institution serving the massage profession for over a decade.

You can transfer in 45 credits with NCBTMB certification and 2 years of related work experience. Also, you can transfer in 45 credits with NCBTMB Certification and 2 years of related work experience.  Additional credits are accepted from college credits, military training, CLEP or other testing, and advanced training.

Total Cost of Attendance:

  • Full-Time Tuition per Year: $27,500
  • Mandatory Fees (Technology, Student Service, Compliance): $1,002
  • Total Tuition and Mandatory Fees: $28,502
  • Room (double occupancy) and Board (19 meal plan): $11,720
  • Books/Personal Expenses/Transportation: $2,900
  • Total Estimated Cost of Attendance: $43,122

See their tuition details. Visit their Website.

St Clair County Community College

This is one of the massage therapy schools in Michigan that offers the Therapeutic Massage Program.

The 65 credit hour curriculum includes classes in microcomputer applications, English composition, political science, sociology, business math, and psychology. 

A program that combines occupational-specific courses at Lakewood and general education courses with the required competencies for graduation from SC4.

The program combines occupational-specific courses at Lakewood, as well as general education courses with the required competences for graduation from SC4.

Students must complete the graduation requirements at Lakewood and successfully complete an additional 33 credits. A minimum of 18 credits must be completed at SC4.

Classes are small, with only two to four students completing the program in recent years.

Residents of St. Clair County Community College district:

  • $139 per contact hour
  • $32 technology fee per contact hour

Residents of the state of Michigan outside of the college district:

  • $260 per contact hour
  • $32 technology fee per contact hour

Residents outside the state of Michigan and international students enrolled through visas:

  • $378 per contact hour
  • $32 technology fee per contact hour

See tuition details. Visit their Website.

Douglas J Aveda Institute

At Douglas J Aveda Institute massage therapy and the Aveda name work together to create a holistic wellness experience, balancing touch, aroma and more to melt stress from each guest who walks through their doors.

They have a unique learning environment and as part of their program, you can learn in the classroom, digitally and through hands-on demonstrations.

They are one of the massage therapy schools in Michigan with licensed instructors who provide real feedback and assist students to work towards becoming licensed professionals.

  • Tuition: $11,425.00
  • Kit: $975.00

Visit their Website

Irene’s Myomassology Institute

This is one of the massage therapy schools in Michigan that prepares students to become licensed Massage Therapists.

Irene’s is nationally accredited by ACCET, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training.

 Students graduate from Irene’s equipped with a wealth of skills, experience and licensed as a massage therapist in Michigan. It is one of the massage therapy schools in Michigan with flexible massage class schedules.

They are committed to helping students in their education. Their Kempley Massage Scholarship provides up to $2,000 towards tuition.  Irene’s can also accept veterans’ educational benefits.

The largest program at Irene’s Myomassology Institute in Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage and its 2021 tuition & fees are $12,250. 

For all Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage programs in all trade schools in the USA has the program cost is $11,333. Visit their Website.

Carnegie Institute

This is one of the massage therapy schools in Michigan that has online and application classes that are aimed at providing thorough, comprehensive education and a working knowledge of important hands-on skills and competencies in Massage therapy.

In this institute, you will be able to develop your confidence in small class sizes, one=on-one instruction, and competent, experienced faculty members who are Licensed Massage Therapists.

The 2021 tuition & fees of Carnegie Institute are $14,402 for their students. Visit their Website.

Bayshire Academy of Beauty Craft Inc

Bayshire Academy of Beauty Craft Inc prepares students for careers in massage therapy. It is one of the massage therapy schools in Michigan with licensed instructors, who are trained on the advanced techniques, styles and trends.

Their faculty is committed to quality education and all their teachers are practising massage cosmetologists who provide hands-on practical experience in a real-world environment.

A total of 92 students are attending the school and its graduation rate is 76%.

For their Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage, Tuition & Fees is $5,315, Books & Supplies is $285, and the program length is 700 Hours & can be completed in 7 months.

Visit their Website

Dorsey Business Schools-Saginaw

Dorsey Business Schools-Saginaw offers massage therapy programs that are designed to expose students to the knowledge and skills that are needed to excel in this field.

In this school, students are able to take part in supervised training in the massage therapy clinic, where students are able to apply what they have learnt.

For the academic year 2020-2021, the undergraduate tuition & fees at Dorsey School of Business-Saginaw is $31,080.

Visit their Website

Lakewood School of Therapeutic Massage

Lakewood School is well known in Michigan by students and employers for well-trained graduates that are ready to step into the massage therapy profession.

In this institution, students learn a holistic approach to bodywork that includes relaxation, massage, assessment skills and therapeutic applications.

It is one of the massage therapy schools in Michigan with a creative and dedicated staff that inspire students to learn the theory and techniques in massage therapy.

Their current tuition:

  • Tuition: $13,122
  • Textbook/licensure fees: $1,997
  • Total: $15,119

Visit their Website

What are the expected outcomes of Massage Therapy Programs

+ Massage therapy programs integrate college-level competencies into people’s professional practice in therapeutic massage.

+ Students can apply business principles to their professional practice in therapeutic massage.

+ Massage Therapy Programs also incorporate psychosocial aspects of care in their professional practice in therapeutic massage.

Massage Therapy programs have the following in their curriculum

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Aromaology
  • Spa treatments
  • Body movement techniques

What are your thoughts about the massage therapy schools in Michigan? Please share your thoughts with us.


Reference: https://careerswiki.com/education/massage-therapy-schools/michigan/

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